Odfjell Chemical Tankers files suit against ACBL

Written by Nick Blenkey
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In a lawsuit filed October 22 in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Louisiana, Odfjell Chemical Tankers is seeking damages from American Commercial Barge Lines (ACBL) following a March 16, 2021, incident involving the tanker Bow Tribute and the ACBL towing vessel American Way.

Odfjell alleges that during an agreed upon overtaking maneuver on the Lower Mississippi River, the American Way and the two barges it had under tow “moved approximately 1,250 feet to her port (toward BOW TRIBUTE) and completely eliminated any chance of a safe overtaking, which forced BOW TRIBUTE into the left descending bank causing damages.”

According to Odfjell, during evasive maneuvers to avoid the American Way, the Bow Tribute “made contact with two spud barges that were spudded down next to two water intakes said to be owned by the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board.”

The filing asserts that Bow Tribute’s hull and propeller sustained significant damage and the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board and Durward Dunn Inc. have also alleged significant damages.

The suit cites preliminary damage estimates, subject to revision, of:

a. New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board – claimed damages of $729,375.00;
b. Durward Dunn, Inc. (owner of the spud barges) – claimed damages of $888,268.48;
c. Bow Tribute – physical damages of approximately $1.5 million and loss of use/loss of hire damages of approximately $675,000.00.

Download the complaint

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