U.S. seeks $3 million from Ingram Barge for damage to Melvin Price Locks and Dam

Written by Nick Blenkey
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In a suit filed September 13 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, the United States is seeking more than $3 million damages from Ingram Barge Company to recover the costs of repairing damage to the Melvin Price Locks and Dam near Alton, Illinois.

According to the filing, on July 17, 2018, the Ingram towboat M/V R. Clayton McWhorter and the Ingram barges were southbound on the Mississippi River. As the M/V R. Clayton McWhorter and 12 Ingram barges approached the Melvin Price Locks and Dam’s auxiliary lock chamber at about 11:00 a.m., the pilot was unable to control the vessel and its tow and struck the long wall at the facility. The wires connecting the M/V R. Clayton McWhorter and its tow parted, and the lead six barges struck the upstream auxiliary lock’s miter gate while in the closed position. The Melvin Price Locks and Dam’s auxiliary lock miter gate was damaged as a result of the allision and the filing alleges that “the accident and resulting damage to the Melvin Price Locks and Dam’s auxiliary lock miter gate were proximately caused by the negligence and other fault of Ingram and their employees, including, but not limited to, the crew of the M/V R. Clayton McWhorter, and/or by the negligence and other fault of contractors and/or subsidiaries of one or more of Ingram, and/or by the unseaworthiness of the M/V R. Clayton McWhorter.

The filing says that “based on currently available information, it is estimated that the cost of repairing the damage to the Melvin Price Locks and Dam’s auxiliary lock miter gate proximately caused by the negligence and other fault of Ingram, the M/V R. Clayton McWhorter, and the Ingram barges, including interest and penalties, totals approximately $3,044,156.44.”

Download the complaint

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