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Carnival files suit against BAE Systems

Written by Nick Blenkey

carnival wheelerJUNE 20, 2013 — Carnival Corporation filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama on June 13, seeking damages in relation to the April 3 incident in which the cruise ship Carnival Triumph broke away from its moorings at BAE Systems Ship Repair’s Mobile, Alabama, shipyard (see earlier story).

Carnival Triumph slams into dredge Wheeler

Named as defendants in the civil action are: BAE Systems SSY Alabama Property Holdings, LLC, BAE Systems Southeast Shipyards Alabama LLC, Signal Ship Repair, LLC, The United States Army Corps Of Engineers, Bernadette W. Johnson, individually and as Surviving Wife and as Administratrix and Personal Representative of the Estate of John R. “Buster” Johnson, and Jason Alexander Ewing.

Carnival is seeking damages “in excess of $12.6 million” and, among other things, asserts that BAE was in breach of its ship repair contract with Carnival by failing to provide a suitable berth and wharfage for the Triumph. It says in a court filing that “the berth and wharfage provided were completely unsuitable for the TRIUMPH due to the deteriorated, defective, and inadequate bollards used to moor the TRIUMPH at Pier K.”

Signal Ship Repair’s shipyard was damaged in the incident as was the Corps of Engineers dredge Wheeler. Signal has filed a $300,000 claim against Carnival and Carnival says a claim from the Corps is anticipated.

Bernadette W. Johnson, who is named in the suit, is the widow of John Buster Johnson, a BAE employee who was reportedly blown into the river by the same 40-50 mph winds that caused the Triumph breakaway and who drowned in in the incident.  Also named is another BAE employee, Jason Alexander Ewing, who was injured in the incident.

Both Mr. Johnson’s widow and Mr. Ewing filed separate lawsuits against Carnival May 29.

Read Carnival’s complaint HERE

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