Investigation and pending class action filed on behalf of two New Orleans residents who suffered damages as a result of the Mississippi River oil spill that occurred on July 23, 2008.
The Mississippi River oil spill occurred at about 1:30 a.m., when a 600-foot tanker and a barge loaded with fuel collided. The barge split in half, spilling more than 419,000 gallons of tar-like oil into the river. The barge's owner, American Commercial Lines, immediately took responsibility for the oil spill. The barge was being towed by the tugboat the Mel Oliver.
The US Coast Guard determined that no one on the Mel Oliver had the proper licensing for piloting a tugboat. The investigation claims that following the oil spill, prevailing winds exposed residents and inhabitants of New Orleans to toxic fumes that were spread from the collision site to the French Quarter and Uptown. The lawsuit also alleges that heavy oil has caused serious environmental damage to the river, threatened sensitive wetlands, and forced closure of several communities' water intakes to prevent contamination of drinking water supplies. Because the oil spill has resulted in the closure of an 80-mile stretch of the Mississippi River, the plaintiffs allege that the incident has caused and will continue to cause loss of income to individuals and businesses that are being prevented from using the waterway.
Defendants named by the Mississippi River oil spill class action lawsuit include Laurin Maritime, the Houston firm that operates the Liberian-flagged tanker MV Tintomara; that ship's owner, Gibraltar-based Whitefin Shipping Co. Limited; American Commercial Lines Inc., the Indiana company that owns the barge; DRD Towing, the Harvey company that owns the tugboat Mel Oliver; and the New Orleans-Baton Rouge Steamship Pilots Association, one of whose members was in command of the Tintomara at the time of the collision.
Name (Stock Symbol)
Laurin Maritime operates as an ocean freight shipping company.
American Commercial Lines Inc. (ACLI)
American Commercial Lines Inc. is a marine transportation and service company operating in the United States. American Commercial Lines Inc. owns and, through its American Commercial Lines LLC subsidiary, operates approximately 2700 barges and 125 towboats. American Commercial Lines Inc. transports a vast array of cargos, like grain, coal, steel, chemicals, petroleum products, edible oils, fertilizers, and construction materials, on the 15,000 miles of U.S. inland waterways. American Commercial Lines Inc., through its Jeffboat LLC subsidiary, operates the second-largest manufacturer of dry cargo, tank barges, and special vessels in the United States.
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