Wed, 07 Jun 2023

NEW YORK CITY, New York: A New York court ruled this week that Energetic Tank Inc is 20 percent responsible, and the United States 80 percent responsible, for the August 21, 2017 collision between the 39,000 ton Alnic tanker and the USS John S. McCain in Southeast Asia.

Following a non-jury trial last November, Paul Crotty, U.S. District Judge in Manhattan, ruled that the tanker was partially responsible for the collision.

In this week's ruling, the owner of the oil tanker must pay $44.6 million, due to its role in the collision, which killed 10 sailors and injured many others.

Energetic Tank, which court papers say has an office in Monrovia, Liberia, claimed the U.S. was responsible for the collision, which caused damage of $185 million to the McCain and $442,445 to the Alnic.

The U.S. conceded that the naval ship held some blame, but that the Alnic also played a role.

Subject to objections, a second trial will allocate the money to victims and their families, Crotty added.

Forty-one wrongful death or personal injury claims have also been filed.

The "well-considered" decision will prove "some level of recompense" for sailors and families who suffered grievous injuries, said Paul Hofmann, a lawyer for some of the claimants, as quoted by Reuters.

The probable cause of the collision was "a lack of effective operational oversight of the destroyer by the U.S. Navy, which resulted in insufficient training and inadequate bridge operating procedures," the National Transportation Safety Board has said, recommending appropriate safety measures be put in place.

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