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Factory Trawler Owner Seeks Limitation of Liability

The owners of the ill fated fishing vessel the Alaska Ranger have begun legal maneuvering to avoid liability for the deadly ship sinking in March. The lawyers for the Fishing Company of Alaska (“FCA”) have invoked an archaic piece of maritime law that limits the amount of money that can be sought by survivors or the families of the dead. In order to prevail, the owner of the vessel must show that the vessel was seaworthy, properly manned and equipped, and that the owner had no prior knowledge of the problems that ultimately sunk the ship. Crew members have related stories of drunk officers, power struggles, water below deck and leaking watertight doors. Given these facts, it appears unlikely that the defendant will be successful in its efforts to limit liability.

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