Two more lawsuits filed against Tote in El Faro case

Two more lawsuits have been filed against vessel owner Tote over the loss of the El Faro.

The US-flagged 790-foot vessel and its crew of 33 went down on October 1 en route from Jacksonville, Florida to San Juan, Puerto Rico when it was caught in the centre of Hurricane Joaquin off of the Bahamas.

Searchers on a US Navy ship detected the vessel’s wreckage using sonar on October 31 and positively identified it using a remote video craft on November 2.

On Monday this week the search for the voyage data recorder (VDR) of the El Faro (14,971 dwt, built 1975) was called off, the US National Transportation Safety Board said.

On November 5 a US judge had set December 21 as the deadline for filing claims against Tote in the case. In the same ruling damages claims were capped at a maximum of $15.3 million.

Last weekend Tote offered a settlement of lost wages plus $500,000 apiece to the families of the lost crew members.

The two latest suits bring the total number of litigations to eight.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.
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