TxDOT sues owner of ship that hit Galveston causeway in 2004

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Nov. 10, 2011, 9:48am

Galveston causeway

GALVESTON - The Texas Department of Transportation has filed suit against Marquette Transportation Co. Gulf-Inland LLC over an incident at the Galveston Causeway Bridge seven years ago.

TxDOT alleges a ship belonging to Marquette, formerly known as Eckstein Marine Service LLC, hit the causeway's fender system on April 28, 2004, according to a lawsuit filed Nov. 2 in Galveston County District Court.

Recent court documents show the M/V Mountaineer's actions required the plaintiff to perform substantial repairs on the system.

The repairs attributable to the allision of the M/V Mountaineer totaled $171,228, the original petition says.

TXDOT says it also sustained indirect costs of $9,623, which bring the total cost to $180,851.

The suit blames the defendant for failing to maintain a proper lookout, failing to chart and maintain a safe course, failing to use navigational equipment properly, maneuvering improperly, failing to take appropriate action to determine the risk of collision, failing to take appropriate action to avoid the collision, failing to proceed at a safe speed appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and failing to properly train the crew of the M/V Mountaineer.

"The plaintiff would show that the defendant is presumed to be at fault by virtue of the presumption of fault that arises when a moving vessel strikes a stationary object," the complaint says.

TxDOT is represented by a legal team headed by Attorney General Greg Abbott.

The case has been assigned to Galveston County 10th District Court Judge David Garner.

Case No. 11-cv-1748

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