Lawsuits filed in fatal Hudson River crash

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The man whose bride-to-be and best man were killed when the powerboat they were in crashed into a construction barge on the Hudson River last summer is among the latest to sue the joint venture building the new Tappan Zee Bridge, as well as the boat’s driver.

Brian Bond filed a lawsuit in the state Supreme Court in New York City on Monday, alleging that three barges moored south of the bridge were poorly lit or not visible on the night of the crash. Another crash survivor, John Schumacher, also filed suit Monday, according to the (New York) Journal News.

Last week, the estates of Lindsey Stewart, 30, and Mark Lennon, 30, of Pearl River, N.Y., took similar legal action.

All four lawsuits seek damages from Tappan Zee Constructors and the four companies that make up the consortium: Fluor Enterprises Inc., Traylor Brothers Inc., American Bridge Co. and Granite Construction Northeast Inc.

They also name as defendants Jojo John, who co-owns the boat and was driving when it collided with the barge; boat co-owner Anthony Amendola; and McDonough Marine Service, which leases barges.

Authorities have accused John of operating the 19-foot boat drunk that night. Toxicology tests determined that his blood-alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit and found traces of cocaine in the Nyack, N.Y., resident’s system.

John last week pleaded not guilty to an 18-count indictment that included charges of first- and second-degree vehicular manslaughter, negligent homicide and operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He is scheduled to return to court Jan. 3.

William Aronwald, Bond’s lawyer, on Monday put the blame on Tappan Zee Constructors for failing to ensure that the barges could clearly be seen, especially because they had been “placed on notice” about visibility issues by a concerned Nyack boater weeks before the July 26 crash.


6 comments on “Lawsuits filed in fatal Hudson River crash

  1. tigerpilot

    A drunk hits a barge and it’s everyone’s fault but his own. The barges were legally lit and their presence noted in Notice to Mariners as required by law. The lawyer who takes this case should be disbarred from the practice of law.

  2. Bob

    @tigerpilot: you hit the nail on the head. I think this country needs to have a formal system in place to bring against lawyers that take bogus cases. That being said, once the Lawyers are able to twist this thing around, they’ll likely have the jury believing that someone else is at fault. One big problem with the legal system: the only people that sit on jury’s, are the people that couldn’t figure out how to get out of it. That hurts the system as much as the lawyers.

  3. Nathan Lichtwar

    The Barge company noted the barges in the “Notice to Mariners” that will probably negate their responsibility to some extent. The driver who was intoxicated and looks like drugs also were involved should be the only party sued but again lawyers will have their day in court…
    I was a CG boarding officer on LI and saw the justice system twisted and used to benefit the guilty…
    My thought: this will probably be settled out of court we will never know the outcome…

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