In the ruling, Senior U.S. District Judge Thomas B. Russell with the Sixth Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, which wanted a jury trial against seven employees of Foss Maritime. That company owns the M/V Delta Mariner, the vessel that hit the Eggners Ferry Bridge on Jan. 26, 2012.
Russell’s ruling stated that state courts can hear maritime causes of action as long as the defendant is a person and not a vessel. KyTC Spokesman Chuck Wolfe said this keeps open the possibility of a jury trial in the case.
“The cabinet filed the lawsuit in Marshall Circuit Court and requested a jury trial,” said Wolfe. “But Foss Maritime got the case removed to U.S. District Court and consolidated with its own ‘limitation of liability’ action.” That limitation of liability action is separate from the KyTC lawsuit at issue here.
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