Bluewater Ferry files $6M lawsuit over damaged causeway
Published Wednesday, April 17, 2019 4:37PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, April 17, 2019 4:41PM EDT
The operators of the Bluewater Ferry have filed a $6-million lawsuit over the ice damage to the causeway in Sombra, Ont. that brought their business to a halt in Jan. 2018.
Before the causeway damage, Bluewater operated two ferries from Sombra, Ont. across the St. Clair River to Marine City, MI, making about 10,000 trips annually carrying cargo, pedestrians, cars and transport trucks.
On Jan. 11, a Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker was leading four ships on the St. Clair River, pushing an accumulated icefield into the causeway, destroying the ferries' docking area along with a number of other smaller docks.
The lawsuit claims Bluewater has been unable to afford the cost of repairs, and therefore unable to operates its business causing a complete loss of revenue from its ferries, as well rent from a duty-free shop on the U.S. side.
It accuses the Coast Guard ship's captain of negligence as a result of 'unsafe, careless, and imprudent ice-breaking,' including moving too fast, escorting too many vessels at the same time and navigating too close to shore, among other items.
The operators of the ships following the icebreaker are also named in the suit, saying they had a duty to avoid foreseeable damage to the shoreline structures.
The lawsuit, handled by London, Ont. lawfirm McKenzie Lake Lawyers, estimates the cost to replace the causeway at $3.1 million.