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First lawsuit filed in ferry crash

Jan. 22, 2013 at 4:58 PM

NEW YORK, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- The first lawsuit by a passenger aboard a ferry boat that crashed into a pier in New York City in early January has been filed, his lawyer said.

Plaintiff Desmond Sullivan was among several dozen injured passengers when the boat attempted to dock and struck Manhattan's Pier 11 near Wall Street on the morning of Jan. 9, The (Newark, N.J.) Star-Ledger reported Tuesday.

"He injured his back and neck and is still being treated," said Andrew Buchsbaum, who filed the suit this week in U.S. District Court.

The newspaper said 57 passengers were injured in the accident.

Friday, attorneys for Seastreak LLC, operators of the ferry, filed their own papers in federal court seeking to have passenger claims heard by a maritime court rather than Superior Court in their home counties, a partner in Buchsbaum's firm told the Asbury Park (N.J.) Press.

If Seastreak's motion is successful, damages from the accident would be limited, or the court could rule the company has no liability. Also, under maritime law, injured passengers could not seek a jury trial, The Star-Ledger said.

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