Marquette Transportation Accidents
Family Businesses Fail to Take Care of Their Employees, Too
Marquette Transportation Company LLC is headquartered in Kentucky and provides marine transportation. It started in 1978 as a family-owned river transportation company. It would later acquire two other family-run operations, setting itself apart as a company that operates in rivers, inland gulfs, and offshore sites.
Marquette Transportation is segmented into three branches:
- River Unit: This branch of Marquette Transportation was the company's original operation.
- Gulf-Inland Unit: This section of the company was added in 2007 and was formerly known as Eckstein Marine.
- Offshore Unit: Also added to Marquette in 2007, this division was formerly the company HLC Tugs.
In March 2015, BDT Capital Partners acquired a majority interest in Marquette Transportation Holdings, LLC. Today, Marquette provides transportation and towing services throughout U.S. rivers as well as along the Eastern Seaboard, Gulf of Mexico, Mexico, Caribbean, and Central American waterways. Marquette Transportation employs more than 1,500 people and has a fleet of more than 800 barges for lease. It also has a fleet of more than 120 marine vessels.
Marquette Transportation's Clear Pattern of Negligence
Marquette Transportation has a history of inadequate maintenance. This clear pattern of negligence has cost the company financially, and it has placed workers at risk of suffering catastrophic injuries or death in serious accidents.
The many incidents on Marquette’s track record include:
- June 2011: The towing vessel Limestone Lady hit a levee near New Orleans, Louisiana.
- November 2013: The Stephen L. Colby, a vessel made in 1967, sunk after striking bottom in the Upper Mississippi River, spilling oil along the Iowa coast of the Mississippi River. The towboat had been loaded with 100,000 gallons of oil, forcing multiple agencies to work through the Thanksgiving holiday to contain the spill as much as possible. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) blamed the accident on negligence, stating that Marquette had failed to check if they had enough clearance for the ship. The incident caused $3.9 million in damage.
- February 2013: Marquette's Lindsay Ann Erickson collided with a barge, causing 31,500 gallons of oil to spill into the Mississippi River. Marquette Transportation was found partially liable and had to share in cleanup costs.
- January 2018: The George King suffered an engine fire that destroyed the towing vessel, which was past due for inspections. The crew members were able to safely evacuate, but the Coast Guard had to respond to the emergency.
- October 2018: - A Marquette barge crane crashed into a bridge after approaching with the boom extended. This was not an isolated incident; there were at least 32 collisions between Marquette vessels and bridges within the prior 5 years. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, none of the resulting penalties had been paid by Marquette by the date of this October 2018 accident, despite incidents having often caused significant structural damage.
- May 2018: A Marquette tub named Steve Richoux was pushing a barge when it hit a Mississippi River wharf in New Orleans, Louisiana. The impact barely missed Mardi Gras World, the location where an inauguration was being held later that day for the city's new mayor. The incident caused significant damage to Mardi Gras World.
- March 2019: The St. Rita sank on the Mississippi River while carrying 13,000 gallons of diesel fuel. The Coast Guard safely evacuated all crew members before the vessel sank, but the incident caused significant pollution.
- November 2022: A lack of proper maintenance was blamed as was a lack of inspections and maintenance for a generator set failure that fried the steering and caused the towing vessel Marquette Warrior to ground, grounding several other barges along with it. This incident resulted in $1.24 million in damage.
Call Our Marquette Transportation Accident Attorneys
When it comes to negligent companies that harm workers and then refuse them fair compensation, our legal team is no stranger to fighting tirelessly and winning on our clients’ behalf. At Arnold & Itkin, we’ve seen every tactic a corporation can throw at us, and we have the resources and insight to successfully counter it. In fact, we have won more than $20 billion in settlements and verdicts. We have a proven track record of advocating for injured maritime workers and their families. Find out how we may be able to help you win a claim against Marquette Transportation Company.