Attorney Jason Itkin Appears on CNN to Discuss the El Faro Tragedy
Last night, Attorney Jason Itkin appeared on CNN’S Erin Burnett OutFront to discuss how the El Faro owners are attempting to limit what’s owed to the families affected by this maritime tragedy.
On Friday, TOTE Maritime, the owner of the El Faro, filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court in Florida claiming they should bear no financial liability regarding the sinking of the ship. Per the complaint, the owners of the El Faro believe that they “exercised due diligence” in ensuring that the ship was both seaworthy and well-equipped for its voyage from Florida to Puerto Rico. In the complaint, they stated that they should be “(exonerated) from liability for any and all losses or damages sustained during the voyage ... and from any and all claims for damages that have been or may hereafter be made."
This law was designed to support the maritime industry back when it was still new; however, not only is it no longer needed—it is antiquated and highly unfair to the families who have lost their loved ones. Under this law, shipping companies can only be forced to pay the remaining value of the ship and the cargo following the disaster so long as they are able to prove that they lacked knowledge about any of the problems beforehand.
“They are relying on an old law,” said Attorney Jason Itkin last night. “A law that was enacted back when we had wooden ships, wooden sailboats transferring cargo. The family feels betrayed.”