US settles Cosco Busan spill for $44M

US settles Cosco Busan spill for $44M
OWNERS and operators of the Cosco Busan were ordered to pay $44M to settle a civil lawsuit in the aftermath of the 2007 oil spill in San Francisco Bay.

Vessel owner Regal Stone and ship management company Fleet Management were held liable yesterday (19 September) for damages caused by the spill, which occurred after the containership struck the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

The 53,000 gallons of oil that leaked as a result devastated wildlife in the area, killing thousands of migratory birds and fish and oiling over 100 miles of shoreline.

“With this settlement, we are seeing to it that those responsible for the spill are held accountable and that they pay their share for restoring and improving our precious natural resources and public lands”, US Interior department secretary Ken Salazar said in a statement.

Federal, state, and local government agencies will receive payments from the penalty based on damages incurred.

The $18.8M portion of the settlement for lost human uses of the shoreline and the bay constitutes one of the largest human use recoveries for any oil spill in the US, according prosecutors.

Hong Kong-based Fleet was previously ordered to pay $10 million in criminal penalties after being found negligent in the accident and for obstruction of justice in a cover-up in which it falsified ship records after the crash.

John Cota, the ship’s pilot, pleaded guilty in 2009 and was sentenced to 10 months in prison.
Links from IHS Fairplay World Shipping Directory online:
Regal Stone Ltd


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