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Towing company sued for similar bridge damage

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Updated: 9/27/2013 11:27 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Mathews Bridge is now at least the second bridge to be damaged during an incident involving Moran Towing Corp. Action News dug up a lawsuit that the city of Chesapeake, Va. just filed on Sept. 9.

It claims one of Moran's tug boats was pushing a barge and caused it to strike the fender of the Gilmerton Bridge. The city alleges Moran failed to properly measure the distance between the barge and the bridge.

That collision happened in November 2008, and could cost Chesapeake taxpayers more than $271,000.

In an OSHA report from 2009, authorities cited Moran for a serious violation when an incident crushed one of Moran's employees, killing him.
Four years later, the towing company is back in hot water.
What we're now learning from Thursday's crash, from the attorney representing the operator of the ship, is that Moran did have a docking pilot on board the vessel who may have had a hand in planning the trip.

"I think it's primarily Moran Towing that would come up with the towage plan. We're still sorting through those details though and I don't know specifically who came up with the plan, or how it was developed," said Timothy Conner, partner at Holland and Knight.

We also found out that because the ship operated under a reduced crew, Moran should have been in charge of safely towing the ship to its destination.
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