New Legal Challenge Filed Against Owner of Sunken Cargo Ship

PHOTO COUTESY : MASSACHUSETTS MARITIME ACADEMY Photo of Keith Griffin, 33, a 2005 graduate of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Buzzards Bay. Griffin is among 33 crew members on board a cargo ship that went missing off the Bahamas during Hurricane Joaquin

PHOTO COUTESY : MASSACHUSETTS MARITIME ACADEMY
Photo of Keith Griffin, 33, a 2005 graduate of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Buzzards Bay. Griffin is among 33 crew members on board a cargo ship that went missing off the Bahamas during Hurricane Joaquin

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Families of two sailors lost on a freighter that sank during a hurricane this year are challenging the vessel owner’s attempts to limit its financial responsibility.

The legal challenge was filed Tuesday in Jacksonville by the families of 34-year-old Danielle Randolph and 23-year-old Dylan Meklin of Maine.

Both were on the El Faro cargo ship Oct. 1 that sank after losing engine power and getting caught in the Category 4 hurricane.

After multiple lawsuits filed by other crewmember families, ship owner Tote Marine has asked a judge to limit its liability.

Massachusetts Maritime Academy graduates Keith Griffin, 33, and Jeffrey Mathias, 44, were among the crew.

Griffin was a native of Winthrop and graduated from the Academy in 2005. Mathias was from Kingston and graduated in 1996.

Plaintiffs’ attorney Benjamin Gideon says Tote’s liability should not be limited because it is responsible for allowing the ship to navigate too closely to the storm.

Tote spokesman Michael Hanson says the company is not commenting on individual lawsuits.

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