This morning, a private ferry, the Seastreak Wall Street,  traveling between New Jersey and downtown New York crashed into the pier as it was about to dock in downtown Manhattan, near the South Street Seaport.  It was reported that at least 50 people were injured, and at least 2 critically. While it was unknown why the incident happened it was reported that  the ferry's water-jet propulsion system was replaced with a new system of propellers and rudders to save fuel costs.

The incident is reminiscent of two crashes in recent years involving the Staten Island Ferry.  In the 2003 Staten Island Ferry crash 11 people died.

In litigation arising out of that case the court held that:
The gravity of the potential injury if a ferry carrying more than a thousand commuters were to crash at full speed is well illustrated by the harm actually done in this case — the loss of eleven lives, injuries to many more, and substantial property damage.
In Re City of New York v. Agni,  522 F.3d 279 (2d Cir. 2008).  That court in holding the City of New York (the owner of the ferry) responsible noted that:

Under admiralty law, the owner of a ship in navigable waters owes a duty to its passengers to exercise "reasonable care under the circumstances." Kermarec v. Compagnie Generate Transatlantique, 358 U.S. 625, 632, 79 S.Ct. 406, 3 L.Ed.2d 550 (1959).

As in past ferry accidents resulting in serious injuries there is likely to be litigation as the innocent victims seek compensation for their damages. If you or someone you know are injured in an accident you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney.  Call Zalman Schnurman & Miner for a free consultation at 1-800-LAWLINE (1-800-529-5463).

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