BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Several injured passengers are demanding cash, well over a million dollars in total, after their midnight cruise in Baltimore’s harbor comes to a crashing halt.
Some passengers say the impact has left them out of work with lingering injuries, medical bills are stacking up, and Spirit Cruises should pay for them.
Nearly 30 passengers are suing for the crash, with one Baltimore County couple demanding one million dollars in damages, claiming in court documents, “the impact caused Maurice Franklin to ‘hit the glass walls behind him,’ and his wife Tonya was ‘violently jolted from her seat.’
“We’re looking for the Spirit of Baltimore to take responsibility for causing this accident,” says attorney Sean Malloy.
According to our media partner, the Baltimore Sun, the captain fell asleep at the helm. The 119-foot ship hit two boats and crashed into a dock in Fell’s Point.
“When I first heard it, I thought it was just a violent thunderstorm rolling in. And I came up out of my boat and was staring at the broad side of the ship,” says witness George Leight.
The dock at Henderson’s Wharf has long since been repaired. But many victims named in this lawsuit say their injuries are permanent. Another passenger claims she saw no life vests, and “I immediately started to panic, as I didn’t know if the ship had been damaged and was going to sink into the harbor.”
Of the 28 passengers who have filed a claim, 17 are demanding a jury trial. Attorney Seann Malloy, tells WJZ his client wants this to set an example.
“Persuing a claim like this will also ensure that proper safety measures are taken elsewhere in the future. Not just the Spirit of Baltimore, but other ship operators,” says Malloy.
Spirit Cruises released a statement to WJZ, saying the captain was almost immediately fired and they are committed to reinforcing safety policies.
A trial date has not been scheduled.