At just after 4pm on July 28, 2017, a water taxi crossing the Hudson River from New Jersey crashed into the West Midtown Ferry Terminal on 39th Street, as reported by NBC News New York. Tragically, over 30 people were injured, with some facing serious injuries after the crash.
According to FDNY Manhattan Borough Commander Roger Sakowich, the ferry was moving faster than usual and wasn’t able to stop before making a hard landing against the dock at Pier 79. Some passengers who were getting ready to disembark were suddenly thrown forward.
“It was going a little faster than normal,” Sakowich said. “[The man at the helm] was reversing, didn’t reverse as quick as he thought, and he hit abruptly.”
One passenger, Goris Bausa, told New York Daily News that everything flew forward as soon as the boat crashed into the pier .
“It all happened in the flash of an eye, in a second,” Bausa said. “It was really scary.”
The incident is under investigation by the Maritime Association of the Port of New York and New Jersey.
If you were among those on board, you may receive compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more. A lawyer with knowledge of maritime laws and personal injury laws in New York can help you file a lawsuit against the responsible party.
Ferry cases can be complex. Common causes of ferry accidents include:
- Distracted, inattentive, or untrained operators
- Reckless operation of the vessel, including speeding
- Failure to maintain ferry
- Poor weather conditions
Depending on the cause of the ferry accident, multiple parties may be responsible for your injuries, including the operator, the company that owns and manages the ferry, and even the ferry manufacturer.
In this instance, the crash is still under investigation, but if the prior reports are accurate, the ferry was not moving at a safe speed towards the dock. New York City Water Taxi, owned by Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises, is responsible for getting passengers from one destination to another safely.
The attorneys at Block O’Toole & Murphy are skilled at litigating ferry crash cases. One particular case involved the tragic 2003 Staten Island ferry incident. On October 15, 2003 at approximately 3:21pm, the Staten Island ferry vessel Andrew J. Barberi crashed into the pier at full speed and plowed through wooden pilings that supported a concrete platform. The crash ripped open a 200-foot section of the boat, severely injuring those in the area. Soon afterwards, a concrete slab fell and tore through the main section of the ferry.
The disaster left 11 dead and 165 injured, many of which were critical injuries.
Block O’Toole & Murphy represented a client who suffered a broken leg and pelvis as a result of the horrifying ferry crash. The client, who was in the hospital for 2 weeks, had to have screws put in her leg. She received a $1.125 million settlement, which was the 33rd settlement in the Staten Island ferry crash.
At the time of the settlement, it was the largest amount awarded to an injury victim hurt in the ferry crash. The 32 other prior settlements totaled approximately $600,000.
The lawyers at Block O’Toole & Murphy are committed to making sure that our clients receive maximum compensation under law. If you’ve been hurt in a ferry crash, please call 212-736-5300 or fill out our contact form for a FREE legal consultation.