In a move that seemed inevitable, the fight to point blame in the deadly last voyage of the HMS Bounty is headed for federal court.
Family members of deckhand Claudene Christian, one of two crew members who died in the sinking, filed a $90 million civil lawsuit last week against the owners of the three-masted square-rigger, which appeared in several Hollywood films, including the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise.
The suit alleges the Bounty was unseaworthy and its captain — Robin Walbridge — was negligent when he set sail with his crew of 15 as Hurricane Sandy steamed toward the U.S. Eastern Seaboard.
Walbridge was also lost in the shipwreck. His body was never recovered after the vessel took on water in seas reaching 30 feet and wind gusting over 100 mph and sank on Oct. 29. Bounty was rolled, tossing Walbridge and his 15 shipmates into the Atlantic off the coast of North Carolina.
Multiple witnesses have testified that the captain chose to sail knowing there was rot infesting the key parts of the wooden ship.