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Settlements reached in Wall Street ferry crash

Victims of the Wall Street ferry that crashed into a New York pier earlier this year were awarded nearly $1 million in damages for the injures they received.

William R. Bennett III, one of the lawyers representing ferry operator SeaStreak, told The Maritime Executive that the company had settled 40 to 45 claims out of court and that SeaStreak has been willing to listen to claims from victims coming forth. Four additional settlements were filed last week against SeaStreak for problems ranging from knee injuries to shoulder cartilage damage. Claimants sought damages ranging from $20,000 to $80,000.

The SeaStreak-operated ferry hit a concrete slip Jan. 9 at New York City’s pier 11 while attempting to dock. The commuter vessel, carrying 326 passengers, left from Atlantic Highlands in New Jersey and was bound for the Wall Street district of lower Manhattan. The accident left 85 people injured and two of them were in critical condition after the accident.

Those aboard said many people were moving around because the ferry was about to dock. Some victims were thrown downstairs by the impact; others were thrown against doors, causing the glass to shatter.

After the incident, the National Transportation Safety Board conducted a thorough investigation to make sure the vessel was functioning properly at the time of the crash.

The Army Corps of Engineers conducted a bottom survey to determine whether any obstacles may have interfered with the pilot’s ability to control the vessel.

SeaStreak operates five vessels that travel between Manhattan and New Jersey.