Ship owner sues pharmacists in crash

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The owners and operators of a container ship that slammed into the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in 2007 and spilled thousands of gallons of oil into San Francisco Bay have sued the Northern California pharmacists they claim negligently dispensed prescription drugs to the pilot of the Cosco Busan.

The ship's owner, Regal Stone Ltd., and operator Fleet Management Ltd. alleged in court papers filed in San Francisco Superior Court Friday that the pills "recklessly" provided by pharmacists at a Longs drugstore in Petaluma, Calif., had so clouded pilot John Cota's judgment and dulled his reflexes that they led to the crash.

The container ship spilled more than 50,000 gallons of oil into the bay after it collided with a bridge tower. The fuel traveled to beaches north and south of San Francisco, and biologists have blamed the spill for the deaths of more than 2,400 birds.

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