Hartley Bay Indian band files ferry lawsuit
The B.C. court system now has another lawsuit to deal with in connection with the March 2006 sinking of the Queen of the North ferry.
The Hartley Bay Indian band has filed a lawsuit in B.C. Supreme Court, suing for damages that resulted from the sinking of the huge vehicle and passenger ferry.
"I understand that it has been filed in the courts but we don't comment on legal matters,'' B.C. Ferries spokeswoman Deborah Marshall said Wednesday.
"There is a also a class action suit and one other from the families, the children of the two deceased people,'' she said, referring to two other suits launched as a result of the sinking.
The band has been upset since the sinking because the wreck likes in deep saltwater and had sporadically been leaking fuel that the natives claim is despoiling their fishing grounds.
The ferry was sailing through Wright Island when it struck Gil Island at full speed and sank to the bottom of the saltwater passage.
The class-action suit, set for Feb. 2, 2009 in Vancouver, is against B.C. Ferries, crewmembers Karl Lilgert and Karen Bricker, and Capt. Colin Henthorne, on behalf of the 49 surviving passengers.
The RCMP continues to investigate the sinking, but there have been no charges.
A Transportation Safety Board report said the crew of the doomed ferry wasn't following basic safe sailing practices the night it sank in March 2006.
The board made recommendations to bump up safety for ship passengers across Canada and ensure investigators never again face the kinds of questions and uncertainty raised in the Queen of the North tragedy.