Widow sues Conception owners
The first lawsuit to be brought by relatives of passengers who died in the fire on the California diving liveaboard Conception has been filed.
The wrongful-death suit has been brought against the boat’s owner-operator Truth Aquatics in federal court in Los Angeles by Christine Dignam, according to an NBC 4 report. Dignam’s 58-year-old husband Justin was one of the 34 people who died when fire swept through the vessel on the night of 2 September.
Dignam claims that the boat lacked adequate smoke-detectors, firefighting equipment, emergency exits and a safe electrical system, and that no roving nightwatch had been mounted, even though this was a Coast Guard requirement.
Investigating authorities reported after the fire that all six crew-members had been asleep at the time.
13 November 2019
Truth Aquatics owners Glen and Dana Fritzler had lodged their own pre-emptive claim within days of the disaster, in a bid to head off compensation claims against their company, rendering Dignam’s action a counter-claim.
Her legal team will be required to prove that Truth Aquatics was aware that Conception was unsafe at the time of the fire, even though it had passed its two most recent Coast Guard safety inspections.
The company has suspended operation of its other two liveaboards since the incident.