(First Coast News/WLTV) — Several insurance companies filed a lawsuit in federal court Monday against the company that provided the weather analysis system to lost container ship El Faro alleging it was the system's fault the ship went down and asking for damages.
The El Faro went down in October of 2015 after sailing into the center of Hurricane Joaquin taking its 33 crew members with it. Figuring out just why the ship went down has been the subject of several weeks of hearings over the past year and a half.
In the suit filed Monday, the companies that insured the cargo onboard the El Faro want $7 million for the cost of the lost cargo, which included tobacco products, electronics, household products and a lot of food.
The companies alleged that Applied Weather Technology sold TOTE Maritime on their product, the Bon Voyage weather tracking system; the product installed on the El Faro.
If the captain of the El Faro had a reliable weather tracking system and not the defective Bon Voyage, the suit says the ship would have never gone down and the companies would not have lost their shipping.
The Bon Voyage was providing information about the storm that, at one time, was over 13 hours old, the suit says.
Applied Weather Technology gets their information from the National Hurricane Center and then gives it to the El Faro. That information could be anywhere from six to 13 hours old if checked the moment it's sent.
Captain Michael Davidson believed he was sailing onto the south (and generally believed to be safer) side of the hurricane when he was actually sailing onto the north (and extremely dangerous side).
You can read the suit below: