Current Case

DiCello Levitt Represents City of Baltimore in Catastrophic Key Bridge Collapse

In one of the largest maritime disasters in U.S. history, on March 26, 2024, the historic Francis Scott Key Bridge in the City of Baltimore collapsed after being struck by a cargo ship, the M/V Dali, after it lost power while beginning to transit the bridge. This tragedy not only resulted in a devastating loss of life, but its consequent blockage of the Port of Baltimore’s main shipping channel has had a catastrophic impact on the regional economy and the many businesses and individuals who depend upon the City’s Port for revenue and wages.

The City of Baltimore has retained DiCello Levitt to launch legal action to hold accountable all of the entities responsible for this tragedy. We, and our co-counsel at Saltz Mongeluzzi Bendesky, in collaboration with the City’s Law Department, will aggressively work to mitigate the immediate and long-term harm caused to Baltimore residents by taking decisive action against the owner, charterer, manager/operator, and the manufacturer of the M/V Dali, as well as any other potentially liable third parties.

On April 1, the ship’s owner, Grace Ocean Private Limited, and the company responsible for managing the vessel, Synergy Marine PTE LTD, filed a petition to exonerate themselves from liability, or else limit it to the present value of the M/V Dali, which was significantly damaged in the incident. Our team will oppose the petitioners’ efforts to limit their liability, by showing that the M/V Dali was not seaworthy when it left the Port of Baltimore, which ultimately caused the destruction of the Key Bridge, and that the petitioners knew or should have known this fact. In addition, our team will present the City’s claims for damages caused by the allision against the petitioners and other potentially liable parties. These claims include the loss of tax revenue from shut down businesses, unemployment of longshoremen and other workers at the Port of Baltimore, the staggering cost of environmental cleanup, and the petitioners’ violation of multiple different ordinances in the Baltimore City Code, among many others. Initial estimates of aggregate insurable damages for all prospective claimants at this time already exceed $4B.

The attorneys at DiCello Levitt have recovered billions of dollars in damages for clients harmed by the negligent and noncompliant actions of multinational corporations in the transportation and other industries. For example, the firm secured a landmark settlement in the trucking industry in the high-profile class action litigation against Navistar, where the exhaust gas recirculation system in some of its engines allegedly failed to comply with EPA emissions standards. DiCello Levitt is also currently representing the states of Michigan and Illinois as Special Assistant Attorney Generals in in some of the largest environmental pollution cases in U.S. history, in which manufacturers of “Forever Chemicals” (PFAS and AFFF) are accused of contaminating those states’ air, water, and soil. The firm is renowned for its many litigation successes and for negotiating significant settlements that include noteworthy corporate reforms and best practices to protect the safety of the public. Our teams work closely with scientific and technical expert consultants, economists, engineers, market consultants, and witnesses throughout all stages of litigation to achieve the best possible resolution for our clients and the wider public good.