June 22, 2018
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Rockland sues tugboat owner for pier damage

By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff

ROCKLAND, Maine — The city and its insurance company have filed a federal lawsuit against the owner of a tugboat that the city claims damaged its municipal pier.

Rockland and Acadia Insurance Company filed the lawsuit July 24 in U.S. District Court of Portland against Patriot Marine LLC, located in Massachusetts.

The case involves the Tug Ocean King that broke from its anchor in Rockland Harbor on Oct. 15, 2010, and struck the east side of the Rockland Fish Pier, according to the lawsuit. The tug struck the pier repeatedly and caused significant damage, the city claims in the lawsuit.

Patriot Marine, the owner of the tug, should have been aware of the threat posed by a storm that had been forecast for days leading up to Oct. 15, the suit states. Winds gusted to 46 miles per hour and swells built to seven feet, according to the lawsuit.

Repairs totaled more than $90,000 with the city picking up $7,500 and Acadia paying $83,471.

Rockland and the insurance carrier are represented by Thompson & Bowie, LLP of Portland.

Patriot Marine has not yet responded to the lawsuit. A telephone message was left Monday morning for the company.

This is the second lawsuit brought by the city this year against a boat owner for damage to the fish pier. The city filed a lawsuit in May against the owner of a herring boat, but dropped it a month later when the city was reimbursed for the damages by the owner’s insurance company.

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