The owner of a commuter ferry that crashed in Manhattan’s financial district in January has been sued in federal court in Newark, New Jersey.

The owner of SeaStreak Wall Street is facing at least 45 claims from passengers. The SeaStreak had 326 passengers on board when it slammed into a docking barge at rush hour.  57 people were injured, one critically.

According to one lawyer for the victims and their spouses, the injured suffered from deformities, fractures, and emotional trauma.  He compared the accident scene to a scene from a zombie movie, with passengers walking around dazed and bloodied.

The captain of the ferry told investigators that the ship’s reverse thrusters failed as the vessel approached the dock.  The National Transportation Safety Board has not yet released the results of its investigation of the crash.

Claims against the defendant company total more than $75 million.  The company has already reached settlements with more than 35 passengers who claimed personal injuries and property loss or damage, for amounts ranging from the value of free monthly tickets to $265,000.

The company has sought to limit its total liability to the value of the ferry, which it said was $7.6 million.  It operates five vessels that link New Jersey and Manhattan, and also has two that travel between New Bedford and Martha’s Vineyard.

The ferry’s owners also own the largest tug and barge operator on the East Coast and Gulf Coast.

If you or a family member have been injured in a ferry accident, or have suffered any other personal injury, contact an experienced New Jersey personal injury attorney at the law offices of James C. DeZao, P.A.