On April 1, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough settled for $2.5 million in disputed insurance claims for the formerly water-damaged engines of the Susitna Ferry. This week, the Borough’s attorney in Ohio received the funds minus a $250,000 deductible. The Borough also dismissed the lawsuit against Lloyds of London.
The Borough filed an insurance claim on February 21, 2018, asking for $3 million in costs for repairs of the ship. The underwriters disputed the claim and said nothing was owed.
After unsuccessfully attempting to mediate the claims, the Borough filed a lawsuit asking for $2.7 million of insurance money in February 2018, citing breach of contract. Given that the insurance policy requires that Ohio law apply, the Borough hired a lawyer in Ohio, skilled in maritime and insurance law, to argue the case. Paul Rose and Gabrielle Kelly filed the lawsuit for the Borough against “certain underwriters” at Lloyd’s of London, while negotiating with the underwriters for settlement. Their work cost $30,000 in attorney fees.
“We’re happy that the underwriters settled the claim without the cost and time and uncertainty of drawn out litigation,” said Mat-Su Borough Attorney Nicholas Spiropoulos who also worked on the case.
Two court documents are posted here: the executed settlement and agreement and original lawsuit.
The vessel was repaired and later sold. In March 2016, the vessel was towed from Ketchikan to a shipyard for repairs in Seattle. On June 30, 2016, the Borough sold the Susitna to the Philippine Red Cross for $1.75 million. Two Borough press releases give background on the sale. "Phillippine Red Cross Owns Susitna" and "Susitna Sale to Red Cross."
The ship is now named Amazing Grace and has performed rescue drills in the disaster-prone Philippines. Two articles on the Amazing Grace follow: