Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Second Crew Member's Family Files Suit In El Faro Sinking

Reihm family

Another lawsuit has been filed in the aftermath of the sinking of the El Faro cargo ship.

The family of crew member Jeremie Reihm say both the manufacturer and the operator of the vessel are guilty of negligence.

Jacksonville attorney Steve Pajcic said the family is suing after being stonewalled when asking shipper TOTE Services about insurance benefits.

“We had asked the defendants to tell us, to disclose to us how much their insurance was by letter a couple of weeks ago. They refused to do so,” Pajcic says. “Instead of doing that, they opened a charity account, asking the public to chip in to finance their financial obligations.”

Pajcic hasn’t specified what amount the family is seeking. He is filing the case in federal court under the Jones Act, which functions as a maritime workers’ compensation law.

A previous lawsuit filed on behalf of another El Faro crewman is seeking $100 million. Pajcic calls that sum unrealistic. 

Ryan Benk is a former WJCT News reporter who joined the station in 2015 after working as a news researcher and reporter for NPR affiliate WFSU in Tallahassee.