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Senator Egan Applauds Fast Ferry Lawsuit Settlement

JUNEAU- Tonight, Sen. Dennis Egan, D-Juneau, says he is pleased with the state’s settlement of litigation involving the fast vehicle ferries Fairweather and Chenega.

“I really applaud the Department of Law and DOT for working so hard on this.  These two ships are a vital part of our transportation system – they link our coastal communities,” said Senator Egan.

The lawsuit was set to go to trial on April 8th, but instead the parties reached an agreement.

According to the Department of Law, the State sued the German engine manufacturer MTU, along with its U.S. affiliate Tognum America, and Robert E. Derecktor, Inc., the contractor responsible for the design and construction of the ferries, in 2010 based on recurrent problems with the vessels’ diesel engines.

In February 2012, Derecktor declared bankruptcy, which delayed the lawsuit and eventually left the MTU entities as the lone defendants. Throughout the litigation process, the State and MTU continued discussions in an attempt to resolve the dispute. As a result, the State and MTU arrived at an agreement, whereby MTU will replace the vessels’ engines at no expense to the State.

Egan, who chairs the Senate Transportation Committee, has been monitoring the lawsuit over the ferry engines.

“This settlement protects Alaskans and keeps our marine highway running strong.  The departments did great work on this,” said Senator Egan.

For more information, please call Dana Owen in Senator Egan’s office at (907) 465-4947.

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