State Files Preliminary Injunction Motion to Prevent Ferry Service Disruption
(JUNEAU, Alaska) - The State Attorney General's office filed a motion today on behalf of the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF), Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS), with the Superior Court for the State of Alaska, First Judicial District in Juneau for a preliminary injunction in an ongoing lawsuit over the Fast Vehicle Ferry (FVF) engines. The motion for injunction seeks to protect the state against the prolonged loss of use of the two fast ferries due to engine degradation. The motion asks the court to order the defendants to take all necessary actions to prevent a disruption in service caused by the engine erosion problems, even before a final court determination is made over legal responsibility for the engine degradation.
ADOT&PF purchased the FVF Fairweather and the FVF Chenega from Derecktor Shipyards Connecticut in 2004 and 2005 respectively. ADOT&PF contends in the lawsuit that the engines were warranted to last 25 years and 100,000 operating hours. The engines developed an erosion problem that significantly reduced their operating life. The defendants in the suit have previously attempted repairs, but ADOT&PF believes that these efforts have not properly remedied the problem.
In 2010 ADOT&PF brought suit against Robert E. Derecktor, Inc., MTU Friedrichshafen GMBH and MTU Detroit Diesel, Inc. alleging that the defendants provided and installed engines which have not met contract and warranty requirements. Through the motion for preliminary injunction ADOT&PF seeks protection, in advance of the final resolution of the lawsuit, against the prolonged loss of use of these vessels should the current engines be decertified for their intended use in passenger vessels. Given the long lead time needed to produce these engines, approximately one year, the state could find itself in a position where the currently installed engines are decertified for continued use well before the final lawsuit resolution. That would negatively impact Alaska residents, visitors, and communities by removing two heavily used and popular vessels from operational service for an undetermined amount of time. Therefore ADOT&PF has determined the motion for injunction to be the appropriate course of action.
ADOT&PF oversees 254 airports, 11 ferries serving 33 communities, 5,700 miles of highway and 660 public facilities throughout the state of Alaska. The mission of ADOT&PF is to "Get Alaska Moving through service and infrastructure."