Breaking Legal News - POSTED: 2007/02/27 19:31
The assistant captain operating the boat at the time had blacked out, causing the ferry to crash into the Staten Island pier, killing 11 passengers and injuring dozens more. Richard Smith pleaded guilty to 11 counts of seaman's manslaughter in 2004 and was sentenced to 18 months in jail. Patrick Ryan, the city's former ferry operations director, also pleaded guilty to seaman's manslaughter in 2005 and admitted he had not enforced the two-pilot rule. He received a 366-day prison sentence. The ruling opens New York City up to to tens of millions of dollars in potential payouts to victims and their families. Only two-thirds of the 186 claims have so far been settled at a total of $27.6 million. The city said it will consider appealing the court's ruling.