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School of Law

Who Will Pay for the Baltimore Bridge Collapse?`

Dr Franziska Arnold Dwyer speaks to the New York Times about who's liable for the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse in Baltimore.

The Francis Scott Key Bridge bridge in Baltimore before it collapsed on 26 March 2024. It is a steel frame truss bridge spanning the lower Patapsco River. There are three ships in the river.

Image by 12019 from Pixabay

Disputes over liability and the cost of claims could take years for insurers to resolve and result in billions of dollars in payouts. Claims against the ship’s owner and manager must be filed to the federal court in Baltimore by Sept. 24, a judge said.

Experts in maritime law and insurance said determining liability was particularly complex because of the many parties involved, from shipowners in Asia to insurers in Europe to companies around the world that move goods in and out of Baltimore. Numerous lawsuits are expected, and the six deaths caused by the disaster add a grim layer of complications.

“You can’t just necessarily settle with one party and make it go away,” said Franziska Arnold-Dwyer, a Senior Lecturer in Insurance Law at Queen Mary University of London.



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