Government Denies Negligence
The Federal Government has denied negligence in the Texas City disaster in filing its answers to $198,000,000 in damage suits placed against it. Moving to dismiss the cases, the Government blamed two steamship companies, the railway firm, the longshoremen’s union, a stevedoring firm and Texas City itself fox negligence which led to the explosion.
Nine specific defenses were offered to the allegations of the individuals and firms which filed 251 suits against the Government. Named as negligent parties were the Republic of France, the Companie General Transatlantique, operators of the S.S. Grandcamp, one of the ships that exploded; Lykes Brothers Steamship Company, operators of the second exploded ship, the High Flyer; the railroad itself; the city of Texas City; a stevedoring company, and members of a longshoremen’s union.
Acts of negligence, the Government said, included failure to observe no smoking regulations aboard the Grandcamp; failure to remove the High Flyer from the danger zone after fire was discovered aboard the Grandcamp; abandonment of the High Flyer; failure to maintain fire fighting equipment and personnel in the dock area, and failure to maintain a captain of the port.