Brown, filed the suit Tuesday on behalf of the state, against the owners, operators and pilot of the ship that caused the Nov. 7, 2007, spill when collided with the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in heavy fog.
The federal government has already filed a similar lawsuit and the state has previously sued for the damage done to the bridge. Pilot John Cota and the ship's operator Fleet Management Ltd. have pleaded not guilty to criminal charges related to crash.
“This was a preventable accident that had tragic consequences,” Brown said. “The Cosco Busan crashed into the Bay Bridge, polluting our waters and killing thousands of birds.”
Oil from the spill was found along at least 56 miles of rocky intertidal coastline, 52 miles of sandy beach coastline, 10 miles of saltmarsh coastline, and several hundred acres of intertidal eelgrass beds. According to the California Department of Fish and Game, responders collected 1,084 live birds, of which 418 were released after rescue. Responders found 1,859 birds dead from the oil spill.
The California Department of Fish and Game Office of Spill Prevention and Response, along with the United States Coast Guard, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, National Parks Service, San Francisco Department of Public Health, and the National Marine Sanctuaries arrived at the scene and immediately began clean-up and wildlife rescue efforts. To date, the state has spent countless resources from the Oil Spill Response Trust Fund on the clean-up and assessment of natural resource damages resulting from the massive oil spill.