Families of 2 killed in Louisiana barge crash suing owners

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This Friday 2005 file photo shows ships and cargo containers along the Mississippi River in this aerial view, between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Photo: DAVID J. PHILLIP, AP.

By Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Families of two crew members killed in a barge collision on the Mississippi River have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the boats’ owners.

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Matthew Brigalia and Shawn Pucheu were among three crew members whose bodies were never recovered after their barge sank in the river after the crash Jan. 26 in St. Charles Parish, Louisiana.

A wrongful death suit filed by Brigalia and Pucheu’s families in New Orleans says the collision was preventable and the vessels involved weren’t seaworthy.

David Flotte, an attorney for one of the barge owners, said his company is cooperating with investigators but declined to comment further.

An attorney for the company that owns the vessel the men served aboard did not immediately return a phone message.

The Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the cause of the crash.

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