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US accused over Cosco Busan San Francisco Bay oil spill

US accused over Cosco Busan San Francisco Bay oil spill

San Francisco: Hong Kong-based ship owner Regal Stone, which owned the Cosco Busan when it struck San Francisco's Bay Bridge last November, has claimed that the resulting oil spill was the US government's fault for licensing a pilot with an alleged history of drug and alcohol abuse, reports the Associated Press.

The counterclaims were contained in Regal Stone's formal response, filed Thursday, to a U.S. Justice Department lawsuit. The suit, filed six months ago, accused the pilot and Regal Stone of violating environmental laws when the ship struck a bridge support in San Francisco Bay, spilling 53,000 gallons of toxic oil.

The counterclaims draw on pilot Captain John Cota's past. Among the disclosures is the allegation that Cota had a sleep disorder and was taking prescription medication to ward off drowsiness, as well as Valium.  [10/06/08]

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