Four more families of the El Faro crewmembers have reached a settlement with the operator of the ill-fated vessel, which sank on October 1, 2015, according to local media, citing the U.S. District Court in Jacksonville, Florida.
The families settled with TOTE Maritime for USD 500,000 each in pre-death pain and suffering damages, as well as an undisclosed amount for economic and other losses.
The families in question were of Jackie Robert Jones Jr., Dylan O. Meklin, Danielle Laura Rudolph, and Michael Lee Holland.
In January, TOTE reached a settlement with ten families of the El Faro victims under the same terms. The remaining 19 families still have claims pending in court.
The US Coast Guard recently concluded the first phase of hearings which focused on the possible reasons that led to the incident. The second round of hearings is expected to be launched after the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) conducts another expedition in April, to see if crucial evidence would be recovered from the wreck. The search will focus on locating the vessel’s Voyage Data Recorder (VDR).
El Faro was found in a water depth of 15,000 feet after it sailed into the Hurricane Joaquin and sank taking 33 crew members with it.
The vessel’s crew, who consisted of 28 U.S. citizens and five Polish nationals, are presumed dead.
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