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Murray Energy sues harbor company over 2018 barge breakaway

Murray Energy Corp. is suing Bellaire Harbor Service LLC over an early 2018 barge breakaway that Murray claims caused damages estimated in excess of $1.2 million to its barge fleet.

Murray Energy's Ohio County Coal Co. subsidiary had multiple loaded and empty barges moored in Bellaire's Boggs Island fleets on the Ohio River. A tugboat owned by a third unrelated party broke away the evening of Jan. 12, 2018, and caused "substantial damages" to Ohio County Coal's barges and other property, according to a complaint filed March 15 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia.

Ohio County Coal alleges Bellaire breached a contract with the coal company by not maintaining required insurance coverage and not naming Ohio County Coal as an additional insured party. Bellaire's breach has resulted in collateral litigation and forced Ohio County Coal to incur substantial and continuing attorney's fees, costs and expenses as a result of the barge breakaway, the complaint states.