Fast ferry engine lawsuit scuttled in state court

The state’s lawsuit against builders of the fast ferries has been shelved indefinitely.

Juneau Superior Court Judge Philip Pallenberg declared Thursday that “proceedings in this case will cease.” That was after he had a chance to research the law behind a motion to move the case out of state court and into federal bankruptcy court. However, the motion was not filed by the company currently in bankruptcy proceedings. Instead, it was filed by the remaining co-defendant in the state’s lawsuit over allegedly defective engines.

If the case is ever remanded back to state court, Judge Pallenberg says only then will he consider if he’ll sanction MTU Friedrichshafen and MTU Detroit Diesel for potential impropriety, or use of the motion as a delaying tactic.

Attorneys for the State and Alaska Marine Highway System got blindsided by a motion to remove the case out of state court. A hearing had been planned for Wednesday to compel MTU to provide witnesses for depositions.

The Alaska Marine Highway System believes that the engines for the fast ferries Fairweather and Chenega are defective. The vessel’s builders, Derecktor Shipyard of Connecticut, dropped out of the case when the company filed for bankruptcy protection in January.

Recent headlines

  • stret_still

    Watch: Red Carpet Concert with Sophia Street

    Anchorage-based singer-songwriter Sophia Street and James Goodreau dropped into KTOO’s arts room to play a Red Carpet Concert.
  • A passenger jet flies past the FAA control tower at Washington's Ronald Reagan National Airport. Cliff Owen/AP

    FAA break-up bill clears U.S. House committee

    A bill to break up the FAA and privatize the nation’s air traffic controllers cleared the Transportation Committee in the U.S. House Thursday night.
  • Juneau residents will vote for three assembly seats and two school board members in the October 7 election. (Photo by Heather Bryant/KTOO)

    Jamie Bursell appointed to open Juneau Assembly seat

    "Her focus on education, her focus on examining our city budget at a really deep level, not just a broad stroke policy level, but getting into the line items – I think that’s a really valuable for assembly members to go after the budget work," said Deputy Mayor Jesse Kiehl.
  • Rep. Les Gara, D-Anchorage, has introduced a new business tax. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)

    Representative seeks new business tax

    Rep. Les Gara wants to make sure state budget cuts don’t fall too heavily on working-class and low-income people. Instead, he wants a new business tax.


Playing Now: