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Class Action Filed In SF Oil Spill

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - A federal class-action complaint from a clamming vessel charges Regal Stone Ltd., Hanjin Shipping Co. and China Ocean Shipping Co. with causing the Nov. 7 58,000-gallon fuel oil spill from the Cosco Busan in San Francisco Bay that killed thousands of animals, ruined commercial fishing, costing thousands of people their livelihood and caused Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to close commercial fishing in and around the Bay. complaint.

Audet & Partners law firm filed the case on behalf of lead plaintiff Chelsea LLC, a clamming ship. The Cosco Busan smashed into a pylon on the San Francisco Bay Bridge that morning, causing more than $5 million damages to more than 100 class members, the complaint states. It claims the captain of the ship, which suffered a gash 70 feet long by 12 feet wide, failed to notify authorities immediately, as required, but in a bogus "estimate," claimed that less than 150 gallons of oil spilled.

On Nov. 13, the complaint states, "the crab season was canceled and all commercial fishing halted."

See complaint.

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