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Local Crab Fishermen Announce Settlement with Cosco Busan Over Oil Spill (February 3, 2009) 

Attorneys representing over 70 local crab fishermen and their local crab fishermen associations announced today that the fishermen had reached individual settlements with the owners and representatives of the Cosco Busan for damages relating to the November 7, 2007, oil spill in San Francisco Bay. While the precise settlement amount payable to each fisherman is confidential, Michael Duncheon, one of the lead attorneys for the fishermen, stated that, "the settlement was the product of a lengthy mediation and negotiation," and that he believed that the settlement was fair and reasonable under the circumstances. The settlement provides for payment to each fisherman based on his or her history and fishing capacity in addition to amounts each previously received in the claims process set up by the owners immediately after the spill. 

Larry Collins, the President of the San Francisco Crab Boat Owners Association, confirmed that a settlement had been reached. He stated that, "the representatives of the Cosco Busan treated us fairly and with respect," and that local fishermen were pleased that a significant settlement payment could be received without the expense, risk, and delay of lengthy litigation. 

As a result of the settlement, the individual fishermen will not be pursuing a lawsuit against the Cosco Busan, its owners or those associated with the management of the vessel. However, the fishermen preserved their claims against Pilot John Cota, the pilots' association and the State Board of Pilot Commissioners. John Hillsman, an attorney also representing the local fishermen, indicated that a lawsuit has been filed in state court against the pilot, the pilot association and State of California and said that the litigation might yield additional compensation for the local fleet. "Each of these parties should be held accountable for their respective roles in causing or contributing to the accident," said Hillsman. 

Michael Duncheon is a partner in the San Francisco law firm of Hanson Bridgett LLP. Co-counsel John Hillsman is a partner in the San Francisco law firm of McGuinn, Hillsman & Palefsky. 

Hanson Bridgett Public Relations: 

P: 415-995-5075, F: 415-541-9366 

To receive future Hanson Bridgett Press Releases by email or hard copy please email mklopp@hansonbridgett.com.

Hanson Bridgett is a law firm with more than 150 attorneys in offices in San Francisco, Sacramento, the North Bay, Silicon Valley and the East Bay. Serving clients since 1958, we are well known in Northern California and have earned a national reputation in many of our practice areas.

Our diverse client list includes large national and global companies as well as many governmental entities, regional businesses and individuals. While we keep true to our California roots, our work increasingly takes us across state and national borders.

Michelle Klopp
Hanson Bridgett LLP
425 Market Street, 26th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105

415-995-5075 Direct Phone
415-541-9366 Fax

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