Conception sued crew member, Four families of victims file suit

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Conception sued crew member, Four families of victims file suit.

Lawyers representing families of a crew member and three passengers — who were among the 34 who died in a boat fire during a Labor Day dive trip off the Santa Barbara coast — sued the vessel’s owners Monday for alleged wrongful death.

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The disaster killed 33 passengers and the one crew member, who were sleeping below the deck of the Conception when the fire started at around 3:15 a.m. on Sept. 2. Five other people, the vessel’s captain and four crew members, also were aboard, and survived.

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The tragedy rocked the maritime and diving communities locally and nationwide. The victims were from all over California, along with other parts of the country.

At a Monday news conference in Los Angeles, lawyers announced they filed wrongful death claims on behalf of the families and accused the vessel’s owner, Truth Aquatics, of failing to follow safety regulations — including a night watch — that could have prevented the disaster. Proving that the owners were negligent and/or knew the vessel was unsafe will be a key factor for the claims to move forward.

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