Nova Star passenger sustained ‘serious and permanent injury’ during 2014 cruise: Court documents

The Nova Star ferry provided service from Maine to Yarmouth for two seasons. Julia Wong / Global News

HALIFAX – It seems the problems with Nova Star Cruises keep popping up since the province cut its ties with the ferry company that used to provide service between Yarmouth and Maine.

Global News has obtained court documents that show a passenger who was on the ship in September of 2014 is now suing Nova Star Cruises after she sustained what is described as a “serious and permanent injury.”

Kelli Cody, of Peabody, Massachusetts, recently filed the lawsuit, alleging that while sailing on the Nova Star on September 12, 2014, she suffered an injury while, “exercising due care” aboard the ship.

The court documents go on to say that Cody suffered, “Pain of body, anguish of mind, lost time from her usual work and pursuits, incurred medical expenses and has sustained and will sustain other damages as will be shown at trial.”

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READ MORE: Bay Ferries Limited to take over operation of Yarmouth Ferry

The documents don’t indicate the type of injury Cody sustained, or what circumstances lead to her injury.

The plaintiff demands that Nova Star Cruises be held responsible for all damages that she has incurred, along with interest and costs, since her injury.

The documents say that the injuries weren’t caused by the passenger, but instead by the, “Negligence, gross negligence, willful, wanton or outrageous conduct and reckless indifference of the rights of others,” by Nova Star.

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Nova Star denies the claim that they are responsible for Cody’s injury. In an answer to the courts, Nova Star states the complainant doesn’t state a claim, and that she, “failed to allege any action with more than conclusory allegations, many of which are inherently incredible.”

The response goes on to allege Cody wasn’t exercising reasonable care for her own safety and that, “Negligence entirely or at least partially bars recovery.”

The response also states the defendant, Nova Star, is, “Without sufficient knowledge to be certain of the truth of the matter alleged,” with regards to Cody’s claim that she was a paying customer on the Nova Star on the day she was injured.

Nova Star Cruises was the operator of the Yarmouth to Maine ferry service for two seasons, but the province of Nova Scotia announced last week they would be commissioning their service from another service provider, Bay Ferries Ltd.

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Since then, the Nova Star was seized by the U.S. District Court in Maine after Portland Pilots Inc. complained they’re owed almost $200,000 in piloting fees. Invoices provided to the court show 61 missing payments for the pilotage services, which cost $3,198.32 each.

On Monday, Global News received other court documents that showed U.S. company World Fuel Services is also owed a significant sum of money from Nova Star Cruises.

In the court documents, World Fuel Services said it is owed $461,212.40 for unpaid fuel in addition to $7,087.29 in interest and $23,060.62 in administrative fees for outstanding balances. It is seeking $491,360.31 USD from Nova Star Cruises.

World Fuel Services said it provided fuel to the ferry on three occasions, but the company hasn’t paid for the service.

“Despite requests for payments for the amounts due for the fuel provided, Nova Star Cruises, and the M/V NOVA STAR have failed to pay the amounts due and the M/V NOVA STAR is currently under arrest for amounts owed to another credit,” the documents read.

When Global News reached out to Nova Star to comment on the World Fuel Services claim, the company responded with the same response it did on Sunday when news broke the vessel had been seized.

“Nova Star Cruises has paid most of its suppliers costs. We plan to pay all our suppliers as we have done over the past two seasons.”

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The province maintains they had no indication there was so much trouble surrounding Nova Star when they decided to terminate their relationship with the ferry company, with Transportation Minister Geoff McLellan saying he learned about the ship’s seizure through the media just like everyone else.

There is no indication whether any companies in the province of Nova Scotia are owed money from Nova Star Cruises.



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