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Widow sues boat owner in fire off Santa Cruz Island that killed 34

Posted at 3:53 PM, Nov 11, 2019

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The widow of a man who died in a fiery dive boat disaster that killed 34 people in waters off California is suing the vessel's owners.

Christine Dignam, who lost her husband Justin Dignam, filed her claim Monday in Los Angeles federal court.

The lawsuit against Santa Barbara-based Truth Aquatics is the first from a relative of those who died on the boat.

The lawsuit is a counterclaim to a lawsuit filed pre-emptively by owners of the boat, called the Conception, to protect them from liability under a quirk of maritime law.

The fire is the subject of ongoing criminal and safety inquiries by federal authorities. The blaze's cause has not been determined.

Lawyers for the boat company did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment on the lawsuit.