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Frank A. Douglass Insurance Agency

Insurance claims being accepted for fuel spill damage

A public notice printed Tuesday in the Daily Mining Gazette invites anyone affected by June’s tanker spill at Santori’s Corner to file an insurance claim. On the 24th of that month, 6,500 gallons of diesel and gasoline leaked onto US-41, some of it reaching the Portage Canal via Hancock’s stormwater system.

The tanker was operated by the owner of K and V Transport of Superior, Wisconsin. He has been cited for excessive speed, which is believed to be the main factor in the accident. The company is accepting claims for uncompensated damages and removal costs.

According to the notice, that can include “removal costs performed in accordance with the National Contingency Plan, damage to natural resources, damage to or loss of real or personal property, loss of subsistence use of natural resources, loss of government revenues, loss of profits and earnings capacity, and increased cost of public services.”

The spill forced an evacuation of several blocks around the accident site. Law enforcement, public works, and fire departments from across the area deployed to reroute traffic and contain the fuel. The Michigan Department of Transportation was forced to repave the section of US-41 exposed to the gasoline once clean up had been completed.

County, state, and federal agencies monitored the pollution in Portage Canal for weeks following the accident. Maritime businesses were sidelined throughout the Keweenaw for over 24 hours, and restrictions were in place longer in the Houghton and Hancock area. That is just a small subset of potential claims related to the spill.

Claims and supporting evidence should be mailed to Great West Casualty Company, Attention Russ Beardsley. The company’s address is 1100 W. 29th Street I, South Sioux City, NE 68776. The claim number for the incident is R 19277.

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