The US federal government has filed suit against the owners and pilot of the container ship that ran into San Francisco’s Bay Bridge on November 7th.

The suit, filed in federal court in San Francisco, seeks compensation for cleanup costs and the harm to natural resources caused by the 58,000-gallon spill of heavy bunker fuel oil into the bay. 

The Justice Department cited laws requiring anyone who spills oil into navigable waters and shorelines, or damages national marine sanctuaries, to pay for all harm caused to public resources.

The suit did not specify the amount of damages but said the ship concerned, the Cosco Busan, should be forfeited or sold to defray the costs.

The shipowners have also been sued in federal court and in San Francisco Superior Court by crab fishermen and others claiming economic losses from the spill. Both suits seek class-action status and unspecified damages, including punitive damages.