Terrible news to wake up to this morning– a massive container ship, some three football fields long, crashed into a pier of the Francis Scott Key Bridge spanning the Patapsco River and serving Baltimore Harbor. Around 1:30am, the central span collapsed, causing, at this writing, at least a half dozen vehicles to plunge into the river and closing off traffic to a critical commercial artery.

Stories abound concerning the ship and its safety record, so in addition to wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits, we anticipate significant litigation over property damage and disruptions to an already tenuous supply chain across many industries.

That litigation, notwithstanding the expected loss of life and impact on the Baltimore economy, will still be subject to the same procedural requirements as any other. Namely, whether the defendants are to be served in Denmark (Maersk) or Singapore (Synergy Marine) or elsewhere, adherence to the Hague Service Convention remains mandatory.

Above all, here’s hoping the loss of life and limb is limited, and that the disruption to the Baltimore community is resolved quickly.