US retail magnate Solomon Lew is being sued after his superyacht crashed into another billionaire’s vessel at a shipyard in Florida.

Wendy McCaw, who owns the Californian newspaper the Santa Barbara News-Press, claims that Lew’s yacht Maridome crashed into her 188ft motor yacht Calixe in February while it was moored at the BAE Systems shipyard in Jacksonville.

Maridome

Maridome's captain has been accused of careless navigation and failing to maintain a safe speed.

McCaw launched legal action last month after attempts to reach an amicable settlement failed.

Maridrome was seized by the authorities on April 13 and was later released after Lew’s insurers paid a bond of $620,000 to the Florida Middle District Court.

In her lawsuit McCaw alleges that Maridome “tore the mooring float from the seawall and carried it to Calixe”.

“The Maridome violently rammed Calixe’s bow area and released the steel float to strike and scrape the entire length of Calixe’s starboard side,” she claims.

“The Maridome remained pinned to Calixe until it was separated by a tug hours later.”

Calixe’s captain told the court that they expected the repairs to cost almost $500,000.

Lew’s lawyers blamed a failure of a secondary set of controls, used for maneuvering the vessel close to port, for the accident.