Articles Tagged with boating accidents

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Boating is a popular outdoor activity in Florida, with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) reporting some 932,000 registered vessels as of 2016. However, it can also be a potentially very dangerous one. There were more than 700 reported boating accidents in the state last year. A total of 67 people died – with 70 percent of operators involved in fatal boating accidents having no formal boater education. boating accident attorney

While operator error is the most commonly-cited cause of Florida boating accidents, the failure of the vessel or one of its components can’t be overlooked. While the former would help establish liability on a theory of negligence, the latter would establish product liability. In order for product liability to be applicable, we would look at the mechanics of the vessel and whether it performed as expected and/ or whether consumers were warned about foreseeable dangers.

In a recent boating accident case out of Louisiana, the state supreme court there affirmed a $125,000 verdict against a boating manufacturer, but did find the punitive damage award of $23 million to be excessive. In turn, the court amended the punitive damage judgment to $4.25 million.  Continue reading →

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A man is suing his former girlfriend’s father after a boating injury in which he suffered paralyzing injuries and is now a quadriplegic.boating

According to news reports, the lawsuit (filed in New Hampshire by the 27-year-old) alleges he was spending time with his girlfriend at her father’s lake house, where father/ defendant owned a boat. The group took the boat out to a sandbar, where the plan was to anchor. Plaintiff, inexperienced in boating, was helping defendant drop the anchor, at defendant’s request. Defendant, a regular boater, did not inform plaintiff of proper boating procedures, particularly for sandbars, and plaintiff dove into the water to help with the anchor. The problem was the water was only 3 feet deep. Plaintiff’s injuries were catastrophic. He now alleges defendant violated boating regulations by standing on the gunnel while the boat was in motion, and also in directing him to jump in when the water was so shallow. Plaintiff’s attorney said the dangers of this were not obvious to an inexperienced boater.

Florida is no stranger to cases like these, considering we lead the nation in total number of registered vessels – 932,000 in 2016, according to the latest figures from the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). There were a total of 714 reportable boating accidents in the Sunshine State last year. Of those, one quarter involved a collision with another vehicle. A third of the fatal accidents involved falls overboard, and overboard boating is the No. 1 cause of fatalities in Florida boating. Continue reading →