After a 9-year-old South Carolina girl was forced to have her right thumb amputated following a boating collision, the boat operator who created the large wake that allegedly caused the crash is preparing to settle the case for $1 million.
Defendant in this federal lawsuit happens to be the tourism leader in Myrtle Beach, who is also the managing partner of a resort company, for whom he was operating a yacht at the time of the collision.
Although $1 million may sound like a substantial amount for the loss of a single digit, one must consider all of the many actions that have now become impossible or extremely difficult without it. Simply holding a cup or writing one’s name has become arduous. As she gets older, it may be difficult to drive a vehicle, and there will probably be certain jobs she will be unable to perform. In that light, that $1 million sounds more reasonable, particularly once all the medical bills are factored in.
The accident that gave rise to Georgino et al v. Murrells Inlet Epiphany Inc. happened in the spring of 2014. The girl was with her family, attending an inlet boating event that was intended to raise money and awareness for wounded soldiers. Her father’s boat was in the process of being moored, and as such was rafted alongside several other vessels. At the time, the girl’s right arm was draped along the side of the boat.
Suddenly, with no warning, defendant came barreling into the harbor with his yacht, traveling at excessive speeds and getting very close to the boats nearby that were moored and rafted. Numerous boaters shouted and waved at defendant to slow down because the speed and proximity to other boaters was causing a huge wake that was causing those boats to rock violently back and forth. However, defendant reportedly did not slow down. Instead, he sped off.
Meanwhile, the wake from his vessel allegedly resulted in the girl’s father’s boat colliding with another vessel. Her hand was caught between the two boats and was severely mangled. Eventually, her right thumb had to be amputated.
Her mother later filed a personal injury lawsuit on her behalf.
In the settlement agreement, defendants (the resort company and the tourism Leader) deny any wrongdoing, negligence or responsibility. However, they say the settlement will allow them to avoid the uncertainty of litigation and extensive legal expenses.
South Carolina ranks seventh in the nation for boating accidents, with 124 boating accidents and 14 deaths statewide in 2014.
Boaters are required to keep a safe distance from one another, and to reduce one’s wake to minimize the effect to other nearby boaters or swimmers.This is especially true for operators of very large vessels. At minimum, boaters are required to maintain a distance of at least 200 feet from other boats.
Contact our Carolina personal injury lawyers at Lee Law Offices today by calling 800-887-1965.
Georgino et al v. Murrells Inlet Epiphany Inc., July 18, 2015, South Carolina District Court
Records: Myrtle Beach tourism leader to settle lawsuit with girl injured in boating accident for $1 million, By Charles D. Perry, MyrtleBeachOnline.com
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