Articles Posted in Boating Accidents

Parents of two men killed in a boating accident have filed lawsuits for personal injury and wrongful death, seeking $4 million total. boat

The lawsuits are the beginning of what is likely to be a drawn-out legal battle over the estate of Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who also died in the crash. It’s believed his estate had more potential value than actual assets.

An autopsy performed on the 24-year-old All Star revealed he was legally drunk and reportedly had cocaine in his system. The trio were killed when the boat crashed off the shores of South Beach. A key point is likely to be who was operating the boat at the time of the fatal crash. Although Fernandez owned the vessel, it’s not clear who was actually behind the wheel.

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A federal court has upheld a $25 million settlement reached in a personal injury lawsuit as jurors were deliberating. The plaintiff was rendered quadriplegic as a result of a fall he suffered in a boat injury on the coastal waters of Lake Michigan, where he fell from the yacht’s stern top deck to its stern wall deck. boat

The accident happened back in 2009 while the vessel was anchored. The plaintiff and his wife filed for damages against the manufacturer of the boat and its parent company, as well as the yacht company. The plaintiffs sought damages for the injuries sustained. The plaintiffs asserted negligence and strict liability against the boat company and its manufacturer. Against the yacht company, they alleged an additional negligence claim and also loss of consortium.

Although the manufacturer and its subsidiary reached an eleventh-hour deal to settle its portion of the claim, the defendant filed a lawsuit against the plaintiff’s attorney and the court’s clerk, challenging the validity of the settlement agreement and claiming it was not made aware of a jury note that was passed to the judge just one hour before that settlement deal was reached. Specifically, jurors submitted a handwritten question to the court at 3:50 p.m., asking if they could find fault with the yacht company without finding the boat manufacturer liable for damages. That was back in June 2015. But, the manufacturer now argues, the court did not disclose this information to its attorneys before the deal was finalized, just a few minutes later.

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When a recreational boating accident killed four vacationing adults during a vicious storm in a Utah lake, questions arose about what responsibility the boat’s owner had to those tourists. boating

Now, with a recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in the case of In re: Aramark Sports, one key question has been answered, but another still remains.

In a 3-0 decision, the appellate panel ruled the boat rental company didn’t have a responsibility to warn boaters of the weather conditions that day. A forecast had been provided to them by the boat rental company the night before. On the day of, the group of six were told how to access the weather radio on the vessel. However, they weren’t told of the updated forecast, which indicated sustained winds of between 25 and 35 mph and gusts of up to 55 mph.

But what they also didn’t know – and what the court ruled must still be decided – is whether the boat company had a duty to inform its customers of the weather limitations of the vessel. The vessel they rented could only withstand a maximum wind speed of 31 mph. According to the manufacturer, even that would be a stretch, as only the “most experienced” captain and crew could safely navigate the vessel through water facing winds of that speed.  Continue reading

Boating accidents in North Carolina inevitably spike in summertime. There are simply more boats on the water. But that is not to say these injuries and deaths are inevitable. In fact, most are avoidable with proper precaution. boats

The 2015 Report of Boating Accidents and Fatalities by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission indicates there were 166 boating accidents in the state last year, including 21 fatal accidents. There were also nearly 375,000 registered vessels that year. Interestingly, the number of registered vessels was down slightly from 380,000 in 2014, even though the number of total boating accidents rose from 130. It was the first time boating accidents went up since 2004. There were 215 and 217 boating accidents in 2005 and 2006, respectively.

When boating accidents do occur, it can leave victims and loved ones reeling, unsure of who may be held responsible. The recent Iowa wrongful death case of Estate of McFarlin v. State illustrates how many entities may be involved and the difficulties in bringing action against the government in such cases.  Continue reading

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.
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Every year, as the weather gets warmer, thousands head to the North Carolina coast and the Outer Banks on weekends to spend time on the water. Boating is a very popular activity. While spending the day on a boat or personal watercraft can be a very enjoyable activity, unfortunately there are many boating accidents in our area each year that result in serious personal injury or death.

866863_seattle_boating.jpgAccording to a recent report form WAVY, a boat crash on the Roanoke Sound left one victim dead and another seriously injured. Authorities have stated there were two boats involved in this fatal accident. One of the boats had thee occupants and the second boat had two occupants. It is still early in the investigation, and authorities do not yet know exactly what happened. What they do know is the victim who was killed in this North Carolina boating accident was 25 years-old and one of the boats was substantially more heavily damaged than the other.
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With summer approaching and the days getting longer, many throughout the Carolinas will be hitting the water as soon as the weekend arrives. Depending on where you live, this may mean taking a johnboat out on a local lake to fish for bass, using a Jet Ski or Wave Runner, or even heading far out into the ocean in a 40-foot cabin cruiser for some deep-sea fishing.

1343298_boat_water_trail.jpgWhile boating can be a lot of fun, it can also be dangerous, especially when proper safety precautions are not observed. According to a recent article for The Seattle Times, May is the most dangerous month for boaters. Part of the increase is due to the high numbers of boaters on the water. With that excitement to hit the water, there are often shortcuts taken with safety measures, which can result in serious personal injury or death.

This increase includes recreational boaters, as well as those using human-powered watercraft such as kayaks, as well as commercial fisherman, such as the shrimpers who take to the waters off the Carolinas when the weather gets warm, and crab boat fisherman who work to provide residents and others around the country with native blue claw crabs. While many do not know this fact, with the problems in the Chesapeake Bay, many of the crabs devoured in Maryland’s famous crab houses were shipped up from North Carolina and South Carolina.
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According to a recent report from WNCN, a man was killed in a boating accident in Lake Norman, North Carolina. Officials investigating the accident say victim was on his own boat, along with two passengers, during the fatal boating accident.

boating.jpgThe accident occurred around two in the morning, when the man was navigating the boat through a cove and accidentally crashed into a dock. Wildlife officers believe he was operating the boat at high speed, despite his close proximity to the dock. After hitting the dock, officers believe he was thrown from the boat into the water. It appears he was not aware of the dock, because it was dark, and he believed he was in a different position than his actual location at the time of the accident.
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Boating accidents can result in catastrophic and fatal injuries for victims. Unfortunately, many victims suffer because of preventable accidents involving the use of alcohol. A new law proposed by South Carolina legislators would require Department of Natural Resources law enforcement officers to administer a breathalyzer test for all drivers involved in a boating accident. The law has been spearheaded by a mother who lost her 19-year-old daughter in a jet-ski accident in May. The mother of Millicent “Milli” McDonald is asking residents of South Carolina to sign the petition for what she would like to be called, “Milli’s Law.”

According to reports, the May accident occurred when a 26-year-old man and the victim were both riding personal watercrafts near the landing. The other man crashed into the victim who was airlifted from the scene, but never regained consciousness after the accident. The young victim was pronounced brain dead less than 24 hours after the collision. Though alcohol was suspected in the accident, the other driver was never tested. The watercraft collision occurred on May 19th and the victim was pronounced dead on May 20th. The man was charged with reckless homicide by watercraft and has two previous DUI charges, but was never given a breathalyzer after the accident. Some legislators are hoping to work a policy out directly with the Department of Natural Resources.
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Tourists and visitors to the Southeast region may be put at additional risk if they are unaware of their surroundings or attempting new recreational activities. According to reports, a 77-year-old North Carolina woman drowned in the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia after she fell out of a boat in the Suwanee Canal. The woman was visiting the swamp with her husband at the time of the accident. Authorities reported that the Efland woman was staying with her husband at the Laura S. Walker State Park while visiting the swamp.


Drowning and boating accidents are common along the coast and on inland streams, rivers, and lakes throughout the Southeast. According to reports, the victims’ husband stopped to look at something and had turned off the engine. When he restarted the motor, the boat lurched forward, “standing on end” and they both fell backwards out of the boat. Police reports indicate that the husband tried to help his wife, but she become entangled in the boat’s propeller and suffered fatal injuries. The accident occurred approximately 7 or 8 miles down from the boat basin where they launched. After initial calls for help were made, local law enforcement officials, fire and rescue personnel, as well as officers from U.S. Fishing and Wildlife Service and the State DNR responded to the scene. Though attempts were made to revive the woman, she was pronounced dead at the refuge by the Ware County coroner.
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