Articles Posted in Boating Accidents

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According to recent news article from The Dispatch, the operator of a rented pontoon boat and the owner of the rental company have both been charged with criminal negligence in connection with a tragic accident that resulted in the death of a nine-year-old boy in Maryland.

boat-near-a-lake-and-lake-3-1480466-300x225Authorities report the defendant operator rented the boat in Ocean City from a boat rental company and was operating the pontoon boat with passengers seated on the bow.  Under the relevant state statute, it is illegal to operate a boat with passengers seated on the bow of the boat.  At some point during the ride, the young child fell off the bow of the boat, and the boat rode over top of him until the propeller from the boat’s outboard engine hit the boy, who was killed in the accident. Continue reading

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In C.F. Bean, LLC v. Barhanovich, a case from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, plaintiff was in a recreational fishing boat when his outboard engine hit a dredge pipe that was submerged in the water.  When the outboard engine shaft hit the pipe, the bracket that secures the motor broke, and it flipped up at high rate of speed and hit plaintiff, who died in the accident.

marinaFollowing his death, his family filed two cases. One was a personal injury lawsuit alleging wrongful death against operator of the dredging action with decedent’s estate as the named plaintiff.  The second lawsuit was a claim filed under admiralty law, because the cause of action arose from an accident that occurred in navigable waters.  These two cases were consolidated for the purpose of judicial efficiency. Continue reading

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Jose Fernandez, a 24-year-old pitcher for Miami Marlins was the clear choice for staff ace and was at the beginning of a promising career when he was tragically killed in a boating accident in Miami.  Fernandez was a two-time All-Star selectee and was expected to be the anchor of the Marlin’s rebuilding effort for many years to come.

marina-1449492According to a recent news report from the Sun Sentinel, the United States Coast Guard was out on a routine patrol when they discovered a 32-foot center console fishing boat crashed upside down on a rock jetty extending into the harbor.  When they approached the boat, they saw no sign of survivors and called for a team of Coast Guard master divers to lead a search and recovery operation. Continue reading

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In re: Aramack Sports, a case from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, involved a recreational boating accident in which four people were killed.  All of the victims were adults who had rented a boat from defendant for use on Lake Powell.  The question on appeal was whether this case fell within the federal admiralty jurisdiction.

marina-1449492While we generally think of a lake as an isolated body of water, in some cases, the lake is considered navigable, and if waters are considered navigable, then any causes of action that arise on there may fall under the jurisdiction of federal admiralty court.  In this case, defendant rented boats from a marina on the lake, which is situated near the border of two states.  Three married couples had gone on a joint vacation to the lake and rented a boat from defendant. Continue reading

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As the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, more people will be hitting the water in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Some will be gearing up for the early run on stripers in the North Shore area, and others will simply spend the day on the water with friends and family.  While boating can be a lot of fun, it can also be dangerous.

1171697_a_beer_in_a_pubAccording to a recent news feature from CBS News, authorities have said that alcohol may have been a factor in a boat crash that injured 13 people.  Two of the people injured are said to have sustained critical injuries.  Witnesses say that all of the victims were on one boat on the Colorado River. While negotiating the waterway, the boat crashed into a group of large rocks.  Continue reading

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Espinoza v. Arkansas Valley Adventures, a case from the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, involved a plaintiff who went on a summer rafting trip. Plaintiff hired a guide to take the family on a whitewater rafting trip in the Colorado Rockies. This trip also involved an overnight camping and rafting adventure through a popular stretch of the river known as Brown’s Canyon.

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When it was time to go on the trip, she arrived at rafting outfitter’s center and met with other participants who had signed up to go whitewater rafting that day. They were all given basic guidance on what they would need to do and were handed release of liability waivers to sign. Continue reading

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While hunting is a popular activity across New England, including parts of Massachusetts, there is obviously some degree of danger associated with the outdoor activity. Not only are you relying on the members of your own hunting party to act in a responsible manner, you may also have to contend with potentially negligent hunters in other groups sharing the woods with you. Sometimes their actions can result in serious personal injury or death.

mallard-duck-1438135-5-mWhile being shot is one obvious danger, there is a wide variety of equipment many hunters use that can also be dangerous, ranging from tree stands for deer and bear hunters to boats utilized by many duck and other waterfowl hunters. According to a report form The Taunton Gazette, two hunters died when their camouflaged johnboat capsized into frigid water. Continue reading

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With warmer weather, everyone is taking to the water whenever they get a chance. For Boston, that may mean learning to sail at the Community Boating, Inc. on the Charles River Esplanade. Or for those interested in getting a workout, traveling up the Charles to Community Rowing. Some will rent or go out on a friend’s powerboat docked around the greater Boston Area.

motorboat-868147-m.jpgWhile boating can be a lot of fun, it can also be dangerous. According to a recent news report from My Fox Boston, a woman suffered a serious personal injury in a boating accident in Boston Harbor and suffered amputation of her arm.

Witnesses say the female victim fell overboard and landed in the water. Her arm hit the propeller, which was spinning at the time she fell into the water, and it cut off her arm. The victim was 19-years-old. The accident occurred just before 8 p.m.
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Hodson v. Taylor, a case from the Supreme Court of Nebraska, involved plaintiff who was injured in a lake accident. Plaintiff and group of friends were invited to lake house owned by the parents of a member of group. All members of the group were around 18 at the time of the accident.

sunset-winter-scene-1250442-m.jpgThe family owned a pontoon boat, which the teens took out on the lake. The teens had each consumed several beers and would drive the boat to a location where they would jump into the water several times and swim around. After going to a few locations in the lake and engaging in these activities, the boat made a stop at the group’s final location. At this point, members of the group jumped off the boat repeatedly and swam around in the lake.

At one point, plaintiff jumped off the pontoon boat and hit an object he believed to be the bottom of the lake. None of the teens were sure of the lake’s depth at the time of his injury, but they all reported they swam without touching the bottom. Hitting the object in the lake was the last thing plaintiff remembered from that day.
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Colombo v. BRP US, Inc., an appeal from the California Court of Appeal, involved plaintiffs who went jet skiing. The group consisted of two sisters who went to help a third sister move into a new apartment. The sister who was moving had a boyfriend whose roommate operated personal watercraft for a local company.

jetski-1087258-m.jpgBoyfriend wanted to reward the two sisters for helping his girlfriend move and arranged to meet them at a store and then take them to ride the personal watercraft (PWCs). He loaded two PWCs onto a trailer, met them at the store, and took them to the bay to ride. Both sisters wore two-piece bathing suits. Nobody in the group was wearing a wetsuit.

After putting on a life vest, plaintiffs waded into the water and met defendant. Both plaintiffs got on the back of PWC with defendant sitting in the operator’s seat. He did not give them any instructions. Plaintiff testified that she had no intention of driving the PWC herself and did not have any idea how PWCs worked and how fast water exited the jet-thrust nozzle underneath. She also did not see any labels under the handlebars or on the console that warned of severe injury that could occur as a result of falling into the water near the nozzles.
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