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.
While 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