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American Tourist in Canada Files Lawsuit After Gangplank Accident


This lawsuit has been filed in Canada against a company that rented out a houseboat to an American tourist. According to the lawsuit, the tourist had rented a houseboat from Floating Lodges of Sioux Narrows, Inc. in 2023. While disembarking the houseboat via a wooden gangplank, the plank broke causing the plaintiff to fall into the water. According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff sustained injuries to his knee and foot as a result of the accident. He returned to the United States where he underwent surgery on his knee to repair damage. The plaintiff contends that he used a wheelchair, crutches, and a cane before he could walk without the help of support devices. He underwent physical therapy and missed three months of work at his family’s construction company. The plaintiff sued the company that rented the houseboat and the parties agreed to settle the case for a reported $175,000.

At this point, the situation gets hairy. Floating Lodges filed a third-party lawsuit against the individual who chartered the houseboat at the time of the accident. Floating Lodges claimed that the third party was in “full possession and control of the boat” at the time of the accident. Floating Lodges sought to recover damages related to the original plaintiff’s personal injury lawsuit on the basis that the third party was ultimately responsible for the safety of the passengers.

Elements of negligence

 The original plaintiff testified that, at the time of his injury, the gang planks were improperly placed against the side of the houseboat resulting in a much steeper angle than intended for disembarking guests. This resulted in the plank breaking and causing the plaintiff’s injuries. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the owner of the boat, who in turn filed a lawsuit against the individual tasked with operating the boat, both for negligence related to the gangplank.

In the United States, the owner of the boat would be responsible for the safety of guests. As an agent of the company, the company would be vicariously liable for the conduct of the third party. In this case, the gangplank was not set up properly resulting in the plaintiff’s injuries. The plaintiff sustained injuries to his legs, knee, and foot as a result of the accident, and required surgery to repair significant damage. He further missed three months of work due to his injuries. The plaintiff would be entitled to recover damages related to his medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages.

When an injury like this is sustained aboard a vessel owned by a private company, that company is responsible for the safety of guests aboard the boat. That means that they must ensure that guests can safely embark and disembark and properly use the gangplanks to facilitate those ends. In this case, that didn’t happen and the company that owned the boat was held liable for the plaintiff’s injuries.

Talk to a Miami Boat Accident Injury Attorney Today 

Michael F. Guilford, P.A. represents the interests of those who have been injured in boating accidents in Miami. Call our Miami admiralty & maritime lawyers today to schedule a free consultation, and we can begin discussing your case immediately.



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  • American Association for Justice

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