Boat Crash Kills One Sparking Wrongful Death Lawsuit
A lawsuit has been filed against the operator of a pontoon after the operator was allegedly drunk at the time of operation. The driver was a juvenile operating his father’s boat at the time of the accident. A third defendant has been added to the case for allegedly striking the passenger who fell out. The juvenile operating the boat and his father who owned the boat and was aboard at the time have both been named in the lawsuit.
The juvenile has managed to avoid jail time by taking a plea deal with prosecutors. His father, who owns the boat, will ultimately be held liable for the death. The plaintiffs maintain that the boat was operated by a drunk juvenile who lost control of the boat while speeding, leading to the accident. The lawsuit alleges that the second boat operator was speeding and therefore could not see the victim in the water causing further injury.
Analyzing what happened
It’s hard to say from the description of the article, but it looks like the victim either jumped out of the boat or was tossed from the boat. The defendant turned the boat around to retrieve the victim but was instead struck by one of the propellers. The teen driver had originally been charged with criminally negligent homicide. Prosecutors say that a lack of cooperation from witnesses led to a plea deal that did not include jail time.
The investigation uncovered a party in which both adults and juveniles were given alcohol. Witnesses said they saw individuals jumping from the pontoon into the water while the vessel was moving. It appears that the plaintiff is among those who voluntarily jumped off the vessel. The negligence occurred when the defendant attempted to turn the boat around and ended up striking the plaintiff with the propeller, killing him. A second boat entered the fray striking the pontoon which may have contributed to the death.
Witnesses interviewed at the scene told police that the pontoon was not involved in the accident, but blood on the propellers proved otherwise. Experts were called in to determine the cause of the accident and laid the cause of death on the pontoon. A second boat struck the plaintiff after he had been struck by the pontoon.
The driver of the boat, a juvenile, has been sentenced to three years probation and will have his boating privileges suspended for a year. The wrongful death lawsuit is an attempt to hold those parties accountable for their actions and inactions, including local authorities who appear to have aided in the cover-up.
Talk to a Miami Boating Accident Attorney Today
Miami admiralty & maritime lawyer Michael F. Guilford files lawsuits on behalf of those injured in boating accidents. Call our office today and we can begin planning litigation strategy immediately.