COVID-19 Update: How We Are Serving and Protecting Our Clients

Articles Tagged with west-palm-beach-boating-accident-attorney

A federal appeals court gave limited reprieve to a boat rental company defending itself in a wrongful death lawsuit stemming from a 2009 boating accident in which two couples died and one other couple survived with injuries. The question was whether the boat rental company owed a duty to warn its customers of potentially inclement weather that day and secondly whether it had a duty to warn about the weather exposure limitations of the vessel they rented. roughwater

In re: Aramark Sports, the company, in anticipation of being sued by the victims and their survivors, filed a petition in federal court under the Limitation of Liability Act, which allows boat owners in federal navigable waters to seek a ruling that either exonerates or limits their liability on the basis of the vessel’s capacity or value of the boat and freight. So if a claim demonstrates negligence, the burden then shifts to the owner to prove he or she had a lack of knowledge of unseaworthiness. If the owner meets this burden, damages are capped at the value of the vessel – after the collision (which, if it sinks, is zero). If the owner does not, the case can proceed with no limitations. Such cases would then proceed in a state court.

Estates of the two decedent couples responded with claims of wrongful death and negligence. The district court held a bench trial just on the issue of limitation – meaning the issues of gross negligence, damages and apportionment of fault would be heard later. The court ruled that negligence had at least in part caused the accident and that this negligence was within the knowledge of the boat owner, and therefore it would not exonerate the company from liability, nor would it grant its petition for limitation.  Continue reading

Florida’s beaches and blue-green waters are a major draw year-round. Labor Day, though, sees the beaches and waterways especially packed. This year, gas prices are down and the recession has eased, so even more are expected to flock. AAA estimates some 35 million people are traveling more than 50 miles for the holiday, and South Florida is a prime destination. champagneonthebeach

But more boating traffic means a greater likelihood of serious crashes, particularly when alcohol is thrown into the mix. No one ones this better than the South Florida first responders called to the scene of a deadly Fourth of July boating accident in the Biscayne Bay earlier this summer. Four people died and a dozen more were injured, some critically. It was one of Florida’s worst-ever crashes, and officials this Labor Day are doing everything they can to avoid a repeat.

Our West Palm Beach boating accident attorneys understand officials at the federal, state, county and municipal level are all teaming up to patrol the waters this weekend, with a keen eye out for drunken skippers. When asked by reporters how many units there would be, the Key Biscayne police chief answered, “A lot.”

Contact Information