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Old    Dizzy Jenkins (dizzyj)      Join Date: Jul 2003       04-06-2010, 8:58 AM Reply   
This was real sad when it happned, but I cant say I agree with the verdict.
http://www.statesman.com/news/local/...le-527456.html
Old    Peter_C (peter_c)      Join Date: Sep 2001       04-06-2010, 9:07 AM Reply   
Lame! I feel for the guy because his buddy hit him, but where is personal responsibility?

Guess what is coming out on boats soon?

"According to the suit, the manufacturer of the boat and motor did not have safety devices, including guards or covers, to prevent Brochtrup from becoming entangled or stuck."

"he sought to show jurors that manufacturers could make boats and motors safer by installing guards on propellers and placing a shield over the back. The concept for a device was created years ago, he said, but the industry has resisted adopting it."
Old    C.I.E. J-Rod (jarrod)      Join Date: May 2003       04-06-2010, 9:13 AM Reply   
His friend ran him over
Old    Ben Ax (hawkeye7708)      Join Date: Feb 2007       04-06-2010, 9:19 AM Reply   
Yeah, nobody want's to see somebody hurt, but, inattentive boat driving isn't the boat manufacturers fault. It's akin to saying to that a driver of a car backed over his buddy because backup camera's don't come standard. I really feel like Sea Ray is getting the shaft on this. I'm happy Brochtrup was okay, but I feel this lawsuit boarders on frivolous.
Old    Ryan (rkinsell)      Join Date: May 2005       04-06-2010, 9:28 AM Reply   
$350k isn't worth a leg to me, but from this court decision it sounds like I could jump out of a truck, get ran over, and then sue GM?
Old    Jeff Garvey (garveyj)      Join Date: Sep 2009       04-06-2010, 9:37 AM Reply   
just goes to show that people will sue over anything. Come on people....what ever happened to personal responsibility.
Old    Ben Ax (hawkeye7708)      Join Date: Feb 2007       04-06-2010, 9:41 AM Reply   
Ryan, article said 3.8 million plus medical was awarded in Damages. But your right, it sets a horrible precedent as far as boating and safety regulations go when it comes to civil suits. Hypothetically, if I'm under an inboard boat unwrapping a rope around the shaft and my buddy forgets where I am and puts the boat in gear, gashes my arm, it's the boat's fault for operating as it should. I really feel bad for Sea Ray and while a company doesn't want to appear uncaring and unsympathetic in the public eye, I'd be IRATE.
Old    David Bell (dabell)      Join Date: Apr 2007       04-06-2010, 9:58 AM Reply   
This decision will be appealed. I feel bad for the person who got hurt but the driver was the one that is accountable for riders in the boat and where they are located IMO.
Old    Paul Martin (silentknight04)      Join Date: Jun 2008       04-06-2010, 10:03 AM Reply   
thats a bunch of BS, it really shows you how bad this country is getting when it comes to sue happy people
Old    Janelle Johnson (jdameron)      Join Date: Jan 2010       04-06-2010, 10:04 AM Reply   
I don't get how in the hell that is the boat manufacturer's fault. It is completely his friend's fault. He was the idiot that backed up without looking. Its common sense. Too bad people are lawsuit happy and just want to get as much money as they can.
Old    Shane Lafferty (pickle311)      Join Date: Oct 2005       04-06-2010, 10:06 AM Reply   
Gotta love lawyers. I hate to hear about anyone getting hurt, but this had nothing to do with Sea Ray. If anything, the driver should have been charged. He made the decision to throw the boat in reverse, he was at fault, just as the victim was at fault for diving out of the boat. How do you prevent that from happening, put seatbelts in boats and require people to use them?
It's unfortunate, but that's the mentality of society now. No one accepts responsibility for anything anymore. Everyone tries to blame what they did on someone else and they have these lawyers there to back them on it. It's the pussification of America.
Old    Ben B (benbuchholz)      Join Date: Oct 2009       04-06-2010, 10:26 AM Reply   
we just discussed this in my Business Law class that I just got out of, you can sue for pretty much ANYTHING these days. The best example I heard was the USPS that told an employee to not deviate from his route, and to not pick up passengers. the driver not only went off of his route, but picked up his girlfriend and took her to an overlook to have lunch. On the way back he hits a major pothole and the girlfriend bounces out of the seat and is severely injured. what happens? the postal service gets sued and loses. Its ridiculous what people can sue for these days. Shane's completely correct in saying that "no one accepts responsibility anymore". its always "someone/something else's fault". It's sad, really
Old    ausbill32            04-06-2010, 10:30 AM Reply   
SeaRay got the shaft on this one
Old    Chris G. (chris4x4gill2)      Join Date: Sep 2009       04-06-2010, 10:37 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by ausbill32 View Post
SeaRay got the shaft on this one
^^^ This.

When will these frivilous lawsuits stop? When judges start throwing them out. Until them its going to only get worse.
Old    Andy Nintzel (andy_nintzel)      Join Date: Sep 2004       04-06-2010, 10:38 AM Reply   
I hate the fact that there is no such thing as personal responsibility in this world. I have a 2 million dollar umbrella insurance policy on my shiat just for this reason. Because I have a tramp, a dock, a boat, pool, I have to have one (eveyone should) just for this reason. Some idiot could walk out on my dock steal my boat run it into shore, crack their head then stumble through my yard and drownd in MY pool and some how in the world we live in that makes it my fault. My fault because some idiot died while messing with my shiat. Now this is not that situation, but that is exactly how my insurance agent sold me the policy. In this case I am sorry but stupid is a stupid does. This is in no way Sea Rays fault, if anyone is to blame its the drive and the kid who got hurt.
Old    Jeremy (wake77)      Join Date: Jan 2009       04-06-2010, 10:41 AM Reply   
I say that Sea Ray appeals this and it gets thrown out. The only thing that sticks out to me is the rope came off the towing ring but still, that was probably error on whoever attached the rope.

{unrelated} Did anyone else notice that dude's mullet? He has powerturner written all over his face.
Old    Shane Lafferty (pickle311)      Join Date: Oct 2005       04-06-2010, 10:52 AM Reply   
The legal system as a whole is screwed up. People sue because they get away with it. People sue knowing they are in the wrong. This is fed to them by lawyers, or ambulance chasers. They know that they can slap a suit on a company like GM, Mcdonalds, Sea Ray, or whoever and it's cheaper for this major coorporation to settle out of court than it is to hire lawyers and fight the battle. It's not right, but it's the system our great government has developed. Read into it a little further and you'll see that our government supports this. Why, because almost all politicians are lawyers and they have all reaped the benifits of frivilous suits. Maybe not all, but I'm sure the majority have. So why would they change anything? For them, it's the perfect system.
Maybe Obama can get us a legal system reform going to while he screws up the health care even worse and receives his bonus from GM.
Old    Robert A (cocheese)      Join Date: Jul 2004       04-06-2010, 11:03 AM Reply   
In my opinion, it all started going down hill when the lady sued McDonald's for hot coffee and won!!
Old    Bruizza (bruizza)      Join Date: May 2009       04-06-2010, 11:06 AM Reply   
This was definitely the driver's fault and not Sea Rays.
Old    AtTheLake (bmartin)      Join Date: Jan 2007       04-06-2010, 11:14 AM Reply   
Terrible accident and feel for the victim, but can't see the culpability of SeaRay. Where did $3.8 mil come from? Damages were in the 350K range.

Two previous trials resulted in deadlocked jurries....Guess they kept bringing the case around until they found enough sympathetic anti-business no personal responsbility types to serve as jurrors.
Old    Michael ImObersteg (Michael)      Join Date: Mar 2010       04-06-2010, 11:18 AM Reply   
is there any guards on my truck tires that Chevrolet was suppose to install before i accidentally run over my friend?
Old    Kat Laird (wakekat15)      Join Date: Jul 2005       04-06-2010, 11:23 AM Reply   
I'm not sure how this thread got political, but it goes to show you that regardless of how opposite our political beliefs might be, that we still share a lot of common ground related to a shared passion.

I too am appalled at this verdict. It sounds like a tragic accident, and the safety of the passengers/riders always falls on the driver. According to the article, "The driver wasn't part of the suit and will pay no damages."

Brochtrup should be embarrased for his attempt to steal money from a company that had no fault in the situation. I hope the appeal does work out & a new jury with a shred of common sense rights this wrong. It's not like the boat suddenly jumped into reverse by itself!

Next thing you know, we'll need guards and warnings on our steak knives that we should not put a limb/finger in harm's way when in use.

This settlement is so REDONKULOUS!
Old    Matt (MattieK27)      Join Date: Mar 2010       04-06-2010, 12:10 PM Reply   
While the outcome of this case is rediculous, the truly scary part is what groundwork this lays for future law suits. As was said in the article, this is the first case against prop related injury to be won by an accuser is some time. This win opens the door for countless other lawsuits. This is bad for the boating industry. Ultimately boating enthusiasts will suffer with higher prices and safety devices that protect the stupid, but decrease performance and efficiency. What a joke.

Last edited by MattieK27; 04-06-2010 at 12:12 PM.
Old    Alan Slabaugh (alans)      Join Date: Aug 2005       04-06-2010, 12:33 PM Reply   
This is really setting a bad precedent. It could be catastrophic to the water sports boating industry. I hope that the appeal with fix this embarrassment to our judicial system.
Old    Wes Fischer (wesley_is_wake)      Join Date: Jun 2007       04-06-2010, 12:53 PM Reply   
First of all, why on earth would the driver put the boat in reverse if the rope comes off the tow hook? Wouldn't it be easier to wrap it around the propeller by hand?
Seriously, why didn't the driver circle around or put the boat in neutral and get it himself? People get hurt by propellers very often in I/O's. I've cut my foot a bunch of times, but it was my fault for not being careful, just like the driver wasn't being careful when he threw the boat in reverse without checking for anyone or anything in the water behind the boat. Don't they put warning stickers on the boat that tell people to be careful of the exposed prop anyway? If the defendant shows them the operator's manual where the warnings are, I'm sure they could appeal.
Old    Ben B (benbuchholz)      Join Date: Oct 2009       04-06-2010, 1:03 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by wesley_is_wake View Post
First of all, why on earth would the driver put the boat in reverse if the rope comes off the tow hook? Wouldn't it be easier to wrap it around the propeller by hand?
Seriously, why didn't the driver circle around or put the boat in neutral and get it himself? People get hurt by propellers very often in I/O's. I've cut my foot a bunch of times, but it was my fault for not being careful, just like the driver wasn't being careful when he threw the boat in reverse without checking for anyone or anything in the water behind the boat. Don't they put warning stickers on the boat that tell people to be careful of the exposed prop anyway? If the defendant shows them the operator's manual where the warnings are, I'm sure they could appeal.
the rope wasn't caught around the propeller, it just came off the tow hook. he jumped in to grab it (maybe before it sank, if it wasn't a floating handle?). And yes they put warning stickers on but those are just that; Warnings. they're not a disclaimer of injury or anything like that. And if they do appeal, which i'm almost certain they will, they won't go down that route, nor can they (someone correct me if i'm wrong), as that would be a whole new trial, and an appeal is simply to look back at the facts and overturn/dismiss the case. What would overturn it is the fact that the boat design was not a defect/safety hazard, but was rather operator misuse/fault on the driver.
Old    Ben Ax (hawkeye7708)      Join Date: Feb 2007       04-06-2010, 1:06 PM Reply   
With all do respect to the Brochtrups, I hope Sea Ray appeals. If your not paying attention behind the wheel of your car, your issued a ticket for "inattentive driving". Apparently in the boating world, if you don't pay attention it means the vehicle manufacturer is at fault for making a product that does what it's supposed to do. Work.
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Old    Jonathan Bay (john211)      Join Date: Aug 2008       04-06-2010, 1:39 PM Reply   
Let me make my personal position clear. I am for reform against lawsuits like this because, it just so seems to reward (not the righting of wrongs but) lawyer gamesmanship:– like slip-and-fall attorneys who manipulate forum shopping, jury selection, expert testimony ... and then also ... the freak show aspect.

It helps to wheel in a horribly mauled victim. They are the most prized.

To let you know how screwed up tort lawsuits are, check this out:--

“According to Monday's decision, Brunswick was 66 percent responsible for the accident, and Brochtrup and the boat's driver each were 17 percent liable. The driver wasn't part of the suit and will pay no damages.”

That division of fault is called ‘contributory negligence.’ Thus the strategy for plaintiff’s attorney is to be passive to defendant’s attorney’s evidence and arguments to the jury trial that the driver ... and perhaps the injured swimmer ... were totally at fault.

All plaintiff’s attorney has to do to succeed is, convince 9 to 12 of a 12 panel jury (again, which often are carefully combed out of a large pool for especially favorable jurors) that ... there is a reasonable belief that the boat manufacturer could have done something different that would make this mangled leg less mangled .... regardless of all the other blame-laying.

It suffices if plaintiff’s attorney can convince the jury to vote for a division of fault among not only the driver and swimmer but also the boat manufacturer. When done right ... hey ...pay day !!
Old    Rob Flaherty (mc_x15)      Join Date: Jul 2008       04-06-2010, 1:51 PM Reply   
wow, now that crazy. Dude got ran over. Plain and simple. You run anyone over in a boat and they are getting severed or worse.
Old    Brian Deegan (irishrider92)      Join Date: Jun 2009       04-06-2010, 2:17 PM Reply   
Don't all companies have warning saying something like "don't allow anybody on/near the back deck when the engine is running"? They ignored the blatant warning....
Old    Chris (cjh1669)      Join Date: Apr 2005       04-06-2010, 2:28 PM Reply   
Obviously we don't have all the details here. I think it's funny how sold the public is by the media about "frivolous" law suits. The facts are that a case has to go through gauntlet before it ever gets in front of a jury. Lawsuits against companies are even harder, since the money is on their side, and the monetary risk, to the individual, becomes larger the longer the suit goes on. Obviously the evidence was good enough to have a judge allow it to go that far. The judge could have thrown it out if it was frivolous. In the end it's easy to sit back and play armchair juror without actually listening to testimony or seeing evidence.
Old    Ozark King (onthewatermo)      Join Date: Jan 2008       04-06-2010, 2:42 PM Reply   
There are certain things that shouldn't happen. A company should make sure a product is safe before selling it by testing all reasonably anticipated/foreseeable uses (which includes misuses). A spinning blade in the water when the product's intended purpose includes people in the water warrants more than "personal responsibility". Part of that testing includes remaining up-to-date with safety innovations especially when mass producing a product. Our system is designed to compensate people who have been hurt and it is the jury who compensates the victim. Horrible situation but good result for the victim - the jury couldn't give him his leg back and money is the next best thing (along with sending a message to make products safer so less injuries like this occur).
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Old    Kat Laird (wakekat15)      Join Date: Jul 2005       04-06-2010, 3:15 PM Reply   
Note to self....check this site for posts supporting lawsuits against manufacturers that make products that work as described before responding to "find a 3rd/be a 3rd" posts.

These lasts 2 posts really make me worried that I allow people I don't know very well to ride behind my boat.

I've had to lay a bike down to avoid deer antlers in the face. Guess I should have thought to sue Harley for not putting an anti-deer device on my bike that would have scared them away from the road and kept me safe.
Old    David Williams (wakeworld)      Join Date: Jan 1997       04-06-2010, 3:44 PM Reply   
Good point, Kat!! Kind of scary to see people take the attitude that all products need to have safety features in place even for "misuse" of the product. What a great way to encourage innovation and move our society forward! Just think, if we get enough of these laws and judgments in place, we'll successfully scare everyone away from even starting a company. That way we'll all be safe!!

I agree with Chris that it's tough to know what exactly went on in this case by just looking at the article, but on the surface it appears that this Jacob Brochtrup ought to be ashamed of himself, along with the jury for being stupid enough to reinforce the notion that we won't have to be responsible for our own behavior as long as there's a company with big pockets around that we can blame instead.

The driver was only 17% at fault? Seriously? Did he actually convince the jury that he figured running his friend over wouldn't be a problem because he assumed there was a "safety device" in place? No matter how you slice it, most of the blame sits with him because he made a mistake. Wonder why he didn't sue the driver?
Old    Chris (cjh1669)      Join Date: Apr 2005       04-06-2010, 3:57 PM Reply   
I'm not saying I support it nor am I saying I don't. What I 'm saying is that there is more to this than what you read in the article. The fact that it made it all the way to trial tells me that it had enough evidence to make it past summary judgement. Until someone steps up, who has knowledge of the actual case, then I reserve judgement on who was right or wrong. I just think it's funny that people think these kind of suits are easy to be involved in, for either side, and an easy way for someone to make money. The justice system does have checks and balances to prevent frivolous suits from making it to trial, and if anything the cards are stacked in the favor of the company due to the fact that they have more money. The next thing that will happen is this will go through appeals, if the Judge doesn't step in and make changes to the verdict himself. It will stay in appeals for years and will either be thrown out or settled for less than the verdict, unless somehow the plaintiff has the patience, balls, and money to keep it going and possibly win.
Depending on the insurance the boat carried odds are the driver is probably paying the insurance company back. From the little information held in this article it sounds like possible negligence, but once again not enough real information to make that judgement
Old    Bryce (brycejb328)      Join Date: Aug 2009       04-06-2010, 4:07 PM Reply   
there wasnt a emoticon that symbolized me shaking my head in disbelief.... if there was... i definantly woulda used it.

Inattentive driver, and neglegance of the kid who got injured

I'd be almost certain that the boat came with a warning label explaining the danger of what he did.. and on the label was probably a picture of little dude getting his leg chopped off by the prop.
Old    Kat Laird (wakekat15)      Join Date: Jul 2005       04-06-2010, 4:31 PM Reply   
The plaintiff doesn't need any money to continue the suit when the lawyer works on contingency, which they almost always do in these type cases. The entire premise of the case rests upon the alleged need to put cages around props to protect people with no common sense. I wonder how this cage concept is going to work when it's required to be on my lawn mower. Cause...you never know when I might have a friend hold the safety bar down while lifting the front of the mower for me to remove some wet grass and cut my own arm off.

I do think it's a terrible tragedy for the parties involved....I know I wouldn't want to have to live with myself for mutilating another living thing, much less a good friend. Just sad that the blame is deflected to the manufacturer, which means you and I have to pay more for boats in the future if this verdicts withstands appeal.
Old    Chris (cjh1669)      Join Date: Apr 2005       04-06-2010, 4:45 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by wakekat15 View Post
The plaintiff doesn't need any money to continue the suit when the lawyer works on contingency, which they almost always do in these type cases. The entire premise of the case rests upon the alleged need to put cages around props to protect people with no common sense. I wonder how this cage concept is going to work when it's required to be on my lawn mower. Cause...you never know when I might have a friend hold the safety bar down while lifting the front of the mower for me to remove some wet grass and cut my own arm off.

I do think it's a terrible tragedy for the parties involved....I know I wouldn't want to have to live with myself for mutilating another living thing, much less a good friend. Just sad that the blame is deflected to the manufacturer, which means you and I have to pay more for boats in the future if this verdicts withstands appeal.
You have no clue what you're talking about. #1 the percentage of the contingency goes up in appeals #2 the plaintiff is responsible for all costs associated with the trial on their side, and if they lose possibly part or all of the the defendants. What kind of costs do you think rack up in a 6-8 year long legal battle?

My point is that it's kind of sad so many people can make snap judgements based on a one page article, and think they know enough to decide right and wrong on a 3 year long legal suit. An articles can take the truth and spin it how ever they want by simply leaving out one or two facts, or focusing the reader on others. In the end I reserve judgment whenall I have is a small article to base it off of, and I wish more people would do the same.

Last edited by cjh1669; 04-06-2010 at 4:54 PM.
Old    Kat Laird (wakekat15)      Join Date: Jul 2005       04-06-2010, 5:12 PM Reply   
lol - ok Chris...thanks for the lawyer fee education! Doesn't make the suit any less ridiculous.....a cage on a prop...really.
Old    Kat Laird (wakekat15)      Join Date: Jul 2005       04-06-2010, 5:24 PM Reply   
PS You're right, I don't have a clue about how lawyers are paid because I don't sue people for the mistakes I make in my life.
Old    Chris (cjh1669)      Join Date: Apr 2005       04-06-2010, 5:29 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by wakekat15 View Post
PS You're right, I don't have a clue about how lawyers are paid because I don't sue people for the mistakes I make in my life.
Wow, enjoy your pedistal of ignorance from which you judge others..................
Old    Kat Laird (wakekat15)      Join Date: Jul 2005       04-06-2010, 5:59 PM Reply   
Yeah, I'll work on that as soon as I find my "pedistal". I never call people out for grammar/spelling, but you did just call me ignorant.

Looks like there's quite a few of us that hold personal integrity & accountability (ignorance to some) above blaming manufacturers for operator error and/or a lack of common sense.

I'll let you have the last word now, and hold on to the fact that we both love wakeboarding no matter what insults you may throw my way.
Old    Chris (cjh1669)      Join Date: Apr 2005       04-06-2010, 6:09 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by wakekat15 View Post
Yeah, I'll work on that as soon as I find my "pedistal". I never call people out for grammar/spelling, but you did just call me ignorant.

Looks like there's quite a few of us that hold personal integrity & accountability (ignorance to some) above blaming manufacturers for operator error and/or a lack of common sense.

I'll let you have the last word now, and hold on to the fact that we both love wakeboarding no matter what insults you may throw my way.
How much personal integrity is there in snap judgments on a situation from an article that doesn't give you enough information to do so? I guess personal integrity is subjective; depending upon if it might cost you more on your next boat or not......
Old    Jeremy (wake77)      Join Date: Jan 2009       04-06-2010, 7:17 PM Reply   
"a cage on a prop...really."

This is a bad idea. I recommend a NERF prop.
Old    Bizzuck (bizzuck)      Join Date: Nov 2005       04-07-2010, 6:18 AM Reply   
Just curious:

If Sea Ray knew about a guard that could have gone over a propellor which would have prevented this injury and could have added it for $100 causing no problems with the boat or performance but chose not to install it would that change your mind? What if they could have added it for $10?
Old    Alan Slabaugh (alans)      Join Date: Aug 2005       04-07-2010, 6:27 AM Reply   
It does not exist, just like magical force field that would prevent injury if you were hit by a bus.
Old    Paul (psudy)      Join Date: Dec 2003       04-07-2010, 7:27 AM Reply   
Its funny. I sent this article to a friend of mine who is a lawyer also. He sided with the plantiff as well.

This will open the door for a slew of lawsuits that won't just be aimed at the I/O market. People get ran over in Vdrives as well.

You know when you buy a boat, that there is a prop in the water. It has been this way since boats where invented(motorboats).
Old    Chris (cjh1669)      Join Date: Apr 2005       04-07-2010, 7:50 AM Reply   
I'm not sure what the evidence was in this case, but odds are sea ray has had suits and issues with their equipment before, because it sounds like the number is punitive. I could be wrong, since I don't have enough info to make any actual observations. I'm just basing this off of other suits, like the mcdonald's coffee one. Where it was sold to the public as frivolous by the media, but once you looked into the actual evidence you found clear negligence on the part of McDonalds, and you also found that the original monetary request form the plaintiff was just medical bills, which Mcdonalds scoffed at, then were hit with punitive damages by a jury. In the end that one settled for a lesser amount in the appeals process.
Old    AtTheLake (bmartin)      Join Date: Jan 2007       04-07-2010, 8:09 AM Reply   
I wonder how many jurrors and potentially the judge sat pretty high on a pedestal of ignorance? I suspect most people posting on WW could run circles around the average Joe Jurror when it comes to the knowledge of safely operating a motorized watercraft. What the jurrors and judge hear would be very slanted and emotional perspectives, albeit from opposing viewpoints with mounds of self interest motivating what is presented in court. Yes we do not have all the details of what was presented in this case, but most of us have a LOT more perspective from which to 'judge' the merits of the case than the typical random cross section of people who probably heard the case. Of course I could be all wrong not knowing who sat on the jurry or the background of the judge but suspect avid wakeboarders probably could not serve as prospective jurrors.
Old    Chris (cjh1669)      Join Date: Apr 2005       04-07-2010, 8:17 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmartin View Post
I wonder how many jurrors and potentially the judge sat pretty high on a pedestal of ignorance? I suspect most people posting on WW could run circles around the average Joe Jurror when it comes to the knowledge of safely operating a motorized watercraft. What the jurrors and judge hear would be very slanted and emotional perspectives, albeit from opposing viewpoints with mounds of self interest motivating what is presented in court. Yes we do not have all the details of what was presented in this case, but most of us have a LOT more perspective from which to 'judge' the merits of the case than the typical random cross section of people who probably heard the case. Of course I could be all wrong not knowing who sat on the jurry or the background of the judge but suspect avid wakeboarders probably could not serve as prospective jurrors.
The more I think about this the more I think sea ray probably has some history with injuries that lead to this number. Obviously on the surface this appears to be purely a negligence case for both the driver and the victim, but I'm willing to bet there is much more to this than is just been presented here.
yes most people on here probably have more experience with boat safety than the jury and judge. Most people on here probably have less actual knowledge of the law, or injury cases than the judge, and none of us have the facts of this case, so none of us can actually put forth our knowledge of boat safety to back up our uninformed judgements, including mine.

I personally hate how quickly the public latches on to media sound bites and make snap judgements. Not just on law suits, but on everything. Judgments are made on perspective, and it's pretty amazing how quickly a perspective can be led with the addition or subtraction of a fact or two.
Old    Paul (psudy)      Join Date: Dec 2003       04-07-2010, 8:26 AM Reply   
well, you are pretty much making a snap judgment that there is more to the case, when in actuallity there may be none. You actually have no evidence to support your oppinion when at least we have a write up to support ours.

I also noticed that you keep coming back to sea ray and possible problems with there particular boat. boat manufactures use pretty much the same pool of companies for their outdrives. Merc, volvo, etc... So I don't actually think this is against sea ray, it could have happened to any I/O manufacturer.
Old    D-NASTY (jrich)      Join Date: Oct 2009       04-07-2010, 8:29 AM Reply   
scary to think we have to share lakes with people who are this ignorant and have no concept of boating safety. I hate it for the guy but imo that is just one less idiot we have to worry about out on the lake
Old    Chris (cjh1669)      Join Date: Apr 2005       04-07-2010, 8:37 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by psudy View Post
well, you are pretty much making a snap judgment that there is more to the case, when in actuallity there may be none. You actually have no evidence to support your oppinion when at least we have a write up to support ours.

I also noticed that you keep coming back to sea ray and possible problems with there particular boat. boat manufactures use pretty much the same pool of companies for their outdrives. Merc, volvo, etc... So I don't actually think this is against sea ray, it could have happened to any I/O manufacturer.
I stated multiple times that I don't have enough evidence to make any concrete judgements, and that i was basing this off of other large money lawsuits. I could be 100% wrong and as I said before, I don't really have a an opinion on who is right or wrong in this case, because I don't don't have enough info. I'm more playing devils advocate, because it's worrisome to me how quickly people take a little info and come to the idea that they know what the truth is.

Last edited by cjh1669; 04-07-2010 at 8:46 AM.
Old    Paul (psudy)      Join Date: Dec 2003       04-07-2010, 8:39 AM Reply   
I understand.
Old    Ben Ax (hawkeye7708)      Join Date: Feb 2007       04-07-2010, 8:48 AM Reply   
Bummer this had to degrade to personal attacks. My beef with this lawsuit, one that clearly was caused by an act of negligence and inattentiveness on behalf of the driver who wasn't included in the lawsuit, is that the blame is falling on the manufacturer who did nothing but create a product which functioned perfectly as it should have when the driver instructed it to move in reverse. There are plenty of products out there which if used improperly or without a basic level of attention could be hazardous. Chainsaws, blenders, microwaves, forks, scissors (right and left handed), cupboard doors, hair straighteners, fans, sun glasses, bottle openers, necklaces, toasters, quesadilla makers, wakeboards, wakeboard handles, wakeboard bindings, wakeboard ropes, cars, snowblowers and other things. Yes I'm being facetious. My point is, if you don't pay attention when your playing with big boy/girl toys, people get hurt. If you put your car in reverse and ran over your friend who was reading your bumper sticker, that's YOUR FAULT. Not the car's fault. A lawsuit against a car manufacturer wouldn't be upheld due to driver negligence and perfectly functioning machinery (unless there is some sad precedent of which I'm unaware of, which there may be), why should it make a difference if it's a boat? You wouldn't put your leg under the tire of a running car if your buddy, the driver didn't know where you were, and you shouldn't be behind a boat that's running, unless your driver knows where you are, and there is clear understanding of what your doing there. This is a sad day for the boating industry.
Old    Chris (cjh1669)      Join Date: Apr 2005       04-07-2010, 8:55 AM Reply   
The problem is that this article doesn't really say what caused the jury to decide against the manufacturer. It just gives sound bites and talks of prop cages. What if we were to dig deeper into this and find that it was a throttle that stuck that made the situation worse, and that sea ray knew of the issue, and had other accidents happen due to it, but hadn't fixed it. The initial issue was caused by driver and victim stupidity, but in this scenario was made worse by the inability to unstuck the throttle and was a large contributor to the damage done. In this scenario obviously all would hold fault, but the manufacturer would have a large responsibility due to knowingly not fixing an issue that had caused accidents int he past. Not saying this is the case, but just trying to add perspective.
Old    Ben Ax (hawkeye7708)      Join Date: Feb 2007       04-07-2010, 9:18 AM Reply   
Chris,

I definitely understand that if a mechanical issue was involved, then there may be an issue with that that. But with the information given, all signals point to the fact that it was an "exposed" propeller that caused the damage. That really irks me. I wish there was more information, but like I said, given the facts in the article, the boat's propeller hurt the kid, and the boat company is liable for their properly functioning product. It's a crock, and I really hope they appeal.
Old    David Williams (wakeworld)      Join Date: Jan 1997       04-07-2010, 9:19 AM Reply   
Yes, if there was a cheap safety item they could put on the boat that didn't effect performance, I would change my mind. However, given the way the free market works, I don't find this to be a very likely scenario.
Old    Ben Ax (hawkeye7708)      Join Date: Feb 2007       04-07-2010, 9:20 AM Reply   
It's also difficult, I would imagine, from a jurors standpoint to see a young, active kid have something this traumatic happen to him and side with a corporation. I think there were some serious heart strings pulled on this one on behalf of the attorneys. That's just speculation though.
Old    Jeremy (wake77)      Join Date: Jan 2009       04-07-2010, 9:20 AM Reply   
I'm just playing devil's advocate. I AM TOTALLY AGAINST THE OUTCOME OF THIS LAWSUIT!!

Did any of you guy's and gal's hear about that lawsuit where the guy sued Winnebago for an accident he was involved in? For those that didn't, a guy was in his recently purchased Winnebago and was driving down the interstate, and put the vehicle on cruise control. Well, he then left the driver's seat to go to the kitchen and get a cup of coffee. Needless to say, there was an accident. The guy's attorney successfully argued that since it was to relayed to him buy the dealer nor in the owner's manual that you do not leave the seat while the Winnebago is motion, that the company was at fault.

I mean all of us know not to use a hair dryer while in the bath tub, but does that prevent the manufacturers from having to put a warning sticker on the cord?

This is where law has taken us in the US, pain and suffering renders common sense useless. I suspect (again), I suspect that the heart of the lawsuit may have stemmed from Sea Ray not having some sort of explicit warning on the boat mentioning the hazards of the prop. I know it is redundant, but when I order coffee at Mickey D's, I expect it to be hot by the nature that I am ordering coffee, but it is still printed on the cup that the contents inside the cup are hot. I wouldn't be surprised to start seeing more warning labels on boats mentioning the dangers of the prop.

Playing devils advocate is over.

This lawsuit is B.S.
Old    Chris (cjh1669)      Join Date: Apr 2005       04-07-2010, 9:25 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by hawkeye7708 View Post
Chris,

I definitely understand that if a mechanical issue was involved, then there may be an issue with that that. But with the information given, all signals point to the fact that it was an "exposed" propeller that caused the damage. That really irks me. I wish there was more information, but like I said, given the facts in the article, the boat's propeller hurt the kid, and the boat company is liable for their properly functioning product. It's a crock, and I really hope they appeal.
They will appeal, that's a large amount of money, and it would cost them less to appeal. I'm sure more info will come out, and actually since it was decided by a jury it will be public record soon. Based purely on the article it was 100% the driver and victims fault, but you know there is more to it if a jury hit searay with that crazy number.
Old    Ben Ax (hawkeye7708)      Join Date: Feb 2007       04-07-2010, 9:25 AM Reply   
Dave,
I agree. Keeping people safe while using your product is the highest priority, but don't think that an isolated case such as this would indicate an apparent major design flaw in boating for the last few decades in which the boating market CLEARLY overlooked the necessity for a "prop safety device". :-/
Old    Chris (cjh1669)      Join Date: Apr 2005       04-07-2010, 9:41 AM Reply   
Most things are common sense, and sometimes companies take advantage of the fact people think that way. McDonald's coffee is actually a key example of that. In the end people have to take personal responsibility and companies also have to keep their products safety a higher priority than profits. Not always the case.
Old    J Morrison (jkatslo)      Join Date: Apr 2010       04-07-2010, 9:42 AM Reply   
This outcome sounds rediculous! Pretty soon they are going to have helmets for helmets because of idiots like this. Imagine having prop guards on boats. You would need twice as much horsepower to make it out of the water. While out at naci this past weekend there was a group of riders talking about this seemingly same situation. Some guy is trying to sue hyperlite right now because he broke his foot in a pair of bindings of thiers? Another average joe trying to blame someone else for thier own mistake. These are the prefered bindings of the year by almost everyone that wore thier boots. To make matters worse they weren't even his boots. Classic!
Old    Chris (cjh1669)      Join Date: Apr 2005       04-07-2010, 9:47 AM Reply   
for the record, I am 100% against the legislation of saftey, ie helmets, seatbelts, ect ect. I think common sense saves the lives of the intelligent and stupidity wipes out the dumb. Natural selection
Old    Paul (psudy)      Join Date: Dec 2003       04-07-2010, 9:48 AM Reply   
I tried to find more info on this, but it appears limited. However, it does sound like it was just about prop guards.

http://www.rbbi.com/pgic/pcases/broc...-propeller.htm
Old    Chris (cjh1669)      Join Date: Apr 2005       04-07-2010, 10:01 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by psudy View Post
I tried to find more info on this, but it appears limited. However, it does sound like it was just about prop guards.

http://www.rbbi.com/pgic/pcases/broc...-propeller.htm
If that ends up being the case, then I too am against this ruling
Old    Bizzuck (bizzuck)      Join Date: Nov 2005       04-07-2010, 10:17 AM Reply   
Thanks for the reply Dave.

Perhaps some of you have heard of the Ford Pinto litigation. If you want to learn more, go to google. Basically, the Ford Pinto had a design flaw where the gas tank would fail if the Pinto was struck from the rear at a speed of around 30mph. By "fail" I mean due to the collision the gas tank would leak, often catch fire and burn the passengers. Ford was aware of this flaw and knew how to fix it. However, Ford ran the numbers and decided that the costs of fixing the gas tank problem (it was a very small dollar amount) versus the number and amount of potential wrongful death/product liability litigation made it more expensive to fix the tank. Well, of course you can guess what happened. A rear end collision resulted in deaths and a lawsuit was filed. The plaintiff, in discovery, learns that Ford knew about this problem, ran the numbers and decided it was more economical to just fight the suits. I believe punitives were awarded at over $100 million. Of course this was reduced on appeal but it goes to show you what can happen if a business is aware of an easy fix, chooses to ignore it and then that information gets to a jury. .
Old    Brian Pulscher (sodaksooner)      Join Date: Nov 2009       04-07-2010, 10:25 AM Reply   
I wonder if any of us that post on this forum would have made it on the jury?? If we were honest in the voir dire, I would venture to say none.
Old    Charles (wakecis)      Join Date: Jun 2005       04-07-2010, 10:43 AM Reply   
a product is defectively designed if it is unreasonably dangerous because of its design. Courts use various definitions of "unreasonably dangerous" including a product that is more dangerous than an ordinary consumer would expect, or a product whose risks are so great that a reasonable seller would not place the product on the market, or a product design whose risks outweigh its benefits.

here's the problem, when compared to the pinto case. It's totally expected that a car produced and placed within the market place will experience rear end collisions - this is inevitable. From a watersports point of view, it's not reasonable to run over a person in the water, ever. A boat with exposed propeller is not more dangerous than a consumer would expect, regardless of whether or not a fix if feasible.

****ty lawyers - ****ty decision.
Old    A-dub (behindtheboat)      Join Date: Aug 2006       04-07-2010, 10:53 AM Reply   
watch jet boats market share jump with the marketing available from this suit...
Old    Bizzuck (bizzuck)      Join Date: Nov 2005       04-07-2010, 11:26 AM Reply   
Thanks for quoting this website, Charles. Maybe next time you can link to the text you copy/paste. It helps to give a little context to what you are trying to say especially when you don't really have a solid understanding of what you are talking about.

Moving on with your post, and since you presented it this way, is it totally unexpected that a boat will hit a person?

Also, this wasn't a "decision" in the usual sense of the word. This was a verdict. There is a difference.

Brian: I would bet that the P's counsel struck everyone who knew anything about being on a boat. Defense counsel was just hoping to have someone on the jury with boating experience.
Old    Charles (wakecis)      Join Date: Jun 2005       04-07-2010, 12:43 PM Reply   
ah, and i almost forgot why i'm hesitant to post...have fun bizzuck. i guess i'll ask the NY bar to rescind my license.
Old    A-dub (behindtheboat)      Join Date: Aug 2006       04-07-2010, 12:59 PM Reply   
is this a pissing match on interpretations of interpretations? i think you're both right!
Old    Bizzuck (bizzuck)      Join Date: Nov 2005       04-07-2010, 1:07 PM Reply   
Wait. You passed the bar? What are they testing with up there? Coloring books?
Old    Charles (wakecis)      Join Date: Jun 2005       04-07-2010, 1:15 PM Reply   
yeah, coloring books. i think you could use a paint by number on how to legitimately grab your board and bother people less online.
Old    Cody (loudontn)      Join Date: Feb 2005       04-07-2010, 1:31 PM Reply   
http://www.rbbi.com/pgic/pcases/broc...-propeller.htm
Old    Eastcoast Rider (rightside)      Join Date: Sep 2006       04-07-2010, 1:50 PM Reply   
This thread is full of funny. And I disagree that these were ****ty lawyers, maybe Brunswick's counsel weren't very good but the kids lawyers obviously were great.
Old    Don Christman (ktm525)      Join Date: Mar 2009       04-07-2010, 7:11 PM Reply   
I am an owner of a Sea Ray 220 select. I think this should be appealed and throw out. It is all driver error. As a driver/captain of the boat you should know where everything and everyone is before moving an inch. I feel bad for the guy but it is still driver error.
Old    Gary Polson (PGIC)      Join Date: Apr 2010       04-09-2010, 8:22 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by bizzuck View Post
Just curious:

If Sea Ray knew about a guard that could have gone over a propellor which would have prevented this injury and could have added it for $100 causing no problems with the boat or performance but chose not to install it would that change your mind? What if they could have added it for $10?
What if it actually cost less and did not impact the wake? Many are not aware several propeller safety devices beyond conventional guards have came on the scene in recent years. One very recent one, the Australian Environmental Safety Propeller, won ABC TV Australia's invention of the year contest in late 2009. It is a conventional propeller with slightly blunted edges and is said to provide similar performance and protection in both forward and reverse. If you have not yet seen videos of people sticking their hands and feet into one of them rotating, see our coverage at:
http://rbbi.com/pgic/ptech/safetypro...ypropeller.htm

The inventors recently showed it at a U.S. Coast Guard Propeller Accident Mitigation Meeting at the Miami International Boat Show.

The cost of this aftermarket propeller may actually be less than similar OEM propellers when it hits the market.

Some small companies, most notably MariTech Industries, have developed several propeller safety products using sensors that do not involve the use of a guard.
http://www.powerboatsafety.com

In addition, new versions of conventional guards with swing up rear screens (the drag from the prop wash pushes them out and up where they ride parallel to water flow when underway, then their weight makes them fall back down when the boat comes to rest) are coming to light. This significantly decreases drag. We have been promoting swing up guards since 2006 and notice one of them was used in the Brochtrup trial as an example of a means of guarding the propeller. The image below is from MyFox Austin coverage of the trial. It shows the guard end cap flipped up like it would be when underway. If falls back down when the boat slows.



Gary
Propeller Guard Information Center

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