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Old     (srock)      Join Date: Mar 2002       06-09-2011, 6:51 AM Reply   
Sea Doo just lost a $100 million in a lawsuit involving the death of a young girl. Sea Doo was found at fault because the craft does not steer without power. That "fault" in the craft was the cause of death because the driver lost control and hit another vessel.

Hate to think that some attorney is celebrating his new found wealth.
Old     (srock)      Join Date: Mar 2002       06-09-2011, 7:13 AM Reply   
Let me correct my prior statement - Yamaha and 100MM suit but there will be no winners is this suit except attorneys.

WEST PALM BEACH — With one teenager dead and another living with horrific injuries she sustained when their WaveRunner collided with a boat, it was always clear the stakes were high for water scooter manufacturer Yamaha Motor Corp. USA.

On Wednesday, the stakes were defined: $100 million.

That's roughly how much jurors should force Yamaha to pay to compensate Daniel and Ivonne Perez for the loss of their daughter Jaysell, 14, and give Samantha Archer, 21, the money she needs to live any semblance of a normal life, attorneys said.

However, the recreational vehicle giant won't face punitive damages. Circuit Judge David Crow ruled there was no evidence that Yamaha's actions constituted a "reckless indifference to human life."

The ruling makes an agonizing decision for jurors somewhat easier. Once they finish their deliberations, which start today, the job that has consumed them for six weeks will be over. They won't have to return for a mini-trial where millions more would have been sought.

During the daylong closing arguments, the two sides sparred about virtually everything surrounding the Easter 2005 crash near Currie Park in West Palm Beach.

Attorneys representing the Perezes and Archer said the case was about the 2001 WaveRunner's so-called off-throttle steering. Even the National Transportation Safety Board called the label an "oxymoron" because the craft lost its steering when the throttle was released, attorney Robert Baker said.

Lawyers representing Yamaha insisted the case was about rudders. Attorney Rick Mueller claimed Baker and co-counsel David Kleinberg repeatedly argued that rudders would have cured the steering problem.

Studies showed that rudders were dangerous, causing people to be ejected or sustain serious cuts, Mueller said. Further, he said: "Of all the experts they called, not one person said fewer people would be injured or killed in a craft with rudders."

In a counterattack, Kleinberg pointed to the Perezes. "Their little girl," he said, would be alive if the WaveRunner the girls borrowed at an Easter party had rudders.

But, he said, it wasn't his job to correct what he called a "design flaw" and Mueller called a "characteristic."

"I don't give a good gosh golly about rudders," Kleinberg said. "I want a WaveRunner that steers."

Yahama, which launched WaveRunners in 1987, had nearly 20 years to fix the problem, he said. It did so in 2003. Archer had three seconds to figure out what to do when she released the throttle only to discover she couldn't steer. Instead of turning, the scooter slammed into the boat.

The closing arguments underscored the attorneys' different styles. Mueller gave a staid recitation of expert opinions about the crash. Kleinberg and Baker were emotional.

"They put profits over people, sales over safety," Baker said. At one point, Crow admonished Baker for using a street term for lack of courage.

Both sides agreed the accident was tragic. But Mueller insisted it wasn't Yahama's fault. Archer, at 15 with no experience driving a scooter, shouldn't have been allowed to take it out. He questioned her description of the accident, calling it a "post-lawsuit recovered memory."

Kleinberg fired back.

"Why call her a liar?" he asked. "Here's why: They knew they had a problem with off-throttle steering. Rather than fix it, they blame the victim."

Last edited by srock; 06-09-2011 at 7:16 AM.
Old     (jarrod)      Join Date: May 2003       06-09-2011, 7:56 AM Reply   
Amazing. Steering or not, if you're that close to the boat, you were never paying attention to begin with.
Old     (innov8)      Join Date: May 2005       06-09-2011, 8:05 AM Reply   
Wow just wow.

Sounds like rider error.
Old     (calexan)      Join Date: Dec 2008       06-09-2011, 8:35 AM Reply   
How people don't understand that something propelled by jet doesn't steer without power amazes me. Its common sense. God I can't stand inexperienced people on the lake. Rider error for sure. But I guess Yamaha needs to just go back to the research room and redesign how jet skis work....
Old     (behindtheboat)      Join Date: Aug 2006       06-09-2011, 8:49 AM Reply   
Originally Posted by calexan View Post
How people don't understand that something propelled by jet doesn't steer without power amazes me. Its common sense. God I can't stand inexperienced people on the lake. Rider error for sure. But I guess Yamaha needs to just go back to the research room and redesign how jet skis work....
ditto. They need to start getting marine (water) educated jurors. Off-throttle steering = waverunner/jetski.
Old     (501s)      Join Date: Feb 2010       06-09-2011, 9:19 AM Reply   
These law suits are just pathetic. They are Tragic, NO question but to blame the boat maker for crashing their boat? Come on.

Last year I crashed bad on a railey and spent some time in the hospital. Maybe I should sue Moomba, since NO one from Moomba came to my house and specifically told me that I could get hurt doing a railey behind their boat and had me sign a document saying I understood that fact.

Yay for lawsuits and jury's. They exist to protect innocent people from awful, careless corporations out to make unsafe products that harm it's users.
Old     (Maddog10)      Join Date: Jun 2010       06-09-2011, 9:53 AM Reply   
J-Rod is right. If they were that close to another boat it was rider error to begin with... However, I don't remember if it's Honda or Kawasaki but one makes their jet-skis so that if your moving at a certain speed or above and let off the throttle and then try to turn, it will maintain the engine at like 3,000 rpms so that the ski will still turn. Seems like a good idea? Of course I guess then the lawyers would be saying they let off the throttle and the jet-ski kept going. It's a lose/lose for the manufacturer.

Here's an idea. If you don't know how to control your boat, stay off of it!
Old     (guido)      Join Date: Jul 2002       06-09-2011, 10:23 AM Reply   
"Here's an idea. If you don't know how to control your boat, stay off of it! "


For some reason people thing a 60-100hp jetski is a toy. Here.... I'll just give it to my 14 year old. They can go have "fun" with it. Heck.... why not let them have fun "playing" with a gun. Maybe give your 9th grader keys to your car and send them out on the interstate.

People are absurd.
Old     (brycejb328)      Join Date: Aug 2009       06-09-2011, 10:45 AM Reply   
60-100hp... Now a days, the SMALLEST machines are over 110 hp!! with the biggest being 255-260hp. Every pwc manufacturer has developed some sort of "off power assisted steering". I know sea-doo had always claimed this feature was designed for low speed manuverability (idling up to a dock or something) and that is the plain truth... it simply doesnt do a whole lot at high speed, nor do they express/claim that it will.

Like stated earlier, NOT a toy and take a certain level of experience to operate safely. Horrible accident, not manufacturers fault and I am willing to bet they had warning labels and instructions with owners manual about controlling the machine and the risks involved (i know seadoo does as I have read any of their manuals cover to cover).

When I sold PWC's, I think i told the customers about 50 times and in 50 different ways about how the steering system works when delivering a machine. It cant be stressed enough
Old     (srock)      Join Date: Mar 2002       06-09-2011, 12:07 PM Reply   
In many cases someone is thrown the keys with nothing more but a have fun. Is that not how most of us learn to ski, ride bikes, skate, surf, drink beer?.....Hell throw social life into the liability lawsuit mix. Don't bully, every one get along, please share, play nice; get ready for the next wave - social lawsuits. How many American kids could survive a transplant into a third world country. I think our success has turned us into patsies. You cannot be all things to all people or we become sheep in a field. One bully wolf can control the whole herd. It's like a social form of Darwinism taking place.

I worked in a bank and every one would go crazy if you picked up a box of paper to relocate. Don't hurt yourself, get a dolly, get some help, don't pick it up alone. Are you serious? I would always think of the block mason who built the building picking up a heavy load every minute of the day and wonder where the banker personnel's reality existed. Or the person who eats meat but can only handle looking at it packaged in a grocery store. I'm not sure how we as a country can send people to war without a warning label on every piece of equipment and uniform stating use of this product can cause death or injury in big yellow signs.

This lawsuit stuff is like mixing different colored paint. When you mix all the colors it always ends up the same color - crap brown, no variation, no life. America the great melting pot.
Old     (Laker1234)      Join Date: Mar 2010       06-09-2011, 12:16 PM Reply   
California and Florida both favor Obama in 2012--enough said.
Old     (srock)      Join Date: Mar 2002       06-09-2011, 12:26 PM Reply   
Sound's like Ron and I will be moving to Texas
Old     (wake77)      Join Date: Jan 2009       06-09-2011, 2:24 PM Reply   
Florida??? Ron T, is it hard to walk around all day with your head up your kooloo?
Old     (jarrod)      Join Date: May 2003       06-09-2011, 3:48 PM Reply   
Yeah move to Texas where they just PRAY that everything will get better.

Old     (apf)      Join Date: Dec 2010       06-09-2011, 6:35 PM Reply   
love to see the lawsuits that will come out of the new sea doo with the " brake "
Old     (cadunkle)      Join Date: Jul 2009 Location: NJ       06-10-2011, 5:38 AM Reply   
One dead, one who amy never ride again. I want to say good riddance and thank goodness there will be at least one less reckless wetbiker endangering my riders. I don't go entirely with that sentiment though, due to the age of the girls on this ski. I don't know the curcumstances, or what they were told by their parents or whoever let them ride the ski. The first thing you should tell anyone new to driving a jet ski or jet boat is... You cannot steer unless you are on the throttle! This is critical. It'll take a little time before they get used to the amount of throttle required to steer at various speeds. For this reason new jet boat drivers shouldn't be out in busy areas screwing around.

If they only had 3 seconds to correct their error they were doing something wrong anyhow if it would have been a very close call or a collision no matter what vessel they were driving. In that regard, they sound like typical jet ski drivers and got what was coming to them. Sea Doo is in no way responsible for this.

Logically if there is a judgement against one manufacturer, there should be a judgement placed against any manufacturer who has ever made a jet boat. Sanger should be shut down along with many others, they used to be big into jet boats. Furthermore, jet boats should be made illegal and immediately scuttled if law enforcement ever comes across one on American waterways. Heck, since these things are so unsafe and it's never the operators fault, this should be the start of a military action. America should invade New Zealand and dig up Bill Hamilton, piss on his corpse, and set him ablaze. Also, all his surviving children should be forced to pay reparations for the travesty of inventing the jet drive.
Old     (wakekat15)      Join Date: Jul 2005       06-10-2011, 5:43 AM Reply   
According to an earlier article, they told the owner they knew how to drive/ride it, so he just let them take it out:

In March 2005, having celebrated Easter Sunday collecting colored eggs on Dr. Eugene Holly's waterfront lawn, Archer and Perez allegedly falsely assured Holly that they knew how to operate his WaveRunner and took off.

Five minutes later, 14-year-old Perez was dead and 15-year-old Archer was gravely injured when the WaveRunner collided with a boat.
Old     (cadunkle)      Join Date: Jul 2009 Location: NJ       06-10-2011, 5:56 AM Reply   
Okay, so the kids lied, and paid the price it. If they weren't familiar with riding a ski and had mentioned that they guy would have either said no or given them some instruction and supervised ride time. This should be an open close case, dismissed.
Old     (srock)      Join Date: Mar 2002       06-10-2011, 5:58 AM Reply   
Public Service Announcement: I want everyone to remember that your boat doesn't have brakes.
Old     (ldr)      Join Date: Nov 2002       06-10-2011, 10:12 AM Reply   
This is getting a little strange. I was telling my boss a couple days ago about the mastercraft verdict and in the same conversation i said that i was surprised that someone hadn't sued Yamaha yet because the steering on their waverunner didn't work when they were off the throttle. So i was off on the brand, I should have said Seadoo.
Old     (wakekat15)      Join Date: Jul 2005       06-10-2011, 10:18 AM Reply   
Originally Posted by ldr View Post
This is getting a little strange. I was telling my boss a couple days ago about the mastercraft verdict and in the same conversation i said that i was surprised that someone hadn't sued Yamaha yet because the steering on their waverunner didn't work when they were off the throttle. So i was off on the brand, I should have said Seadoo.
Nope, you were is Yamaha. The thread subject line said Sea Doo, but it is Yamaha.
Old     (ldr)      Join Date: Nov 2002       06-10-2011, 2:36 PM Reply   
Sweet, I must be Telepathetic
Old     (wakeviolater)      Join Date: Sep 2004       06-10-2011, 3:15 PM Reply   
this and the mastercraft suit in california should prompt the boating industry to lobby for requiring licences for anyone who drives a boat. then the blame will fall solely on the operator, regardless of if they are licenced or not.

this will also give a boost to our industry. Schools can become "testing agencies" that change a nominal amount to certify people for the licence.
Old     (Bill_Dad)      Join Date: Apr 2010       06-10-2011, 3:39 PM Reply   
hi, in australia you have to sit a written exam and a driving exam clearly demonstrating you can operate a jetski to hold a licence, you cannot drive a jetski without one. You cannot get a licence for a jetski until you are eligible to hold a boat licence and that is at 16yrs of age, although the age does vary from state to state.
Again tragic accident and I feel for the parents and all involved. People need to be held accountable for their actions not the manufacturer, as someone else said there would have been warning labels on the ski showing it would not steer unless under power.
How about the people that let these girls use the jetski did they show due diligence by instructing the girls on how to use and operate this machine where is their accountability!!!!!!!!!!
Old     (jeff359)      Join Date: Jun 2005       06-11-2011, 5:58 PM Reply   
Jet skis have been around for over 25 years, and the boating community and legal system are struggling to figure them out. The majority of the owners/riders are idiots. its close to a 75/25 split on this. Then said idiot loans them to their even more idiot like friends, who let there idiot 14 year olds ride them.

J rod hit it perfectly. You were that close to another vessel, you weren't paying attention. I'll add to it and say you should not have operating any vessel. Darwin theory

Accidents happen yes, but in over 30 years of operating boats, I have never once hit another vehicle, not even docking let alone at a speed that would cause injury. And I've been plenty stupid in my younger years.
Old     (tripsw)      Join Date: May 2006       06-11-2011, 7:43 PM Reply   
Originally Posted by Bill_Dad View Post
People need to be held accountable for their actions not the manufacturer,
Simple as that. People sueing(?) the manufacturer should be sued themselves, for trying to take advantage of the fckd up system (and probably for stupidity too).
Old     (alexair)      Join Date: Oct 2008       06-12-2011, 12:04 AM Reply   
My bicycle not hold balance when stop. Where and against whom can I start lawsuit?

Last edited by alexair; 06-12-2011 at 12:07 AM.
Old     (wakekat15)      Join Date: Jul 2005       06-12-2011, 5:38 AM Reply   
Originally Posted by alexair View Post
My bicycle not hold balance when stop. Where and against whom can I start lawsuit?

^^ LOL, that is a good one!!
Old     (bennn)      Join Date: Jun 2010       06-12-2011, 7:33 AM Reply   
hahaha alex
here in PA you need to be at least 16 and have a boating safety card (regardless of age) in order to operate a pwc
Old     (austin)      Join Date: Apr 2010       06-13-2011, 7:53 AM Reply   
Not steering without power has been a fundamental part of PWC's since they were first made, right? So if the manufacturers can be sued for that, what are they supposed to do? Just stop making PWC's and recall every PWC ever sold? Basically anyone who makes (or made) a PWC can now be successfully sued for millions of dollars by anyone who gets into an accident on one. It makes no sense.
Old     (srock)      Join Date: Mar 2002       06-13-2011, 8:53 AM Reply   
I would think the manufacturers would embrace licensing requirements. The would help support their argument that you need to read the warnings and manual about the operation. If someone unqualified or uninformed operates the machine it means they are doing it illegally. I know some smart attorney would still make an argument but it would help.
Old     (bill_airjunky)      Join Date: Apr 2002       06-14-2011, 9:20 AM Reply   
Geez, what a mess.

I'm getting dizzy spinning around & around in my office chair..... that should be good for a couple mill by now, huh?!
Old     (jarrod)      Join Date: May 2003       06-17-2011, 11:08 AM Reply   
That was fast!!! Seadoo has a commercial running saying that they have a new brake that stops their PWC 100 feet faster than any other craft on the market.

Old     (chadcis62)      Join Date: Feb 2011       06-17-2011, 11:48 AM Reply   
Can I sue 4Winns, you see my boat does not have a brakes. I can get a Lawyer that will tell you he is not an engineer, its the boat manufactures job to develop a system.

Boats are NOT cars, they are similar but not the same. They should not be operated the same way you drive a car, you must leave a LOT of space between you and other boats, by a lot I don't mean the distance you put between you and the car in front of you. If you are operating around any other boats in 50 feet you should be at non-wake producing speeds < 5 mph.

In this instance as much as I hate regulations, I'm begining to hate Lake Lice (JetSkiis) more. They are dangerous and the people who ride them do not know how to operate them safely. As they make newer ones that are quicker and have higher top speeds they get even more dangerous. I would be fine if we required Lake Lice to have licenses, if you do not have a license they take your skii off the lake. If they catch you doing anything dangerous, they pull your license right then and there.


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