The Crosley Law Firm, P.C. recently settled a boating accident case against Travis Boats and Motors, LLC and American Suzuki Corporation. The accident occurred on the Guadalupe River in Kerrville, Texas on Father’s Day in June 2008. A father and his 11‑year-old son were in their new 15 foot Alumacraft johnboat powered by a 25HP Suzuki outboard motor when they struck a submerged stump and were ejected from the boat. Even though the father was wearing the safety lanyard that is designed to shut down the motor in circumstances like these, the emergency stop switch, or kill switch as it is sometimes called, did not work. As a result, the father was struck by the propeller and sustained injuries to his head, face and back, including multiple lacerations and a skull fracture.
The boat and motor had been purchased from Travis Boats. Also, a few weeks before the accident, Travis Boats performed mechanical service on the motor. The day of the accident was the first time the boat and motor had been used since the recent service. On behalf of all of the parties to the lawsuit, an inspection of the boat and motor was conducted by several engineers and mechanics.
Attorney Tom Crosley was able to prove that a mechanic at Travis Boats had replaced the stop switch in question in the recent service visit. The engineer hired by Crosley Law Firm concluded that the Travis Boats mechanic left slack wires in contact with the flywheel of the motor, which resulted in the wiring to the kill switch being severed while the motor was in use. This faulty installation rendered the kill switch incapable of stopping the motor in an emergency such as the one that presented itself on the day of the accident.
The injury victim sought reimbursement for his medical bills incurred during his hospitalization, as well as lost wages, and unspecified sums for pain, suffering, and disfigurement due to scarring.
Although the lawsuit was set for trial in San Antonio, Texas in September 2011, a settlement was reached in a court-ordered mediation in June. The terms of the settlement are confidential.