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Judge rules ‘faulty’ repairs led to fatal sinking in Rhode Island case

The insurer said that because the repairs “contributed” to the sinking, the policy “excludes the claimed loss. The judge agreed.
Carman allegedly made inadequate repairs to the boat.

Carman allegedly made inadequate repairs to the boat.

A federal court judge ruled that Nathan Carman made “faulty” repairs that caused a boat to sink three years ago, presumably with his mother, Linda Carman, on board.

In September 2016, Carman and his mother set off from Rhode Island on a fishing trip on Carman’s 31-foot boat, Chicken Pox. He was found a week later in a life raft and was rescued by a cargo ship. His mother was never found, and the boat wasn’t recovered.

Carman had filed a claim with National Liability and Fire Insurance, but the company refused to pay out the policy, according to Boston 25 News.

After the accident, accusations surfaced that Carman killed his mother and deliberately sank the boat, allegedly to inherit millions from his late grandfather’s estate. He had been considered a suspect in the death of his grandfather, John Chakalos. A lawsuit to prevent Carman from collecting his share of the inheritance was reportedly removed from a New Hampshire court earlier this year over a dispute about the deceased’s residency. It was announced this week that the New Hampshire Supreme Court would review that decision.

The dispute about Carman’s insurance policy for Chicken Pox wound up in federal court, where Judge John McConnell issued his decision Nov. 4 that Carman had made “faulty” repairs to the vessel, which caused it to sink.

The finding backed up the insurance company’s decision to deny Carman’s claim on the boat. “Because the facts show that Mr. Carman made improper and faulty repairs to his boat that contributed to its sinking, Exclusion D in the policy excludes the claimed loss,” McConnell wrote in his decision.

During previous trials, attorneys for BoatUS said that Carman removed the boat’s trim tabs, leaving holes that he did not fill correctly.

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