Drivers and vessel owners — including Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary — involved in the boat crash on Canada’s Lake Joseph could be facing large lawsuits in addition to possible criminal charges.
According to the Toronto Sun, marine and legal experts have said that “whopping lawsuits” could come in the wake of the accident that left two people dead. The total could go as high as $1 million per boat, which is the maximum amount that a smaller private vessel can be sued for in the event of loss of life or personal injury under Canada’s Marine Liability act.
“Where the loss is caused by the fault of two or more persons or their ships, their liability is proportionate to the degree of their respective fault or negligence, if the degrees of fault or neglect can’t be determined, their liability is equal,” marine lawyer Eric Machum of Metcalf & Company in Halifax told the Sun.
Machum added that the act, revised in 2018, still doesn’t require smaller recreational boats to be insured.
After the crash on August 24, O’Leary said publicly that the driver of the other boat didn’t have lights on and claimed the vessel left the scene. A spokesperson for O’Leary added that O’Leary’s wife, who was driving the boat, passed a field sobriety test.
A spokesperson for the Ontario Provincial Police said officials have not ruled out alcohol as a factor. They aren’t giving out additional details as they complete their investigation.