Skip to main content

BRP avoids liability in Sea-Doo lawsuit

Bombardier Recreational Products was found not to be liable for injuries that a Naples, Fla., woman sustained in 2007 when she fell off the back of a Sea-Doo.

A federal jury last week originally awarded Christina Thomas, 21, $1.75 million, but U.S. District Judge John Steele reviewed the verdict sheet before it was announced and rejected it, the Marco Eagle newspaper reported.

Jurors had not correctly followed instructions. They found the driver and owner equally negligent and ordered them to pay Thomas, but BRP was the defendant in the case.

The jury found that BRP, which manufactured the 2006 Sea-Doo RXT, had not negligently designed the Sea-Doo and that it was not in a defective condition.

Thomas slipped off the back of the Sea-Doo on May 20, 2007, when water from its jet thrust shot inside her, causing excruciating pain and internal injuries and bloodying the Gulf of Mexico, she told the court.

Thomas, now a student at Florida Gulf Coast University, was rushed to a hospital, where she spent about two weeks recovering from the Memorial Day weekend accident. She wore a colostomy bag for several months. An operation reversed that, but the former cheerleader still has medical problems and can only give birth through a C-section, the newspaper reported.

Thomas' lawyer, Robert Selig of Fort Lauderdale, is filing post-trial motions and is considering an appeal involving a pretrial ruling that barred him from mentioning 17 other women who were seriously injured in similar cases involving Bombardier, Kawasaki, Polaris and other manufacturers, including two that Bombardier settled.

Thomas' lawsuit hinged on a warning label placed beneath the handlebars at the front of the two-seat Sea-Doo. Selig and his expert contended that it was not conspicuous enough, but Bombardier's lawyer argued that it was.

Bombardier's lawyer had argued that Thomas, Sea-Doo driver James Del Sordo, now 25, and owner George Smith, the father of a classmate, were negligent because they did not read or heed the warning label.

Click here to read the full article.

Related

Norm#4

Doing Good for a Good Night’s Sleep

The Massachusetts Marine Trades Association partnered with “A Bed for Every Child” to build beds for families in need.

1_RBFF.BOARD

RBFF Adds Six Board Members

The foundation said the board members add a breadth of experience from the fishing and boating industries as well as state government agency work.

1_PULSE.PING

DEALERS: How Was Business in the First Half of 2022?

Did the first six months of the year meet your expectations, and did you make budget? Take the Pulse Report survey here.

1_AKZO.CEO

AkzoNobel Names New CEO

The company said Gregoire Poux-Guillaume’s experience as CEO of two other companies includes a track record of growth and teambuilding.

1_FLEXOFOLD

Flexofold Hires New Managing Director

The company said Henning Uldall will concentrate on sales growth and moving the company to a new headquarters.

1_STO.AWARDS

Soundings Trade Only Announces Fifth Annual Most Innovative Marine Company Awards

The global program will recognize transformative innovation and ingenuity that benefits the marine industry.

1_YAMAHATARPONTRUST

Yamaha Is Now the Official Outboard of BTT

The outboard manufacturer announced a sponsorship of the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, which aims to protect and conserve populations of the popular gamefish.

1_BTN

The Only Strength Is in Sail

Overall demand trends are still very strong even though recreational boat registrations continue to plunge in most vessel categories. Only three of the 15 boat-type categories saw increases in April 2022—sail was the lone category that was up in March.