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View Full Version : Tough Verdict for Boat Manufacturers-- Common Sense Not Required



kaneboats
06-08-2011, 05:49 PM
http://www.paradisepost.com/news/ci_18229727

jpetty3023
06-08-2011, 06:08 PM
wow, thats a big hit for mastercraft!! money isn't much of an object im sure plus it will be held out so long on appeals and what not but their name being associated with an at fault liability can not be any good for the compant as a whole....ouch!! scary situation for those folks that day to I bet.

deafgoose
06-08-2011, 06:09 PM
Do we honestly think its Mastercrafts fault?

This [edited] would never fly in Canada. The legal system in the US is [deleted].

E4NASH
06-08-2011, 06:30 PM
Personally I think it's the driver's fault...he should've never had overloaded the bow. Any moron knows that if that bow is weighted down it will sit low and could take on water with a roller or a powerturn.

My LS sits pretty low and on Memorial Day I had 1 adult and two kids in the bow and we hit a roller and got a good amount. I saw it coming and even said "Water over the bow" no one paid attnetion until they got soaked and everything along the floor got wet. I thought it was pretty funny...the wife, not so much! heh...

Terrible accident for all involved....I couldn't imagine that happening and to think of it it's unnerving...

Canuckle Head
06-08-2011, 06:56 PM
I see no reason for Mastercraft to be held liable in this situation. The boat was overloaded to begin with (was the driver even charged with undue care and negligence? They would be in Canada) and then to move everyone to the front of the boat is absolutely ridiculous! In my opinion the driver/operator is 100% at fault.

Talk about not taking responsibility for your own actions...... "But your Honour there was no sign telling me I couldn't put 20 people in the bow of the boat and then conduct a power turn......" The boat manufacturer is at fault because I am too stupid to use common sense and they didn't protect me!"

This statement is what drew my attention: "Montz had reportedly slowed the boat and then turned around to recover the wakeboarder when the craft began taking on water in the bow. Bell and Mercer, who were sitting in the bow, were swept off the boat and struck by the in-board propeller."

If Montz had in fact slowed the boat down, how the heck did they manage to run over Bell and Mercer to the point where they were so badly lacerated? I guess "slowed the boat down" is relative in this situation. Slowed down to what, 20mph? 15mph?

Whew! I feel better now. Sorry for the rant.

sandm
06-08-2011, 07:02 PM
hope mc wins on an appeal..

sad events...

the even sadder part of this is that the only ones that will see anything off this are the attorneys..

WaterBullDawg1980
06-08-2011, 07:14 PM
Having watched the PWT Tour this year in Acworth, that X-Star was sitting VERY VERY low in the water with nobody in the bow. I am sure was weighted down with who knows how much ballast, but that was the VERY first thing I noticed when I watched it make its first pass and then idle back in front of me.

That being said, 30 million dollars imo is a bit overkill. I'm sorry, but that is just ridiculous. It's civil cases like this that make me cringe. Pay this woman so she never has to work another day in her life. Fine. I get that. But 30 million dollars? Come on guys. Unless I see that she donates her money to helping educate people on the dangers of operating a boat past it's safety limits, then I say she is a piss poor human being for milking the system. I'm sure she will have fun wiping away her tears out of her 1 eye with 30 Million dollar bills. The family was asking for nearly 45M for past and future damages. Was she going to play for the Lakers? WTH? This makes me sick. The amount she was awarded and for who the fault was with. Put 20 people in any wake boat besides an X80 and you will have trouble.

c.rix
06-08-2011, 07:25 PM
Honestly though the front bow seat on a x-45 is almost as wide as the back seat by the v drive possibly allowing for 3 wide riding on the bow like leo in titanic. I don't feel that their hulls have much more flotation than a "traditional" hull, but do have the ability to seat 2-3 more than lets say in a moomba The ability to put 4-5 in the bow is pushing it so I think yes it is a design flaw

That x-45 seats something like 18 there isn't a seating chart, or a how to on seating your passengers in the boat that is where common sense comes into play I cant count how many times Ive seen x crafts with 4 in the bow man they ride bow low like that

cowboyl
06-08-2011, 08:00 PM
things like this make me cringe....i love the comment one person replied, lets load 20 people in a car and sue because it cant be controlled.

When will people learn that you cant abuse something and sue just because, case and point the MCdonalds coffee lady....probably been drinking coffee for years, but you didn't know the coffee was hot....to the tune of like 12 million....come on are you serious.

i hope MC appeals and teaches this guy what common sense is and have him pay out of his pocket the tune of 30 million.

snyderaaron
06-08-2011, 08:15 PM
wonder if he did a power turn, instead of letting off the throttle before turning

KSmith
06-08-2011, 08:19 PM
Having watched the PWT Tour this year in Acworth, that X-Star was sitting VERY VERY low in the water with nobody in the bow. I am sure was weighted down with who knows how much ballast, but that was the VERY first thing I noticed when I watched it make its first pass and then idle back in front of me.

I was there too, wicked nice Parks edition... he did take a couple rollers over the bow but had the snap on bow cover to help keep the water out of the boat... did I say dang nice boat already?

I hope MC beats this BS... sick of the senseless litigation...

cpatten
06-08-2011, 08:32 PM
People need to take more responsibility with there actions and stop trying to point the blame elsewhere!

mmandley
06-09-2011, 10:38 AM
All i have to say is what a shame on all parties. MC for getting the blame, the driver for being a punk and the passengers for being dumb enough to pile into the nose of the boat. You know they had to all be standing up there.

I just told Claudia about this article and said if we are running nose ballast and pile a bunch of the crew up there. Then sink our boat, well we deserved it.

We only let 1 maybe 2 people in the nose when im running ballast up there. 1K is enough weight and if we run a large crew and people are up there then i dont fill my nose bag.

jester
06-09-2011, 11:47 AM
20 people in the boat. Come on that is too many people. I just wish people would use their brain. MC is getting the raw end of this stick for a stupid person.

kaneboats
06-09-2011, 12:12 PM
the even sadder part of this is that the only ones that will see anything off this are the attorneys..

Gee, I thought that was the silver lining.

moombadaze
06-09-2011, 12:28 PM
fault belongs with the driver

rc5695
06-09-2011, 01:08 PM
that's messed up... Can't be faulting MC for driver's idiocy...

I agree on $30 million too... Take care of her the rest of her life so she doesn't have to work, and pay her med. bills and attorney fees. No way that adds up to $30m...Although I'm sure it is close to half that...

bbuhtz
06-09-2011, 01:26 PM
all of the people involved should be sterilized, minus MC... thats my .02

millerda68
06-09-2011, 01:52 PM
Unfortunate incident for those injured. I hope MC does well on the appeal. There has to be more responsibility from the owner/operator of the boat and I think the $30 Mil is a bit steep. I do see where the owner has 20% responsibility in the incident, but IDK how the finances will play out there.

How much alcohol was involved, if any?
How much fatigue was involved, if any?
How much common sense was used, if any?
How many people on the jury were educated, or boat owners, or nautical engineers?

I don't expect anyone here has the answers. Just seems like another edition of "chase the deep pockets" and look to off load blame.

Ian Brantford
06-09-2011, 02:44 PM
The linked article alludes to, but does not explain in detail, technical issues with the boat that were convincing factors in the decision. They apparently thought that the boat was taking on water in some way prior to the incident (through some holes). The article simply doesn't give enough information about the decision. Is there any other press coverage?

dru1974
06-09-2011, 02:54 PM
When u buy a new boat and go register it isn't part of that procedure having the maximum o cupancy and weight of the boat in hand part of the deal. And don't u need a boating licence in the states???? I have seen a lot of knuckle heads out there driving around but getting a brain licence should involve asking some of these questions to avoid accidents like this in the future.

My .02 but maybe if there were a more difficult test written and driven it would make our weekends more enjoyable. No???

rc5695
06-10-2011, 01:02 PM
I don't know of any states that require any more than your standard auto drivers license. In MI you could take a class at age 12 and get a boater's card that would satisfy law enforcement until you got your drivers license. I agree that drivers of any motor'ed watercraft should have a licesne so they at least have a clue what they're doing.

squeeg333
06-10-2011, 02:55 PM
Wow, that's a horrible story, all around. I never like to hear about people getting hurt while boating. The stupidity of one person always tends to put a black mark on the entire boating community. Or at least, shows that there are huge holes in the education side of it.

I agree that anyone operating a motorized vessel (boat, jetski, etc) should be required to take a course. I took a boaters safety class back when I was like 14, and it was decent. They actually showed photos of people who had gotten chopped up by props - greusome. It was a serious episode of scared straight. Once you see that, you will make damn sure you operate your boat to prevent anything like that.

The article doesn't give enough information to really make an educated call on whose fault it was, in my opinion. Thought, from the information given (and common sence), it sounds like the operator was 100% at fault, running over the legal limit of passengers. And we all know that when you put weight in the bow, it likes drinking more, a LOT more. Unfortunately, probably 80% of the population has no clue. This would include (I assume) at least a portion of the jury.

It's tragic that two people got seriously hurt, one so much so that there is irreprible damage. Boating is something that should be fun, and safe... but there are always some bad apples out there.

There have been several occasions in the past few years where there have been fatalities on the lakes in this area due to negligent operators. It just sickens me each and every time. I feel there needs to be a class, prior to being allowed to register a boat or jetski that has test at the end, to help educate people on what NOT to do on the water. Maybe then we wouldn't read stories like these, and wouldn't have jetski's 10 feet off our sterns.

My $1.20

BensonWdby
06-10-2011, 08:02 PM
No one likes to see someone get hurt. But 20 passengers? What is the capacity of the X45? What if it had been 30 people? or 50? I think everyone would agreed there is an upper limit of reasonability/ In my book - if they exceeded the max capacity on the label on the boat then the owner of the boat is at fault (and/or driver).

WaterBullDawg1980
06-11-2011, 12:59 AM
Here is what I would like to know......How in the world did 31 MILLION DOLLARS get awarded? How does that make ANY sense what so ever???

Can a judge take an amount into consideration and determine that it is too high of a number considering the damages??

I'm sorry, but giving that much money should only be done if the person was going to be confined to a chair and drinking through a straw imo. At that point, I can at least understand the justification for such a large sum of money.

This lawsuit is basically awarding this girl half a million dollars every year for the rest of her life. Now I do not know a thing about this girl, but I haven't heard reports that she was some Rhodes Scholar.

wolfeman131
06-11-2011, 10:39 AM
You're missing the underlynig grand plan of it all. See, it's all part of the Obama administrations grand plan to redistribute wealth. The judge & jury are in on it too. They're going to take the money from the rich, MC company and give it to someone who won't have any idea what to do with it in regards to investing wisely, planning for the future, children's education, etc. Therefore, they will most likely go out and but everyone in their family a new Camero and X-box 360's as well as big screen TV's. And probably some lotto tickets. Economic stimulation at it's finest.

wolfeman131
06-11-2011, 10:40 AM
Oh, and they're coming for you next!

moombabound
06-13-2011, 12:06 PM
1. Not that MC needs any further bad publicity, but more details published around the findings would be good education for boaters.
2. 18 people or 2928 lbs. That includes people, gear, fuel & ballast. The person equivalent could perhaps be argued if several were light weight (i.e. kids), as the people-weight is simple division based on a set person weight. Had to be some reason for the leaking ladder holes, and hull design theories.
3. This forum is riddled with examples of people overloading their boat, to extremes in some cases. Hopefully they read this thread.

For certain, the plaintiffs had a good lawyer(s), to have proven out those two "defective" theories.
A non-objective observation is that if they found the owner 100% responsible (as many posters suggest), and insurance paid, say $1M, and they sued him over that, well, the poor victims would never receive the proper compensation/care they require. Wonder if this factored into the juries thoughts?
(Caution to those who diss the size of the award. Think about how gruesome those injuries are).

mmandley
06-13-2011, 12:12 PM
I agree with you Moombabound, i dont really have an issue with the setlements, i dont have an issue with 20 people on his boat, and i dont have an issue with the weight he is carring with his boat.

I have an issue with being the driver allowing that many people in the Bow, allowing people to be standin in the bow and, doing a Power turn when the rider fell, and also as i read in another forum he was issued a BUI.

I routinly run my boat over weight as well when Surfing but i only allow 1 or 2 people in the bow and no one is allowed to be standing or walking around when we are under way unless they have 2 hands on the tower, windshield or the Z5.

When my rider falls surfing unless they are in danger i never power turn, in fact i sit and wait about 30 seconds for my own waves to pass me so i have smooth water to return to them in, other wise i take rollers over my nose.

There is a ton more driver error then boat manufacturer error. Do i care for MC no and would i say the same to a fellow Moomba owner? Yes

Ian Brantford
06-13-2011, 12:13 PM
After this, recreational boats' capacity plates will all have to read "xxxx lbs or yy persons, EVENLY DISTRIBUTED"

kaneboats
06-13-2011, 12:15 PM
I agree that they are certainly gruesome. I would not take $31 million for the eye alone. Then again, I wouldn't take ten billion either. At some point there is a reasonable amount-- accidents do happen.

As for a judge's power to reduce an award, it is called remittitur but rarely exercised unless the award shocks the conscious of the court (hard to do these days):

http://law.yourdictionary.com/remittitur

schuylski
06-14-2011, 09:28 PM
I've got to fault the driver a lot... you're the skipper and from what little I've read it does not seem like a freak experience. Every boat would do that.

I don't know that this is the best idea, or great for the boat- but when I take out anyone new to boating (and comp. wake/ski boats), sometimes they start to whine when I ask them to sit down and hold on. I make sure they are really holding on to something - and power turn the heck out of it once. That experience seems 10 times better than explaining it, and no one ever complains about me making them sit down again - in fact they tell each other to sit down. Otherwise they listen but just don't seem to get it... My .02

skiyaker
06-14-2011, 10:43 PM
I've got to fault the driver a lot... you're the skipper and from what little I've read it does not seem like a freak experience. Every boat would do that.



LOL especially my boat. Here's the thought process I went through recently-"maybe I should get some 750# bags for the rear compartments.. you know make the wakes bigger- but then I would need more weight in the front or the wake would get washy... crap my boat is small and ultra low freeboard... that might get my boat wet and put my passengers in danger... nah better not do that."

now here's the real question- the other day I heard thunder off in the distance and I was pretty confident there was only a 10% chance the storm would hit us but I headed to the ramp anyways- my dad taught me if you hear thunder you head in- no exceptions. If I get struck by lightening while out on the water can I claim that SC built a boat more likely to attract lightening because it has a metal tower?

kaneboats
06-15-2011, 11:56 AM
These days that will get you about 30 million.

rdlangston13
06-15-2011, 03:05 PM
I can see some issues with the x45 sitting low in the water. I was out on lake ray hubbard in dallas this weekend and i saw a black and yellow x45 and the nose looked to only be about 6 inches above the water line (no idea what kind of ballast they had going on). That being said it is the drivers responsibility to notice things like this and drive the boat accordingly. When I am loaded down for surfing I do the same as mike. slow to idle and slowly turn around to avoid going over my own waves and sometimes i still take a roller over the front.

The only way I can see mastercraft being blamed with a faulty design is if this was a reoccurring problem, as far as i know this is the only case where this has happened which leads me to look more at the operator and an overloaded boat.


btw on a side note i saw a blue and black 2011 LSV with the V2 tower on the water this weekend and yeah, i almost jizzed in my pants

Gottop69
06-16-2011, 04:34 PM
I can see some issues with the x45 sitting low in the water. I was out on lake ray hubbard in dallas this weekend and i saw a black and yellow x45 and the nose looked to only be about 6 inches above the water line (no idea what kind of ballast they had going on). That being said it is the drivers responsibility to notice things like this and drive the boat accordingly. When I am loaded down for surfing I do the same as mike. slow to idle and slowly turn around to avoid going over my own waves and sometimes i still take a roller over the front.

The only way I can see mastercraft being blamed with a faulty design is if this was a reoccurring problem, as far as i know this is the only case where this has happened which leads me to look more at the operator and an overloaded boat.


btw on a side note i saw a blue and black 2011 LSV with the V2 tower on the water this weekend and yeah, i almost jizzed in my pants

LOL my wife said all yall kept saying was V2 tower... V2 tower... LOL it was nice but your boat is nice too calm down..