Aquatics Safety Expert Discusses Towable Water Tube Accident


Aquatics Expert WitnessThis case involves injury sustained by riders on a towable water tube in Oregon. At the time of the incident in question, the plaintiff was riding on the tube, which was tied to the back of the boat, along with his wife. As the two were holding on to the handles at the side of the tube, the tube began to shift wildly, and the plaintiff’s wife lost balance. The shift in weight distribution created instability and the tube began to flip. During the process, the plaintiff’s wife impacted him at high speed. As a result of the impact, both the plaintiff and his wife sustained serious injuries, including concussions, broken bones, and facial cuts.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Please discuss your background in product safety engineering. Do you have specific experience designing tubes?
  • 2. Based on the brief case description, are there any safeguards that could have been in place to avoid the accident?

Expert Witness Response E-013114

I have served as an aquatics expert witness for a number of cases, including personal injury and drowning cases. There are numerous safeguards that could have prevented this injury occurring: for instance, was there a recommended max speed for the boat in the user’s manual? Were the riders of similar weight and size and was this also cautioned against if not the case? Topics such as these should have been listed in the tube’s documentation. It is not impossible that the tube in this case was not being used in accordance with these recommendations, however considering the seriousness of the injuries suffered there may well have been a defect in the design of the tube.

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