Boating Accident Causes Severe Injury

boating expert witnessThis case involves a woman who suffered injuries while on a boat in New York. The plaintiff was invited on the boat, while her neighbor drove. The boat hit a wave (wake) and the woman went flying up into the air and landed back on the boat on her back. She suffered extensive injuries to her back and is it alleged the defendant neighbor was not properly trained and did not follow the proper steps and protocols when driving the boat.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Do you have extensive knowledge of New York recreational boating rules and regulations?
  • 2. Do you have experience training individuals on proper boating techniques?
  • 3. Please explain your experience reviewing similar cases?

Expert Witness Response E-008395

Though the regulations regarding ‘safe speed’ are pretty uniform across the country, I have familiarized myself with the New York regulations and they state unequivocally: “No person shall operate a power vessel or allow a power vessel to be operated where the speed may cause danger of injury to life or limb or damage to property. The speed of every power vessel shall be regulated to avoid risk of damage, or injury by any means, from the power vessel?s wake.” It is clear from the description of the case that this principle was violated by driver of the boat, leading to the plaintiff’s injury. It would be important to determine what sort of safety certificate or boating license – they are distinct things, both of which are necessary to operate a boat – that the defendant had. Through my boating club I personally train about 30-40 families annually on proper boating techniques and navigation; furthermore, I am in talks with the State University of New York to lecture on boating at one of their locations. Most of the legal cases I’ve worked on previously have involved collisions between two vessels and injuries sustained as a result. In this case there was no collision, so we can argue that the operator violated the requirement to operate the boat at a “safe speed adapted to the conditions” since it sounds like he went way too fast across the wake which threw his passenger. In that case I would think the operator would be liable for damages to his passengers for using excessive speed.

Expert Witness Response E-037406

I have an extremely thorough understanding of the New York recreational boating rules and regulations, as I own and operate a prominent boating school in the state that qualifies boaters for both the safety certificate and captain’s license. I am therefore extremely adept at training others in proper boating techniques and explaining marine protocols and requirements to others.


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