Wakeboarding is a popular water sport that involves riding on a board while being towed by a motorboat. While wakeboarding can be an exhilarating experience, it also carries inherent risks, especially if proper safety precautions are not taken. Injuries sustained in wakeboarding accidents can be severe, and victims may be entitled to compensation for their damages.
O’Brien v. Jetty Jumpers involves a wakeboarding accident and highlights the importance of proper safety measures in preventing injuries.
The plaintiff, O’Brien, had signed up for a wakeboarding session with Jetty Jumpers, LLC, a company that offers wakeboarding tours. During the session, O’Brien was being towed by a Jetty Jumpers boat when he fell and collided with a submerged object in the water. The collision caused O’Brien to suffer severe injuries, including a broken ankle and several lacerations.
O’Brien filed a lawsuit against Jetty Jumpers, LLC, alleging that the company was negligent in its operation of the wakeboarding session and failed to provide a safe environment for participants. Specifically, O’Brien claimed that Jetty Jumpers did not adequately mark the location of submerged objects in the water, did not provide proper safety equipment, and did not properly train its staff to ensure the safety of wakeboarding participants.
Discussion and Decision
The primary legal issue in O’Brien v. Jetty Jumpers, LLC was whether the wakeboarding tour company was liable for the injuries sustained by O’Brien. To prove liability, O’Brien had to demonstrate that Jetty Jumpers breached its duty of care to provide a safe environment for wakeboarding participants and that this breach caused O’Brien’s injuries.
The court considered several factors in determining whether Jetty Jumpers breached its duty of care. These factors included the company’s obligation to warn participants of potential hazards in the water, its duty to provide proper safety equipment, and its responsibility to properly train its staff.
The court ultimately found in favor of O’Brien and held Jetty Jumpers, LLC liable for his injuries. The court determined that Jetty Jumpers breached its duty of care by failing to properly mark the location of submerged objects in the water and failing to provide adequate safety equipment.
The court noted that submerged objects are a known hazard in the waters where Jetty Jumpers operates, and that the company had a duty to warn participants of this hazard and take steps to minimize the risk of collision. The court found that Jetty Jumpers failed to meet this duty by not providing adequate warning signs or markers to indicate the presence of submerged objects.
The court also determined that Jetty Jumpers failed to provide proper safety equipment, specifically a helmet, which could have minimized the severity of O’Brien’s injuries. The court noted that helmets are a standard safety measure in the wakeboarding industry and that Jetty Jumpers should have provided them to its participants.
Lastly, the court found that Jetty Jumpers did not properly train its staff to ensure the safety of wakeboarding participants. The court noted that Jetty Jumpers’ staff was not trained in proper safety procedures, such as identifying and marking hazards in the water, and that this lack of training contributed to the company’s breach of duty.
Following the court’s decision, O’Brien was awarded damages for his injuries, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The court found that Jetty Jumpers, LLC was 100% liable for O’Brien’s injuries. The court awarded O’Brien a total of $4,847,506.81 in damages, which included $1,200,000 for past pain and suffering, $2,000,000 for future pain and suffering, and $1,647,506.81 for future medical expenses.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a boat accident or other water sports incident in New York, it is important to contact an experienced New York boat accident lawyer as soon as possible. An adept attorney can help safeguard your rights and seek fair compensation for your injuries, including medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. They can also assist you in navigating the legal process and represent you in court, if required. Don’t hesitate to seek legal assistance and protect your legal rights after a water sports accident.