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Powerboat Race Organizer Sued for 2011 Deaths

In the event of an accidental death, on the road, on the water, a construction site, or private property, the cause of the fatality must be investigated. When an accidental death is the result of individual or organizational negligence, the victim’s family can bring a wrongful death lawsuit against responsible parties. After three powerboat racers died in an offshore race in 2011, the families of the victims are now bringing separate wrongful death lawsuits against the organizer of the race and other affiliated defendants.

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After a wrongful death, families want answers, but they also want to move on. While a wrongful death action cannot bring back a loved one, it does help to ensure that responsible parties are held accountable. For many families the financial compensation is also necessary to regain security and begin to move forward after an accidental death. Our Fort Lauderdale boating accident lawyers are experienced in the investigation and pursuit of wrongful death claims against negligent individuals and entities.

One victim of the 2011 powerboat races died when his boat flipped violently and crashed in the Key West Harbor in plain view of thousands of fans. His uncle filed a lawsuit this month, naming Super Boat International Productions and the president along with four other race officials as the defendants. Another lawsuit naming the same defendants has been filed by the family of a victim who died in a separate accident during the same race.

According to the first complaint, the rescue operation was ill-managed and the sponsoring production company failed to provide proper equipment or properly coordinate the rescue efforts. The lawsuit alleges that it took too long to rescue the victims after the boat overturned which resulted in his untimely and unnecessary death. The lawsuit also alleges that the company should have known that the victims’ boats did not meet industry standards and that they should not have been able to race.

Earlier reports have indicated the three deaths at this race were determined to be accidental by the medical examiner. No criminal charges have been filed against any of the named defendants. While the 2011 event resulted in three accidental deaths, the 2012 Key West World Championship powerboat race ended without any injuries. Insiders have reported that the production company increased safety efforts and changed requirements for the participants. Improved safety measures included the requirement that teams share their exit strategies with the race officials.

The tragic loss of three lives did create an incentive to improve the safety preparations for the next year. This could be used as evidence that the organizers and the production company failed to take proper safety precautions in the 2011 race. To succeed in a wrongful death suit, the plaintiffs must show that the defendants were negligent and that this failure resulted in the deaths of the victims. It is possible that a jury could side with the plaintiffs in these cases and that the victims’ families will recover the compensation that they deserve.

Like security at a concert or oversight at a company party, entities are responsible for safety measures. When organizing a sporting event or race, it is necessary that precautions are taken to ensure the safety of participants.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident, contact Freeman Injury Law for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-561-7777.

More Blog Entries:
Broward, Miami, Monroe: Deadliest Boating Counties in the State, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, June 13, 2013

South Florida Boating Accidents Likely Through Spring Break
, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, March 17, 2013

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