On April 4, the parties settled a multi-million dollar lawsuit in Bridgeport Superior Court. The plaintiff was seeking compensatory and punitive damages for the death of a passenger who was swept off of a powerboat traveling in the Caribbean Sea. A confidentiality agreement blocks disclosure of the settlement amount from the lawsuit, which was filed two years ago.
On Aug. 16, 2011, a Westport Connecticut man was killed when a large wave swept him off of the 70-foot powerboat. The plaintiff's attorney claimed that the defendant's reckless operation of the boat caused the victim to be violently tossed inside the vessel. As a result, he suffered severe head and spinal injuries and died when he was ejected into the Caribbean Sea. The suit sought millions of dollars in compensatory and punitive damages from the defendants, according to the plaintiff's attorney.
The wrongful death lawsuit filed by the victim's wife named the boat's operator, his son and the limited liability company that owned the vessel involved in this fatal accident. As a result of the settlement, the plaintiff withdrew the suit filed with the court.
The plaintiff's family and the defendants were close friends for almost 40 years according to the defendant boat operator's son. The victim also undertook numerous construction projects for the defendants over the years.
As this lawsuit and accident demonstrates, negligence is not restricted by the water's edge or personal relationships. Negligent behavior can lead to an accident anywhere amongst any group of people. Accident victims or their families should seek information on liability and obtaining damages following these kinds of accidents.
Source: Westport Now, "Reports: Stew Leonard Sr. in boat accident settlement," April 4, 2014