Recently in Boating Accident Injury & Death Category

August 19, 2016

Florida Key's Dive Company Sued for Crewmember's Wrongful Death

Florida-Keys-Dive-Lawsuit.jpgOur firm has filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the family of a Florida Key's dive boat crewmember who lost his life. On the night of November 15, 2015, the crewmember was serving as a deck hand aboard a dive boat while seventeen SCUBA divers were participating in a wreck dive. Court papers allege that at the end of the dive profile, four of the seventeen divers had not returned to the dive boat. The captain observed two of the divers approximately 300-400 feet away and the other two further down current. The crewmember entered the water to assist the divers back to the dive boat. He reached the first two divers and provided them a fixed line so they could be pulled back to the dive boat. He then continued to swim to the other two divers further down current -- now about a half mile from the dive boat. While the crewmember was swimming to the two remaining divers, the Captain retrieved the dive boat's anchor, stowed the deployed appurtenances. By the time the captain made way and maneuvered the dive boat to the crewmember, he was found floating unresponsive. He later perished leaving behind a wife and two minor children.

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June 29, 2016

BBR Brings Lawsuit Against Owners of the Mega Yacht Solemates

Yacht_Solemates_Lawsuit.jpgBBR has been retained by a seafarer who was injured while working as a sous chef aboard the mega yacht Solemates. The seafarer alleges in a Florida lawsuit that she was ordered to lift an overhead hatch that was damaged and ill maintained. Given its condition, the hatch required an extraordinary amount of force to lift. While attempting to open the hatch open as ordered, the seafarer sustained a significant personal injuries including a C5/6 left posterolateral disc herniation causing compression on the left spinal court and posterior displacement of the left C7 nerve root. The complaint alleges that her employer was negligent, among other reasons, for failing to maintain or replace the hatch and that the Solemate was unseaworthy giving the poor condition of the hatch she was ordered to open. The Complaint also seeks damages for her employer's continued failure to pay for her medical care and treatment as required under the law.

June 2, 2016

Keith Brais Selected as Thomson Reuters' Super Lawyer

Keith Brais.jpgThomson Reuters' Super Lawyers has selected our managing partner Keith Brais as a 2016 inductee into Super Lawyers. This distinct honor is enjoyed by less than 5 percent of all attorneys. What is particularly impressive is that Keith has achieved this impressive credential for eight consecutive years. The objective of Super Lawyers "is to create a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of outstanding attorneys that can be used as a resource for attorneys and consumers searching for legal counsel." In selecting attorneys for Super Lawyer, a rigorous multiphase process is utilized. Peer nominations and evaluations are combined with third party research. Each candidate is evaluated on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. Selections are made on an annual, state-by-state basis.

Besides being named a Super Lawyer, Keith has been a Florida Board Certified Admiralty and Maritime attorney since 1996, AV Preeminent rated by Martindale Hubbell for several years, a repeat inductee into the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Society (achieved by <1% of all attorneys) and most recently selected by Florida Trend's magazine as a Legal Elite.

Keith's principal practice areas include catastrophic personal injuries and wrongful death claims involving cruise ship passengers, crewmembers, yacht guests & crew, resort vacationers and hotel guests with an emphasis in the fields of premises liability, negligent security and products liability. If you have been injured and would like to learn more about your legal rights, contact Keith or the other attorneys at Brais Brais Rusak.

August 25, 2014

BBR Retained to Help Injured Ft. Lauderdale Yacht Crew Member

Fort Lauderdale.gifThe Florida Board Certified maritime lawyers of BBR have been retained to represent a crew member who became injured while working aboard a yacht docked in Ft. Lauderdale. In this case, a deck hand suffered serious back injury when ordered to lift a heavy gangway by himself in violation of the yacht's own policy of having two people lift the gangway. Florida is the winter yacht capital of the world. Many crew members from these yachts are unaware that they may be protected by the very liberal maritime law which requires their employers to pay for medical bills, living expenses while they are recuperating from their injuries and provide damages in the form of pain and suffering as well as lost wages.

July 9, 2014

Biscayne Bay Boat Accident Victim Retains Brais Brais & Rusak

Miami Boat Injury Lawyer.gifOur law firm has been retained by a deckhand who was injured while working aboard a recreational boat on Biscayne Bay. Court papers allege our client was cleaning up after a party when the owner of the boat collided with a piling located near the mouth of the Miami River. The collision caused our client to be thrown into the closed salon door resulting in a permanent and debilitating knee injury. Under maritime law, an employer is required to provide workers a reasonable safe and seaworthy boat to work upon. The complaint alleges the legal duty was breached by the actions of the boat owner. This lawsuit is currently pending before the Eleventh Judicial Circuit in and for Miami-Dade County, Florida.

February 15, 2013

Brais & Rusak Represent Sarasota Florida Man Injured in a Boat Accident

Florida Boat Accident Lawyer.gifFlorida boat accident attorneys Keith Brais and Richard Rusak filed suit on behalf of a Sarasota man who was injured in a boating accident occurring in Big Pass. On October 3, 2010, a 32' boat struck a sandbar causing serious personal injuries to Brais & Rusak's client. The Complaint alleges the boat operator failed to maintain a safe speed, post a lookout and familiarize himself with navigational hazards known to local mariners.

February 16, 2012

Brais Law Firm Sues United States for 5.2 Million Dollars on Behalf of Injured Indiana Seaman

Indiana Cruise Injury Lawyer.jpgThe maritime accident attorneys of Brais & Brais brought suit in Federal court against the United States for injuries sustained by an American civilian seaman serving aboard a naval seismographic vessel. The complaint filed in West Palm Beach, Florida alleges the government's negligence and the naval vessel's unseaworthness caused the civilian seaman to fall several feet while changing an overhead light fixture without appropriate equipment. The fall resulted in severe injuries to the Indiana man's coccyx, left leg, ankle and toe necessitating 7 surgeries including a fasciotomy. The seaman was also diagnosed with the neurological disorder Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy which the complaint attributes to the delay by the government's agent in providing appropriate medical care. The lawsuit seeks 5.2 million dollars in damages.

November 27, 2011

Tampa Bay Florida Boat Accident Kills One reports a boating accident off the Sunshine Skyway has killed one boater. Two commercial fishermen were fishing Tampa Bat when the 18-foot vessel ran aground on a sandbar. According to the Florida Fist and Wildlife Commission, the grounding caused Anthony George Loveridge, 42, of Zephyrhills to be ejected from the vessel and was struck by the prop. He was not wearing a life jacket.

October 18, 2011

Man Dies in Miami Boating Accident

The Miami Herald reports a Miami-Dade, Florida man was killed Saturday when he fell off a 65-foot luxury yacht Gotcha and was pulled into the boat's propellers.

Juan Carlos Morales, 45, was standing on the diving platform off the back of the boat when he lost his footing and fell into the waters of Biscayne Bay. The victim was a fried of the yacht's owner. It is not known if alcohol played a role in the accident, or whether Morales was tossed into the water by the choppy water.

August 22, 2011

Teen Dies in a Boating Crash in a South Florida Canal

News 7 reports Coral Springs Police and Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officials responded to the scene of the accident near the 11000 block of S.W. First Street on the afternoon of August 21st.

Coral Springs Police stated 17-year-old Randolph Bieszczak was inner tubing the canal with two of his friends. Witnesses said the tube carrying Bieszczak hit the bank of the canal. The teen died at the scene.

"We were all taking out this boat, and I went to my house. The next thing you know, I saw the helicopters came," said Chad Farrell, a friend of the victim.

Bieszczak's family members mentioned that the teens were not drinking at the time of the fatal incident. "I've never seen him drunk, never seen him [with] any type of drugs. Always a good kid, always laughing, having fun," said the victim's friend, Krysropher Malarski.

FWC is investigating the fatal accident. Officials said they have not yet filed any charges against the boat's operator.

August 18, 2011

Father & Son Injured in the Florida Keys When Boat Ran Them Over

WGMD.COM reports 39-year old Jared Adkins and his son Calvin were scuba diving near Conch Reef, just south of Key Largo on August 16th, when they were run over by the 46' charter boat Big Dipper. Both father and son were airlifted to Miami area hospitals.

Scuba divers being run over by boats are quite common in South Florida especially during lobster season. If you were injured a boat and have questions about your legal rights, don't hesitate to contact our Florida boat injury attorneys.

June 28, 2011

Florida Teen Injured in Boating Accident

First Coast News reports a 13 year old Florida boy suffered wounds to his face after a boat accident on June 25th.

Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission investigators stated the teenager was operating a small boat in canals around Granada Terrace in Ponte Vedra, Florida when he lost control and either fell or jumped into the canal. While in the water, the boat's propeller struck him on the side of his face.

The teenager was medevaced by helicopter to Shands Jacksonville for medical attention and is recovering from wounds.

News Coverage of the Boating Accident

June 22, 2011

Florida TowBoat U.S. Captain Attempts Ocean Rescue Drunk

Timothy Pooler.jpgThe South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports Boynton Beach, Florida TowboatU.S. captain Timothy R. Pooler attempted to rescue a disabled recreational boat drunk on June 19th. Lionel Casey and Lewis Dames of Fort Lauderdale were 25 miles off Delray Beach when their motor died. Pooler, 63, arrived at the scene four hours after being dispatched drunk. After attaching a tow line, he towed the disabled boat for several hours in circles. At dawn, Pooler asked Casey and Dames to drive his tow boat, which then ran out of fuel. Casey and Dames were then able to get their engine running again and began towing Pooler's boat until they decided to cut him loose. Shortly thereafter their boat broke down again and a second tow boat delivered the men to shore 12 hours after their initial breakdown.

The FWC officers investigating the incident stated Pooler admitted to drinking alcohol the day before, saying he shouldn't have reported for duty. Officers said Pooler also admitted to being on several prescription medications. Pooler was arrested and charged with boating under the influence.

June 19, 2011

Father Charged with Reckless Boating in Connection with a Crash that Killed 2 Teens

Brais & Brais reported in February, Ted Hanner, 49, of Middleburg, Fl was operating his 18' Baja motor boat when he crashed into a tree covered shoreline killing his son Travis and son's girlfriend Halee Mickey. Recently the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) cited Hanner for reckless operation.

The FWC documents reveal that Hanner left the Baja's controls and was pumping a fuel line bubble at the back of the boat when the collision occurred. Hanner told investigators the Baja's motor had been cutting out and pumping the fuel bubble was the only way to keep the motor going. The boat was on-plane and was going west about 25 mph when it veered into the north shoreline. Travis Hanner and Mickey, who were sitting in the front of the boat on each side of a large cooler, were each struck in the head and upper body by tree limbs hanging 10 feet out over the water, the report says.

The boat continued all the way under the limbs and struck the tree trunk. The FWC report indicates the impact shattered both of the boat's windows and pulled the driver's seat away from the deck, cracked the motor housing and bent the boat controls.Ted Hanner, who was thrown to the deck by the impact, suffered minor injuries. He managed to pull the boat out of the trees and get it underway again while searching for help, the report says.

News Coverage of the Accident

May 30, 2011

Personal Watercraft Accident Leaves Passenger in the Hospital

The Daytona-Beach News Journal reports a personal watercraft accident occurred in the Intracoastal Waterway between Ponce Inlet and New Smyrna Beach. The accident happened about 3:45 p.m. on March 29 -- the operator was arrested for boating under the influence. After being ejected from the personal watercraft, the female passenger was airlifted to Bert Fish Medical Center in New Smyrna Beach. Her condition is presently unknown.