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One summer, Baxter and his wife,, were on their new boat…

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One summer, David Baxter and...
One summer, David Baxter and his wife, Melissa, were on their new boat with another couple, tubing on the Mississippi river. David and the other couple had been drinking all day, "about seven or eight beers each and some Crown Royal," although Melissa wasn't drinking due to being pregnant. As he prepared to jump into the water to tube, David's feet slipped out from under him, and he fell into the water, hitting the back of his head and neck on the ladder, knocking him out cold. He slipped under the water and drowned. The other members of the party didn't notice his absence until a passing barge pilot got their attention. He had seen the entire thing through his binoculars; he had been watching Melissa and her friend Angela (who were in bathing suits). Despite an immediate search and rescue attempt by the coast guard, David was not saved. Melissa alleged that the surface of the boat floor where David was standing and preparing to jump into the water was unreasonably slippery. In fact, at issue in the case was the manufacturing process used in coating the flooring. Melissa (and her attorney) felt that a nonslip surface should have been placed on the floor of the boat. The safety manual that came with the boat included these clauses:
"CAUTION: Wet surfaces can be slippery. Passengers should wear adequate deck shoes while boarding and underway to avoid accidental slipping and injury."
"CAUTION: Deck areas and swim platform are slippery when wet. Passengers must be careful when passing through companionway to prevent accidental slipping or tripping. Passengers should wear adequate deck shoes at all times to prevent accidental slipping. Passengers must stay off swim platform while underway to prevent falling overboard."
No warnings existed, however, in view of the passengers on the boat.
(25 points) What potential legal theories of recovery can and should Melissa allege against the following parties (provide support for your answer)?
I. The boat manufacturer
II. The boat seller
III. The coast guard
(15 points) What legal theories of defense can and should each of the above three parties use? Provide support for your answer. (Points : 4
Submitted: 6 years ago.Category: Personal Injury Law
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Answered in 35 minutes by:
3/31/2012
Personal Injury Lawyer: JaneLS,Esq., Attorney replied 6 years ago
JaneLS,Esq.
JaneLS,Esq., Attorney
Category: Personal Injury Law
Satisfied Customers: 20
Experience: Former NY Supreme Court Court Attorney with 25 years exp
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Jane L. Stone, Esq. :

The owner of boat an manufacturer are liable. The coast guard are not.

Jane L. Stone, Esq. :

As owner of the boat David should have made himself aware of the inherent dangers associated with the surface of the boat and taken steps to minimize risk by installing non slip material. Warnings should also be posted. David was there for contributory negligent in that regard and was further negligent in that he was highly intoxicated and his judgment is off. His estate could not

Jane L. Stone, Esq. :

sue the other owner, the wife. Also the manufacturer of the boat is liable for installing the slippery surface. The manufacturer could try to minimize liability by claiming that all the warnings were in the manual. The counter argument would be why was the slippery surface installed at all. The coast guard does not appear to be liable in this scenario in that they came to the scene and searched immediately. There is no indication that the coast guard did anything wrong. To sum, David, contributed to the negligent condition by his own negligent conduct. A wrongful death action can be brought by his wife against the manufacturer but it may be determined that her own negligence in failing to heed manual contributed to the injury. If David died immediately, pain and suffering award may be minimal.

Jane L. Stone, Esq. :

Of course, it would have to be proved that the slippery surface was the proximate cause of the death.

Jane L. Stone, Esq. :

Additionally, the manufacturer could also be found liable for not placing warning signs.

Jane L. Stone, Esq. :

Sorry about the typos (it's late)

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