Aegean lawsuit

MKennedy

New member
Nope. Dorag is right - if you go to a baseball game and get beaned by a line drive foul ball you can sue whomever sold you the ticket to the game.
Not exactly. In California at least, a spectator at a baseball game assumes the risk of getting beaned by a foul ball. Rednick v Golden West Broadcasters (1984) 156 Cal.App.3d 793. You read that case when learning about assumption of the risk in your first year of law school.

 

Delta Blues

Super Anarchist
6,212
1
If I recall, Aegean was available for charter, or sailing lessons or something like that. I have wondered if the three other than the owner were guests or whether they were paying passengers? Then my next curiousity is whether the owner of the boat bought insurance for passenger for hire? There could be a lot of twists and turns as this develops.
 
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MR.CLEAN

Moderator
46,890
4,890
Not here
Might be interesting to see how established assumption of risk for sporting events precedent interacts with maritime principles if this thing ever goes to court. IIRC California has strong A of R doctrine when skiiers or horsey riders get hurt or dead (codified, even?). Imagine it would be at least as strong for yacht racing. Anyone have a copy of the waiver that NOSA required?

 
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Somebody Else

a person of little consequence
7,698
859
PNW
Taken from the cited article:

"For the record, my dad is not responsible for anyone's death, including his own," the daughter said.
I'm hoping critical parts of that statement have been elided, otherwise it ranks as one of the most naive, uninformed statements of all time.

In the larger sense, the skipper is ALWAYS responsible for the welfare of all on board.

More specifically, there is no way the daughter can know what her dad was doing in the hours leading up to the collision. For all anyone knows, it was he who set the course for the autopilot straight into the island.

I still chafe at the non-sailing family calling all the crew "very experienced."

 
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TJSoCal

Super Anarchist
Nope. Dorag is right - if you go to a baseball game and get beaned by a line drive foul ball you can sue whomever sold you the ticket to the game.

In this case the Mavromatis & Rudolph families got beaned by the boat hitting the rocks.

Not saying that's a winning argument (proportional responsibility and all that) but the argument could be made.

I especially do like the idea of suing MEX.
You don't have to win these cases. You just have to make it more expensive and painful to litigate than to settle.

 

Somebody Else

a person of little consequence
7,698
859
PNW
If I recall, Aegean was available for charter, or sailing lessons or something like that. I have wondered if the three other than the owner were guests or whether they were paying passengers? Then my next curiousity is whether the owner of the boat bought insurance for passenger for hire? There could be a lot of twists and turns as this develops.
That sort of unresearched idle speculation serves no purpose.

 
Nope. Dorag is right - if you go to a baseball game and get beaned by a line drive foul ball you can sue whomever sold you the ticket to the game.
Not exactly. In California at least, a spectator at a baseball game assumes the risk of getting beaned by a foul ball. Rednick v Golden West Broadcasters (1984) 156 Cal.App.3d 793. You read that case when learning about assumption of the risk in your first year of law school.
Except that in this case the plaintiff did not attend the game and did not assume the risk.

Again, I'm not saying it's a winning argument but just only that an argument can be made.

Would this case end up in a maritime court of some type? Jurisdiction might even be questioned as the accident happened in Mex and not the States?

 

TJSoCal

Super Anarchist
Might be interesting to see how established assumption of risk for sporting events precedent interacts with maritime principles if this thing ever goes to court. IIRC California has strong A of R doctrine when skiiers or horsey riders get hurt or dead (codified, even?). Imagine it would be at least as strong for yacht racing. Anyone have a copy of the waiver that NOSA required?
From the 2012 NOR:

13. DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY

Competitors participate in this Race entirely at their own risk. See RRS rule 4 (Decision to Race). The Organizing Authority will not accept liability for damage or personal injury or death sustained in conjunction with, prior to, during, or after this Race

From the Entry Form Waiver Release section (but note that this is signed by the skipper, not the individual crew members):

NOTICE: In consideration of your acceptance of my entry, I hereby agree to the following conditions:

1. My crew and I recognize that sailing is an activity that has an inherent risk of damage and injury associated with it. We have read RRS 4, Decision to Race and hereby acknowledge and agree that we are participating in this event entirely at our own risk.





2. I acknowledge and agree that neither the organizing authority nor the race committee, nor their members, will be responsible for




a. any damage to the entered boat or my other property, or




b. any injury to myself or my crew, including death, sustained as a result of the participation by myself, my crew and the boat in this event.





3. I hereby waive any rights I may have to sue the race organizers (organizing authority, race committee, protest committee, host club, sponsors, or any other organization or official) with respect to personal injury or property damage suffered by myself or my crew as a result of’ our participation in this event and hereby release the race organizers from any liability for such injury or damage to the fullest extent permitted by law.





4. I have taken all necessary steps to ensure that myself, my crew and the entered boat are adequately prepared for all possible contingencies, including appropriate safety equipment as may be required by law or that a prudent seaman would consider advisable.





5. I grant permission, in perpetuity and without compensation, for NOSA to make, use and show for any purpose, still or motion pictures and live, taped, or filmed television and other reproductions of my boat and/or crew along with my or my crews’ names.




6. I understand this document has important legal consequences and have consulted such legal and other advisors as I deem appropriate before signing.

 
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pogen

Super Anarchist
5,092
8
SF Bay
Might be interesting to see how established assumption of risk for sporting events precedent interacts with maritime principles if this thing ever goes to court. IIRC California has strong A of R doctrine when skiiers or horsey riders get hurt or dead (codified, even?). Imagine it would be at least as strong for yacht racing. Anyone have a copy of the waiver that NOSA required?
I'd be very interested to see this also.

Or, can one write a valid waiver for crew to sign to help protect the skipper? Some accidents are acts of god that can not be specifically forseen (although not this one). Our legal system would like to believe otherwise.

 
Might be interesting to see how established assumption of risk for sporting events precedent interacts with maritime principles if this thing ever goes to court. IIRC California has strong A of R doctrine when skiiers or horsey riders get hurt or dead (codified, even?). Imagine it would be at least as strong for yacht racing. Anyone have a copy of the waiver that NOSA required?
From the 2012 NOR:

13. DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY

Competitors participate in this Race entirely at their own risk. See RRS rule 4 (Decision to Race). The Organizing Authority will not accept liability for damage or personal injury or death sustained in conjunction with, prior to, during, or after this Race

From the Entry Form Waiver Release section (but note that this is signed by the skipper, not the individual crew members):

NOTICE: In consideration of your acceptance of my entry, I hereby agree to the following conditions:

1. My crew and I recognize that sailing is an activity that has an inherent risk of damage and injury associated with it. We have read RRS 4, Decision to Race and hereby acknowledge and agree that we are participating in this event entirely at our own risk.





2. I acknowledge and agree that neither the organizing authority nor the race committee, nor their members, will be responsible for




a. any damage to the entered boat or my other property, or




b. any injury to myself or my crew, including death, sustained as a result of the participation by myself, my crew and the boat in this event.





3. I hereby waive any rights I may have to sue the race organizers (organizing authority, race committee, protest committee, host club, sponsors, or any other organization or official) with respect to personal injury or property damage suffered by myself or my crew as a result of’ our participation in this event and hereby release the race organizers from any liability for such injury or damage to the fullest extent permitted by law.





4. I have taken all necessary steps to ensure that myself, my crew and the entered boat are adequately prepared for all possible contingencies, including appropriate safety equipment as may be required by law or that a prudent seaman would consider advisable.





5. I grant permission, in perpetuity and without compensation, for NOSA to make, use and show for any purpose, still or motion pictures and live, taped, or filmed television and other reproductions of my boat and/or crew along with my or my crews’ names.




6. I understand this document has important legal consequences and have consulted such legal and other advisors as I deem appropriate before signing.
Except that Mrs. Mavromatis & Rudolph did not sign this waiver AND the incident ocured in MEX; if MEX takes jurisdiction, declares the waiver invalid and then cedes jursisdiction to the states...

Enough of playing the devils advocate. I should probably just shut up, this is a terrible tragedy for the families.

 

Delta Blues

Super Anarchist
6,212
1
If I recall, Aegean was available for charter, or sailing lessons or something like that. I have wondered if the three other than the owner were guests or whether they were paying passengers? Then my next curiousity is whether the owner of the boat bought insurance for passenger for hire? There could be a lot of twists and turns as this develops.
That sort of unresearched idle speculation serves no purpose.
I didn't describe everything I was thinking, if the wife of the owner says go ahead and go after the boats insurance policy, the insurance company will have to determine whether the owner bought the right policy. They will learn about this charter or whatever it was and if he bought the wrong policy, they'll be walking away from the deal.

 

PeterHuston

Super Anarchist
5,907
95
If I recall, Aegean was available for charter, or sailing lessons or something like that. I have wondered if the three other than the owner were guests or whether they were paying passengers? Then my next curiousity is whether the owner of the boat bought insurance for passenger for hire? There could be a lot of twists and turns as this develops.
That sort of unresearched idle speculation serves no purpose.
I didn't describe everything I was thinking, if the wife of the owner says go ahead and go after the boats insurance policy, the insurance company will have to determine whether the owner bought the right policy. They will learn about this charter or whatever it was and if he bought the wrong policy, they'll be walking away from the deal.

Do we even really know who really owned the boat? I'm not sure how these deals really work with the likes of Marina Sailing Club. No doubt they will be named at some point.

 

DoRag

Super Anarchist
Might be interesting to see how established assumption of risk for sporting events precedent interacts with maritime principles if this thing ever goes to court. IIRC California has strong A of R doctrine when skiiers or horsey riders get hurt or dead (codified, even?). Imagine it would be at least as strong for yacht racing. Anyone have a copy of the waiver that NOSA required?
From the 2012 NOR:

13. DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY

Competitors participate in this Race entirely at their own risk. See RRS rule 4 (Decision to Race). The Organizing Authority will not accept liability for damage or personal injury or death sustained in conjunction with, prior to, during, or after this Race

From the Entry Form Waiver Release section (but note that this is signed by the skipper, not the individual crew members):

NOTICE: In consideration of your acceptance of my entry, I hereby agree to the following conditions:

1. My crew and I recognize that sailing is an activity that has an inherent risk of damage and injury associated with it. We have read RRS 4, Decision to Race and hereby acknowledge and agree that we are participating in this event entirely at our own risk.





2. I acknowledge and agree that neither the organizing authority nor the race committee, nor their members, will be responsible for




a. any damage to the entered boat or my other property, or




b. any injury to myself or my crew, including death, sustained as a result of the participation by myself, my crew and the boat in this event.





3. I hereby waive any rights I may have to sue the race organizers (organizing authority, race committee, protest committee, host club, sponsors, or any other organization or official) with respect to personal injury or property damage suffered by myself or my crew as a result of’ our participation in this event and hereby release the race organizers from any liability for such injury or damage to the fullest extent permitted by law.





4. I have taken all necessary steps to ensure that myself, my crew and the entered boat are adequately prepared for all possible contingencies, including appropriate safety equipment as may be required by law or that a prudent seaman would consider advisable.





5. I grant permission, in perpetuity and without compensation, for NOSA to make, use and show for any purpose, still or motion pictures and live, taped, or filmed television and other reproductions of my boat and/or crew along with my or my crews’ names.




6. I understand this document has important legal consequences and have consulted such legal and other advisors as I deem appropriate before signing.
The waiver is nonsense. You can't waive claims for gross negligence.

 

ice9a

Member
412
8
The implications of this last paragraph are especially worrisome:

"All we know conclusively is that there was a horrible tragedy. It was their boat," the attorney said. "We're all trying to piece together how that happened. Something went wrong, clearly. The information we have leads us to believe there may be several sources of negligence that caused this horrible tragedy - not just limited to the owners of the boat. There may be other negligent parties."

Boat manufacturer, manufacturer/distributor/retailer of any navigational gear on board, yacht club sponsoring the race, RC, whoever wrote the NOR & Sis, etc.
Forget all that . . . Whoever on the crew was supposed to be on watch at the time was negligent!!!!!

 
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[email protected]

Super Anarchist
2,288
211
USA
Might be interesting to see how established assumption of risk for sporting events precedent interacts with maritime principles if this thing ever goes to court. IIRC California has strong A of R doctrine when skiiers or horsey riders get hurt or dead (codified, even?). Imagine it would be at least as strong for yacht racing. Anyone have a copy of the waiver that NOSA required?
From the 2012 NOR:

13. DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY

Competitors participate in this Race entirely at their own risk. See RRS rule 4 (Decision to Race). The Organizing Authority will not accept liability for damage or personal injury or death sustained in conjunction with, prior to, during, or after this Race

From the Entry Form Waiver Release section (but note that this is signed by the skipper, not the individual crew members):

NOTICE: In consideration of your acceptance of my entry, I hereby agree to the following conditions:

1. My crew and I recognize that sailing is an activity that has an inherent risk of damage and injury associated with it. We have read RRS 4, Decision to Race and hereby acknowledge and agree that we are participating in this event entirely at our own risk.

2. I acknowledge and agree that neither the organizing authority nor the race committee, nor their members, will be responsible for

a. any damage to the entered boat or my other property, or

b. any injury to myself or my crew, including death, sustained as a result of the participation by myself, my crew and the boat in this event.

3. I hereby waive any rights I may have to sue the race organizers (organizing authority, race committee, protest committee, host club, sponsors, or any other organization or official) with respect to personal injury or property damage suffered by myself or my crew as a result of’ our participation in this event and hereby release the race organizers from any liability for such injury or damage to the fullest extent permitted by law.

4. I have taken all necessary steps to ensure that myself, my crew and the entered boat are adequately prepared for all possible contingencies, including appropriate safety equipment as may be required by law or that a prudent seaman would consider advisable.

5. I grant permission, in perpetuity and without compensation, for NOSA to make, use and show for any purpose, still or motion pictures and live, taped, or filmed television and other reproductions of my boat and/or crew along with my or my crews’ names.

6. I understand this document has important legal consequences and have consulted such legal and other advisors as I deem appropriate before signing.
The waiver is nonsense. You can't waive claims for gross negligence.
who committed the gross negligence and when, do?

 

Moonduster

Super Anarchist
4,823
231
Certainly motoring under autopilot directly into a well charted rock represents gross negligence - I mean, is anyone going to argue that point?

The question of who did what is likely to be immaterial - the owner was a licensed captain, the boat was likely owned by a company, the regatta was likely entered as a charter and so the whole affair was likely a commercial endeavor and the captain is responsible regardless of who made the mistake and why the incident occurred. My guess is that an assumed risk defense gets tossed out the window based on the combination of commercial operation and gross negligence.

I'm thinking this is gonna take a lot of popcorn ...

 

TJSoCal

Super Anarchist
Certainly motoring under autopilot directly into a well charted rock represents gross negligence - I mean, is anyone going to argue that point?

The question of who did what is likely to be immaterial - the owner was a licensed captain, the boat was likely owned by a company, the regatta was likely entered as a charter and so the whole affair was likely a commercial endeavor and the captain is responsible regardless of who made the mistake and why the incident occurred. My guess is that an assumed risk defense gets tossed out the window based on the combination of commercial operation and gross negligence.

I'm thinking this is gonna take a lot of popcorn ...
I believe the boat was owned by the skipper, but made available to others for charter through Marina Sailing. So for the purposes of N2E 2012, it was not a charter but a private vessel operated by the owner. I don't think there's any indication that the crew were paying passengers.

I agree that it's clear that the skipper and crew contributed to the accident. Question (for the lawyers) is who else with deeper pockets might have some theoretical liability, and preferably a willingness to settle rather than litigate.

Given that the race has been run for many years and thousands (likely tens of thousands) of boats have navigated it safely it seems like it would be hard to prove gross negligence by any of the organizers.

 
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U20guy2

Super Anarchist
12,330
3
Certainly motoring under autopilot directly into a well charted rock represents gross negligence - I mean, is anyone going to argue that point?

The question of who did what is likely to be immaterial - the owner was a licensed captain, the boat was likely owned by a company, the regatta was likely entered as a charter and so the whole affair was likely a commercial endeavor and the captain is responsible regardless of who made the mistake and why the incident occurred. My guess is that an assumed risk defense gets tossed out the window based on the combination of commercial operation and gross negligence.

I'm thinking this is gonna take a lot of popcorn ...
Don't you ever get tired of popcorn? I mean this might even require switching to peanuts and sunflower seeds occasionally.

From the sounds of things it had turned into a family vs family squabble and they have probably different versions of why they are even squabbling at this point.

 
In most justifications you cannot sign away or limit your rights in advance. If you could there would be no medical malpractice lawsuits along with many others. You would never see a doctor without signing away many paths to take the doc to court.

In this case the person in charge or skipper effectively drove the boat and its passengers off a known cliff and to their violent death. There is no defense only the debate on the amount of legal damages owed the families. The same would be true if this was a church bus on a movie outing.

 


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