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View Full Version : Brunswick won’t appeal propeller accident case


jeffbare
08-23-2011, 12:10 PM
Not MC related, but a sign of the times.

Link to article with comments: http://www.tradeonlytoday.com/home/515866-brunswick-wont-appeal-propeller-accident-case?tmpl=component&print=1&layout=default&page=

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals last week denied Brunswick's request for a rehearing in a case in which it was found partially liable for a 2005 accident on Lake Austin in Texas in which a teen's leg was severed by a propeller.

Brunswick asked for the rehearing on behalf of its Mercury Marine and Sea Ray divisions. There will be no further appeals in this case, Brunswick told Soundings Trade Only.

In May, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a decision handed down last year by a jury that Brunswick was partially responsible for the accident. Jacob Brochtrup, who was 18 at the time, and three others were in a 17.6-foot Sea Ray powered by a 135-hp MerCruiser sterndrive. When one of the tow ropes unhooked and fell into the water, Brochtrup jumped in behind the boat to retrieve it, according to court documents.

The driver put the boat into reverse to stop its forward motion and backed over Brochtrup. The propeller shredded his right leg, which was ultimately amputated at the hip joint.

The case went to trial three times. The first two juries were unable to reach a verdict. The third jury concluded that there was a design defect and awarded damages to Brochtrup.

Jurors ordered the company to pay $3.8 million in medical expenses and damages.

“Brunswick Corp. and Mercury Marine are disappointed that the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals refused to rehear the appeal submitted by Brunswick. We remain sympathetic to the plaintiff regarding this unfortunate accident, but continue to stand behind our products, which are used safely and properly by boaters around the world every day,” Brunswick spokesman Dan Kubera said in an e-mail to Soundings Trade Only.

“This case went to trial three times, with the first two juries unable to reach a verdict. The third jury ultimately awarded damages to the plaintiff and found the boat operator, the plaintiff and Brunswick responsible. Brunswick plans to pay its portion of the judgment. We appreciate the time and consideration the court and jury devoted to this matter,” he added.

-V-
08-23-2011, 12:21 PM
So if I rent a U-Haul and back over someone, can I sue U-haul and the company that makes the truck because it allowed me to back over someone?

rjracin240
08-23-2011, 12:22 PM
Where has the common sense gone amongst people, it boggles my mind how juries can be so easily won over by some of these attorneys.

CantRepeat
08-23-2011, 12:22 PM
Yeah, I really do not understand this kind of stuff. It's like going after the knife maker because you cut your finger while chopping onions.

Forrest-X45
08-23-2011, 12:43 PM
So if I rent a U-Haul and back over someone, can I sue U-haul and the company that makes the truck because it allowed me to back over someone?

It's interesting you bring up U-Haul in your hypothetical situation. It actually happened here, the injuried lawyer's sued U-Haul and my friend who owns the gas station that rented the U-haul trailer. They didn't back over someone but what they did do was not secure their load and a piece of their shelving flew out and went through the plantiff's windshield on the freeway. It's all U-Haul's and my friend's fault - they were the defendents in the lawsuit.

timvan
08-23-2011, 01:15 PM
I recently took a trip to Savannah Ga. The founding fathers set up some rules, the best one... No LAWYERS

http://www.nps.gov/nr/twhp/wwwlps/lessons/83savannah/83facts1.htm

Apperently they were smarter than we are now

Thrall
08-23-2011, 01:17 PM
So if I rent a U-Haul and back over someone, can I sue U-haul and the company that makes the truck because it allowed me to back over someone?

Yup!

Sad I know. That's why I have 3 new hire's today that are only 3 hrs into their 5hr sign up and orientation, then they'll get another hr or 2 of safety orientation in hte field, just so that we protect ourselves when someone backs a company truck up, falls out becasue the door is open, runs over their own leg with the front wheel and sues us and Ford for forcing them to do something unsafe and Ford for making a truck that would move with the door open!
Another lawsuit waiting to happen, once the guy at the lake on Sat kills or injures someone by trying to load 6 poeple on a 2 person tube AND leaves the boat idling unattended in the lake while he swims out to help load the tube, 2 riders of which don't have life jackets. He'll sue HO for not teleporting life jackets to his riders as they entered the water, Obrien for making a tube that 6 poeple could fit on that didn't automatically set them back in the boat when t he tube was overloaded, and Bayliner for not having a cage aorund the boat preventing him from jumping overboard and leaving the boat unattended while he was in t he process of doing something unsafe!

pmkkdx
08-23-2011, 01:30 PM
well, at least the first two trials must have had as least one person with a little common sense to be able to not come to a verdict. but yes, this type of lawsuit is ridiculous in my opinion.

scott023
08-23-2011, 01:32 PM
Where has the common sense gone amongst people, it boggles my mind how juries can be so easily won over by some of these attorneys.

This the the biggest problem in my eyes...

jdl xstar
08-23-2011, 01:57 PM
I WANT to be in a jury room during deliberations and just go to town on the idiot jurors who don't use common sense. Casey Anthony... 12 people in bow of X45... OJ Simpson....this deal.... Tired of all the bs.

scott023
08-23-2011, 02:58 PM
I WANT to be in a jury room during deliberations and just go to town on the idiot jurors who don't use common sense. Casey Anthony... 12 people in bow of X45... OJ Simpson....this deal.... Tired of all the bs.

What's the OJ decision got to do with this? :D:D:D

oldairboater
08-23-2011, 05:01 PM
I would like to know what the juries logic was in arriving at their verdict. How did they justify in their mind that anyone else but the boat driver was at fault?

broncotw
08-23-2011, 05:36 PM
My twisted mind can only come up with one scenario in which the Brunswick Corporation could be held liable in this case.

"If their prop was spinning at a very high RPM, in reverse, and dismounted from the engine and traveled through the water at a high rate of speed and impaled itself into the dude's leg"! I do not think this scenario could ever transpire -- but a good lawyer could probably sell this to an un-educated jury and stand a 50/50 chance of prevailing....

Minus this exact scenario, I cannot see how Brunswick could be held liable.

My guess is that lawyers no longer look for educated jurors during the voir dire process and subsequently look for compassionate and un-educated people to serve as their jurors. That way they stand a better chance of hanging a jury, getting an acquittal, or favorable judgment (civil trail).

Gabe63
08-24-2011, 11:12 PM
So I did a quick search. It seems the reason they lost is the plaintiff proved to a jurry the design was unsafe, possibly the I/O drive config and or lack of a saftey cage near the prop.

"According to Brunswick, Texas law requires the plaintiff in product liability cases to prove BOTH:

•The product, as designed, was unreasonably dangerous using the risk-utility test AND
•That there was a safer design that would have prevented or significantly reduced the likelihood of the plaintiff’s injury."

I guess the courts thought they did.