Jury says Sea-Doo not to blame for 2007 accident

MIAMI — A jury found Bombardier Recreational Products was not negligent in its design of the 2006 Sea-Doo RXT after a two-week trial in the U.S. District Court Middle District in Fort Myers, Fla., according to a recent release on behalf of BRP. The lawsuit was filed by a Naples, Fla., woman who was severely injured in a personal watercraft accident in 2007.

The woman was riding as a passenger when she slid backward off the rear. She fell into the jet propulsion flow and received lower body and internal injuries from the powerful blast of water.

The lawsuit claimed the watercraft had a design defect and failed to warn operators and passengers about the dangers of coming into contact with the jet thrust from the nozzle.

“The woman says she did not have any conversation with anyone concerning the use of protective gear, such wet suit bottoms or equivalent protective clothing,” said Scott Sarason, BRP’s defense attorney, in the release. “During the trial, the operator admitted that he saw, but did not read, the onboard warning label. He also admitted that he did not read the safety recommendations in the operator’s guide nor watch the safety video.”

“It¹s important for people to realize that these watercrafts are classified as boats. That¹s why the watercraft industry has been working diligently with authorities like the Coast Guard to introduce programs like ‘Know Before You Go’ in an effort to prevent accidents and injuries,” Sarason said.

In 2009, Bombardier was recognized with an award for its commitment to boating safety from the United States Coast Guard Office of Auxiliary and Boating Safety.

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