The water can be a very dangerous place, and some families working for businesses operating around and in the water know this all too well. And even when these dangers are known and parent, this does not prevent them from causing injury or even death.
A few years ago a man was killed out on the waters in his fishing boat. The boat ran aboard a submerged object in the water, which caused the fishing boat’s propeller to fatally strike the man. The submerged object happened to be a Louisiana company’s dredging pipe.
According to the Coast Guard, the company had taken down lights and other warning devices before a hurricane and failed to replace them. The lights should have warned boaters of the submerged item so boaters could easily detour around it.
According to the bill of information, federal maritime law required the company to put lights and shapes on its barge as a warning to boaters. When they failed to do this, they were negligent in the death of the boater. The company has faced criminal charges when they pleaded guilty, but details have yet to be revealed about a civil case.
The Louisiana company did not mean to cause the death of the boater but when they failed to put federally mandated warning signs, they did cause the death of the boater. Businesses have responsibilities to people much in the same way individuals do. They are expected to uphold a standard of care to other businesses and the civilian population. This fatal boating accident could have easily been avoided had they used proper warning markers.
The family of the deceased man will likely be missing out on time with their loved one as well as lost wages due to his unexpected death. Due to the guilty plea of the business, there could be financial recourse available to the family. Exploring this option is just one of the many things the family may do in the coming months. The criminal charges may aid in their potential wrongful death suit.
Source: washingtontimes.com, “Louisiana boating company pleads guilty in boating death,” Oct. 27, 2015