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Shapiro & Appleton

Boat Accident Leads to $31 Million Jury Verdict

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Niki Bell and Bethany Wallenberg were out enjoying a ride on a luxury boat when their lives were changed forever. A design flaw in the Mastercraft X45 24-foot boat caused the vessel to take on water and, consequently, an accident occurred. The two young women suffered serious injuries ranging from deep cuts to brain damage, according to msnbc.com.

During trial, evidence was presented which showed that Mastercraft's X45 24-foot boat had a design defect which produced a hole in the bow that could cause it to take on water.

"The manufacturer never presented a single document to show they ever even tested this boat before putting it on the market," said an attorney who represented the women in court.

Fortunately, a jury recognized the negligence of the boat manufacturer and awarded the victims $31 million to help cover large medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Our firm is happy to see the victim's in this tragic story receive some semblance of justice. It is so frustrating to read about accidents caused by manufacturer defects that could have been prevented if the company had simply done their due diligence before releasing the product to the public. This is especially true for the boating industry since, if something goes wrong on the open water, the consequences can be devastating. This boat accident is a prime example.


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