Two Teenagers Hit By Boat After Product Acts Defectively

The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of a personal injury case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury lawsuit and its proceedings.)

INJURIES: Lydia alleged mild traumatic brain injury, which caused memory loss and problems with her focus and concentration; disc herniations at L4-L5 and L5-S1; chronic pain syndrome; and emotional distress.


According to court records: On August 25, 2004, defendants Jane and Samantha Berlin rented a boat and inner-tubes from plaintiff ABC Boat Rentals. The towline of the inner-tube became caught in the steering mechanism of the boat, the cable that triggered the forward and reverse gears was damaged, and the fuel line was broken, leaving the boat unable to be steered. When the boat’s throttle handle was shifted into “forward,” the boat banked sharply to the left. The boat continued to circle uncontrollably and struck defendants as they attempted to lunge from the inner-tube. Both teenagers were struck by the boat, but Jane was caught in the rapidly spinning propeller.

Following an open-water rescue, Jane Berlin was brought to UCSD Medical Center and emergently admitted.

Plaintiff filed a lawsuit seeking to exonerate or limit its liability because Amy Berlin rearranged the towlines on the vessel from the “Y” arrangement installed by plaintiff.

Defendants claimed that plaintiff never instructed them on how to attach the towlines and that the towlines were never arranged in a “Y” formation.

According to court records:

Jane Berlin: Skull fracture; teeth; jaw fracture; shoulder fracture; neck fracture; neck lacerations; shoulder lacerations; arm lacerations; traumatic brain injuries; post-traumatic stress disorder; headaches; emotional distress. Samantha Berlin: Leg and foot bruising.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

According to court records:
Jane Berlin: $120,773 past medical; $659,910 future medical. Samantha Berlin: $17,442 past medical.

The plaintiff argued that plaintiff Jane Berlin’s future medical care should be limited to $60,000 and her past care should be limited to $91,000.

Verdict/Judgment: Cross-Complainant
Verdict/Judgment Amount: $1,192,861
Counter-claimant Jane Berlin: $1,123,092. Counter-claimant Samantha Berlin: $69,769. Plus $12,606 costs.
Trial Type: Bench
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

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