The 1st Ridiculous Boating Injury Lawsuit of 2012 Has Arrived!

Woman sues boat operator, renter
Deondra Scott was seriously injured by a propeller at Lake Norman event in June.
By Gary L. Wright
By Gary L. Wright The Charlotte Observer
Posted: Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012
   A Charlotte woman who lost one of her arms and her breasts after being struck by a boat propeller on Lake Norman last June has sued the boat operator.
   Deondra Scott – who also is suing the boat manufacturer and the person who rented out the boat – claims she was struck twice by a propeller after she'd jumped into the water at the Lake Bash on Lake Norman.
   Scott alleges that Dennis F. Allen, the boat's operator, had never operated a motorboat before the accident and did not have the skill to handle a motorboat in a public area, especially during one of the most crowded events on Lake Norman.
    Scott, 25, claims that she was injured while Allen was maneuvering the motorboat in an attempt to tie it to another boat and participate in the Lake Bash. Allen had rented the motorboat to go to the Lake Bash with a group of friends, including Scott, according to the lawsuit.
   The lawsuit alleges that a few of Allen's passengers, including Scott, had jumped into the water while Allen was trying to tie up the boat.
   The lawsuit alleges that Allen, because of his inexperience, lack of training and inability to see people in the water, failed to turn off the engine and continued to try to tie up with another boat.
   “As (Scott) was swimming towards the ladder attached to the stern of the boat so that she could board the swim platform, Ms. Jennifer Pagliaro (a passenger in the boat), along with other people in the area, screamed at defendant Allen to cut (immediately turn off) the engine,” the lawsuit says.
   Allen “panicked” and “slammed” the throttle into a reverse gear, striking Scott with the boat's propeller, the lawsuit alleges. Scott claims Allen then put the boat into a forward gear, causing the propeller to strike her again.
   Scott alleges in the lawsuit that she suffered severe injuries, including lacerations to her right arm and breasts. The arm and breasts have been amputated, she says. She claims she also suffered serious lacerations to both legs, a punctured lung and a severed sternum.
   Scott alleges that as a result of Allen's “reckless and negligent actions,” she has suffered damages – “medical bills, lost wages, permanent injury, scarring, loss of limb, loss of other essential body parts, pain and suffering in excess of ten thousand dollars.” She says she also has “suffered extreme emotional and psychological problems.”
   Allen, 30, was charged with operating a boat in a reckless manner. The misdemeanor charge is pending.
   Scott also has sued David D. Orzolek and Chaparral Boats Inc. Orzolek rented the motorboat to Allen and Chaparral Boats designed, manufactured and marketed the boat, according to the lawsuit.
   The lawsuit alleges that Orzolek was aware or should have been aware that Allen had never operated a motorboat and knew or should have known the danger Allen posed to the public.
   Orzolek “erroneously entrusted, poorly supervised and inadequately trained defendant Allen, subjecting (Scott) to great risk,” the lawsuit alleges.
   Scott claims that Chaparral Boats sold the motorboat to the public despite its unsafe design for a 14-passenger boat.    She claims that seven passengers are necessarily seated behind the operator, potentially obstructing his or her vision.
The boat's swim platform and ladder, the lawsuit alleges, are only a few feet from the boat's propeller.
   Allen and Orzolek could not be reached for comment Monday.
Bob Ellis, a customer service specialist with Chaparral Boats in Nashville, Ga., said the company's lawyers are investigating the incident. “We were not aware this had occurred until we got the lawsuit,” Ellis said.            

Staff researchers Marion Paynter and Maria David contributed

Our view from the helm is this:  Dennis F. Allen who was driving the boat and Deondra Scott who was struck by the boat both share responsibility for this accident. Mr. Allen for failing to properly control his passengers and Ms. Scott for jumping out of the boat and then swimming back to it while the motor was still running. It is not the fault of Chaparral Boats or the business that rented the boat to Mr. Allen.

Case closed!

Super Boats Slug It Out In Cocoa Beach!

May 24, 2011  by SBI

Teams Converge on Cocoa Beach for Spectacular Offshore Powerboat Race

KEY WEST, Fla. (May 24, 2011) – The Season opener for the 2011 Super Boat International Racing Series was held this past weekend in Cocoa Beach, Fla. with the World’s fastest boats racing in perfect conditions on the Atlantic Coast, and Miss GEICO Racing taking the top spot. Fans were treated to a spectacular day of racing during the 2nd Annual Brighthouse Networks Space Coast Super Boat Grand Prix. Twenty-seven teams competed during the Sunday event and race teams treated fans to amazing speeds along with lead changes and near photo finishes.

“This was one of, if not, the best season opener we have had in the past 20 years of Superboat racing. Today’s race had some of the closest head to head racing and is like a new era for powerboat racing,” comments SBI President, John Carbonell. “We continue to tweak the race courses to make them shorter in distance and closer to the race fans along the beach. It has proven to be quite exciting for everyone including the teams.” In the earlier years of Super Boat Racing, teams would race off 50 miles and return. Now, with the more rectangle shaped stadium style racing, it brings fans up close to the action.

The 2nd Annual event brought out some unbelievable head to head battles with a near photo finish as Loriblu edged out Team Stihl for a win in the Super Cat class. “It was just incredible today. We had fuel pick-up or some equipment issues that would slow us down in the corners, so we pulled off the course, and then pulled back on, as our boat came back to us. When we saw Loriblu had issues, we just had to stay in it. I think we both had the same problems and coming into the last turn, we were both off the pace. Then almost at the same time, we both picked up speed for the finish and they beat us by a boat length. It was a heart breaker,” comments J.R. Noble, owner and driver of Team Stihl.

Water and weather conditions were perfect, not only for the race teams, but also for the fans. This year’s event appeared to have record crowds lining the beach from Cocoa Beach Pier to Lori Wilson Park. And for those unfortunate fans who could not attend, Super Boat International and Space Coast Sports TV streamed the event live.

Other Super Boat winners included WHM Motorsports (Superboat Unlimited), GEICO Caveman (Superboat Vee Extreme), Absolutely Not (Super Vee Limited), Talbot Excavating (Superboat Stock),  Twisted Metal Motorsports (P1), Zipp Express (P2) and Team Velocity (P4).

Local favorite Superboat Unlimited Team CMS (owned by Bob Bull) encountered mechanical problems early, but it wasn’t without a thrilling blow-by the Pier. Unlimited competitor, Billy Mauff comments, “I wish CMS could have lasted the race and we could have raced each other. This race and location is great.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it last year but I’m glad I made it this year.”

Marc Granet, Driver of Miss GEICO comments,  “Cocoa Beach could be the event of the year. This place is awesome and the crowds were lined up the entire length of the beach. It was absolutely incredible.”

With the support of Cocoa Beach and all the volunteers that made this possible, this weekend has turned out to be a marquee event on the Super Boat International circuit.

Next for Super Boat International

The next race for Super Boat International is June 3rd – 5th, the 21st Annual Miami Grand Prix in Miami, Florida. The dry pits will be located in Bicentennial Park and the race will start at 1:00 pm Sunday June 5th, off Miami Beach.