Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Coast Guard joins effort to crack down on drunken boaters in Keys

KEY WEST - The Coast Guard will be teaming up with state and Monroe County officials in the Florida Keys to make sure boaters don't overdo it on the water this weekend. The effort is called Operation Dry Water, and it's designed to highlight the dangers of operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Boating under the influence is illegal in all 50 states and territories. Impaired boaters can expect fines and possible arrest.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Boat accident trial: Engineer describes how propeller gutted woman

UPDATE: The Plaintiff lost this trial. See this news story.

NAPLES — A biomechanical engineer told a Collier Circuit jury on Monday that he couldn’t understand the boating industry’s reluctance to equip boats with an inexpensive propeller ring guard that would prevent injuries and save lives. Lawrence Thibault, who owns Biomechanics Inc., a Pennsylvania consulting firm that studies injury biomechanics, told jurors how lap seat belts prompted a series of changes that improved safety in the auto industry, leading to harness belts, padded dashboards, air bags, side air bags, curtain air bags, and other changes. “But there’s no movement in the marine industry to put an emphasis on safety,” Thibault testified during questioning by Kevin Liles of Texas, one of five attorneys representing 64-year-old Audrey Decker of East Naples, who lost her left eye, part of a breast, and suffered other serious injuries when she fell overboard in 1999 and was cut by her boat’s propeller.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Horizon Lines settles class action with $20m payment

HORIZON Lines has agreed to pay $20m and freeze freight rates in its Puerto Rico trade lane for two years to settle a class action lawsuit brought by disgruntled customers. New York-listed Horizon Lines has also agreed to pay its lenders 1.5% higher interest and a one-off sum of $1.8m in consideration for being allowed to exclude this expenditure from calculations that determine its compliance with covenants