Florida has many navigable bodies of water, and many people throughout the state own boats. It is not uncommon for boat owners to lend their crafts to other people to enjoy without a second thought. When a person operating a borrowed boat acts carelessly, though, it can result in unintended consequences for the owner, including potentially the imposition of liability. In a recent Florida opinion, a court discussed the grounds for holding a boat owner liable for negligent entrustment in a case in which a person suffered critical injuries while riding as a passenger in a borrowed boat. If you suffered injuries in a boating accident, it is in your best interest to speak to a trusted Florida personal injury attorney to determine your possible claims.
The Boating Accident
Allegedly, on a summer afternoon, the plaintiff, the driver, and another friend when riding on a boat owned by the defendant. The driver suddenly and unexpectedly turned the boat, causing the plaintiff to fall off. The plaintiff’s right leg suffered severe wounds, and his right hand was almost completely severed. The driver was arrested and charged with stealing the boat and died by suicide prior to trial.
It is reported that the plaintiff then filed a negligent entrustment claim against the defendant, arguing that he should be liable for the plaintiff’s harm for carelessly allowing the driver to use his boat. Following discovery, the defendant moved to have the plaintiff’s claims dismissed via summary judgment. Continue reading ›