A powerboat race in 2011 resulted in the deaths of three racers, including two men from Missouri. Wrongful death lawsuits have now been filed over the fatalities, which occurred during the Key West World Championship race, an annual boating event. The boating accident caused the death of a man from Kaiser, Missouri, and a 74-year-old man with a history of heart problems from Sunrise Beach, Missouri. They were operating a 46-foot catamaran when it rolled over and then crashed in a violent manner, shocking a crowd of thousands of people watching the race.

A wrongful death lawsuit over the two men’s deaths targets the company organizing the race, a number of race officials and the company president. The same defendants are also named in another pending wrongful death lawsuit over the death of a third man in a separate accident during the race.

The lawsuit over the two men’s deaths claims that rescue attempts failed because they took too long, lacked proper equipment and were poorly coordinated by race organizers. The lawsuit further contends that the 74-year-old should never have been certified for participation in the race in light of both his advanced age and his heart problems.

Following the three deaths, race organizers took additional safety precautions the following year. These included requiring race teams to have exit strategies from their boats in the event of accidents and to file these plans with the company. The next year’s race ended without any deaths occurring and even without any major injuries of any kind. Wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits over boating accidents can both help compensate victims and their families and deter similar conduct, promoting enhanced adoption and enforcement of safety rules.

Source: keysnet.com, “Keys powerboat organizers sued over 2011 death” Susan Cocking , Nov. 13, 2013

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