Bombardier Inc., the maker of the popular Sea-Doo personal watercraft, settled a wrongful death lawsuit involving a 12-year old girl that was fatally wounded after crashing a Sea-Doo in 1999. The parties reached the private settlement agreement after jurors informed the trial judge that the jury was deadlocked after a 6 day trial and lengthy deliberations….
The suit was brought by Tammy Roberts, mother of Christina Roberts, and alleged that Bombardier Inc allowed the Sea-Doo SPX to be placed on the market with defective warnings. According to Roberts the watercraft should have included a clear view warning sticker advising persons under 16 years of age not to operate the Sea-Doo. Roberts argued that Bombardier did not place such a warning on its product because of fear that it would hamper sales of the popular watercraft. Roberts originally sought $48.5 million in the suit, but attorneys for both sides refused to disclose the settlement amount.
Testimony in the 6 day trial that preceded settlement included expert witness testimony that other personal watercraft manufacturers do include warning stickers advising persons under 16 not to operate them of their products. The accident occured when Christina Roberts took the family Sea-Doo out while her parents were not home, and crashed into a dock at 30 mph.