NC Boating Accidents – Lake Norman

The news article below from our friends at WBTV is a great news story dealing with boating safety and what can happen when everyone is not focused on same. We are huge boating fans and love getting away from it all and spending a day or weekend on the lake. Whether it is Lake Norman, Lake Wylie, or Lake Murray, there are few life pleasures equal to boating, swimming, and skiing during the warm summer months. But, please be careful while on the water. Always watch for other boats or swimmers, yield to right of way, and keep drinking under control. Just a moment of inattention or carelessness can result in permaent physical injury or even death. Be safe. Get home to play another day.

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We congratulate the law firm of Seifer Flatow for taking this difficult case. Our very best to your client and your firm.

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) – A woman who lost her arm in a boating incident over the summer has filed a lawsuit against various parties involved, WBTV confirmed on Friday.

Deondra Scott, the victim, was near a motor that was rented on Lake Norman on June 25 for the annual Ronnie Stephen’s Lake Bash.

While Scott was swimming around 1:30 p.m., the propeller from the boat hit her causing serious injuries. Scott, then 26, was hospitalized for days and eventually lost her arm, her breasts and had her sternum severed.

The lawsuit, filed in Mecklenburg Superior Court on January 3rd by law firm Seifer Flatow, claims that there was negligence on the part of  the man driving the boat, Dennis Allen, who did not know how to properly operate a boat, according to the lawsuit.

As Scott, who believed the boat was off, was swimming toward a ladder attached to the rear of the boat, the boat’s driver, Allen, “panicked and slammed the throttle into the reverse gear” hitting Scott, the lawsuit says.

Several people were screaming at Allen, 30 at the time, to stop the boat, which he was trying to move the vessel to tie up with another vessel, the lawsuit claims.

After hitting Scott once, Allen, later charged by police with operating a boat in a reckless manner, “panicked and put the vessel into forward gear causing the propeller to strike” Scott a second time, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit also says the design of the boat contributed to the incident and that the man who rented to boat to Allen, David Orzolek, failed to train Allen properly.

“Orzolek gave a brief tutorial on how to operate the vessel,” the lawsuit says. “It […] only discussed the basics of handling the vessel in open, non-congested waters.”

The suit demands a jury trial and names Allen, Orzolek and Chaparral Boats as defendants. The lawsuit does not request a specific dollar amount, but asks for an amount of over $10,000.

The lawsuit says that the seating arrangement on the boat makes the driver of the boat unable to properly see behind the watercraft, the lawsuit said. The lawsuit also says that the boat’s design contributes to encouraging swimming behind the watercraft.

Copyright 2012 WBTV.