Settlement for child run over while tubing and swimming on Smith Mountain Lake
the friends with which she went promised to look after her. Once at Smith Mountain Lake, the individuals with whom the child’s parents had entrusted her turned her supervision over to other acquaintances. With no training of any kind and without parental permission, the Plaintiff ultimately found herself being pulled behind a jet ski while riding on a tube. Pulling the tube was defendant boat driver #1. Hiss minor daughter was serving as a “spotter” and another minor female was on the tube with the Plaintiff.
The allegations in the lawsuit were that Defendant boat driver #1 operated the jet ski in a careless and negligent manner causing the child to be thrown from the tube and to fall into the path of an oncoming boat operated by defendant boat driver #2. Despite the 12-year-old Plaintiff’s attempts to swim away, Defendant #2 ran her over and his propeller blade apparently struck several times causing her severe recreational injuries to her ankle, knee, leg and upper/thigh groin. The Plaintiff’s femoral vein was significantly compromised and she required emergency vascular, orthopedic and other treatment.
Plaintiff’s counsel was prepared to present expert testimony showing that both of the defendants acted negligently. Liability was especially contested by the driver of the second motor boat, but the injured plaintiff’s expert was prepared to testify that he was negligent in that he failed to maintain a proper lookout, failed to observe the 50-foot “no wake” rule and failed to take appropriate evasive maneuvers. The $305,000 settlement represented the full policy limits of the only applicable policy plus additional money paid by one of the defendants personally.