Tragic boating accident caused by driver negligence
Our client and a friend were riding on the bow of a boat on Lake Minnetonka. Their legs were underneath the railing that wraps around the bow of the boat and their legs were hanging down the side of the boat. The boat hit a wave and the railing on our client's side broke and both she and her friend went off the boat. Her friend was able to grab onto the railing as he fell and he didn't go completely into the water. Our client went into the water and under the boat and she was severely injured by the prop. Others on the boat were able to pull her from the water and get her to shore. Ambulance paramedics assessed her injuries and immediately called for a helicopter to take her to North Memorial Hospital. There doctors rushed her into surgery; she had a large open wound exposing her kidney, spleen and bowel. She lost or damaged 10 ribs, muscles and soft tissue in her abdomen, chest, back and flank. She experienced numerous surgeries and her doctor stated that this was the most horrific, severe boating injury she has ever treated and that our client is lucky to be alive.
Harry Sieben presented expert testimony stating the boat driver was negligent and liable for this accident by the way he was operating the boat. Because the boat outing occurred at a company party, Mr. Sieben was able to prove the employer was financially responsible for the injury to an innocent third party, our client. He settled the claim at mediation for $452,000.