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Injured boaters sue a New York town for negligence

The survivors of a fatal Mattituck boating accident in November have put the Town on Southold on notice that they plan to sue them. They are collectively seeking $30 million for their losses against the New York town.

A Southhold Police report shows that four individuals were riding in a 39-foot powerboat just before 9:17 p.m. on Nov. 10 when they suddenly collided with a bulkhead. That obstruction can be found approximately 200 feet from the James Creek entrance along the Great Peconic Bay.

The police report reflects that officers found four individuals when they came upon the Cobalt boat approximately 150 feet off the shore. The water vessel’s occupants were all seriously injured from the impact of the high-speed crash.

A police report shows that at least two of the boat’s occupants were so severely injured that they had to be life-flighted to Stony Brook University Hospital. The two others were transported by ambulance to Peconic Bay Medical Center. A 27-year-old Riverhead woman was pronounced dead upon her arrival at the latter hospital.

Police have since identified the boat’s other occupants as a 29-year-old New Suffolk woman, a 41-year-old Jamesport man and a 48-year-old East Northport man. The older occupant was initially arrested for misdemeanor boating while intoxicated charges. They were soon dropped though as his blood alcohol content (BAC) was under New York’s legal limit at the time the crash occurred.

The surviving victims of the crash ultimately decided to file a claim against the Town of Southold because they argue the municipality failed to properly maintain or replace marine markers, buoys and other navigational aids as per U.S. Coast Guard regulations. The plaintiffs argue that the crash wouldn’t have occurred had it not been for the town’s removal of these navigational aids and the failure to tell the public about it. They noted in their claim that all their injuries are directly related to the town’s mistake.

Recreational boating accidents happen quite frequently in this country. The most serious of these happen because an intoxicated operator gets behind the wheel of the boat and collides with another vessel or obstructions. You may be entitled to recover compensation if someone’s negligence resulted in you getting hurt. A boating accident attorney can advise you of your right to do so here in Manhattan or anywhere else in New York.

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