North Carolina To Pay Boat Captain $72,000 in Property Damages

October 12, 2007, by Michael A. DeMayo

Sterling Stevenson, the captain of a CSY-44 sailboat that crashed into the Heidi Trask drawbridge in North Carolina ,when the bridge dropped onto his boat’s mast, has reached a settlement agreement with the state over damages his boat sustained in the collision.

Stevenson says that the State Attorney General’s Office offered to pay him $72,000 to compensate him for the damages to Marijke IV, his Bluewater Cruiser, and the personal expenses he has incurred from the September 10 crash. The State Attorney General’s Office confirmed that an agreement had been made with Stevenson but did not reveal the details.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation conducted a complete investigation with the State Attorney General’s Office and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. The state, not Stevenson, was named the negligent party in the personal injury accident.

Improper maintenance of the drawbridge was cited as the cause of contributory negligence. A blind spot on one side of bridge will be examined, as will the issue of boats that are idle on the channel’s west side.

N.C. DOT division engineer Allen Pope says he is recommending relocating the closed-circuit television cameras and replacing the bridge house windows for greater visibility. He also wants to make improvements to the bridge operator’s workstation. He says these issues should be taken care of within 30 days. Pope would not say whether Wanda Ramsey, the bridge operator on duty when the accident happened, was at-fault in causing the collision. She has been a bridge tender for over 25 years.

If your boat, car, truck, or motorcycle has sustained damages because you were in a collision caused by another party, you should speak with a personal injury lawyer right away. An experienced personal injury attorney can meet with the other party and try to negotiate a settlement to compensate you for the costs associated with the property damage. If your attorney and the other party cannot reach a settlement agreement, your lawyer can sue the negligent party for you.

It is important that you work with an attorney who is experienced in handling property damage and personal injury cases. Your lawyer should be able to handle both kinds of cases for you.

State settles with boat captain,, October 11, 2007

Related Web Resources:

Bridge collides with sailboat, captain to seek damages, Lumnia News, September 13, 2007

North Carolina Department of Transportation


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