Two Parasailing Companies File Complaint to Limit Wrongful Death Liability in Parasailing Accident that Claimed Lives of Two Women

October 10, 2009, by Michael A. DeMayo

Two North Carolina parasailing companies, NC Watersports and Ocean Isle Beach Water Sports, have filed a complaint in federal court seeking to either remove them from wrongful death liability or limit any potential civil compensation to a $100,000 cap for the parasailing deaths of two women.

Kernersville resident Cynthia Woodcock and her friend Lorrie Shoup died on August 28 after the rope that was holding them to the boat that was towing them snapped during stormy water conditions off Ocean Isle Beach. Boat Captain Thomas Provazan was reportedly unsuccessful in his efforts to reel them in. The tow line broke, causing the women to slam into the ocean. According to the North Carolina Medical Examiner’s Office, they died of blunt trauma.

The potential payout cap the two companies are proposing is the estimated value of the boat the women went out in and is also a limit allowed under federal law. The companies’ complaint included the liability wavers the two women signed before the parasailing accident.

The Wilmington wrongful death lawyer of one of the women who died, however, says the companies’ request could be denied if there is evidence that the owner of the boat had been aware of the factors that resulted in the fatal boating accident prior to the tragic incident. The boat’s captain has said that he didn’t know the National Weather Service had put out a warning to boaters that day.

If you or someone you love was injured in a North Carolina boating accident or a parasailing accident, you may have grounds for filing a boating accident lawsuit.

2008 Recreational Boating Accident Facts (US Coast Guard):

• 4789 boating accidents
• 3331 boating accident injuries
• 709 boating deaths
• More than 2/3rds of boating accident deaths involved drownings
• Motorboats, personal watercraft, and cabin motorboats were the most common kinds of vessels involved in recreational boating accidents

According to InjuryBoard.com, over 40 parasailing accidents happen in the US annually. In the last 10 years, at least 15 people have died and hundred of others injured.

Parasail companies seek liability limit, Charlotte Observer, October 10, 2009

Parasailing captain unaware of weather advisory before fatal accident, WRAL.com, September 24, 2009

Recreational Boating Statistics, 2008, US Coast Guard

Related Web Resources:
Parasail Safety Council

Coast Guard to weigh in on first regulations after parasailing accident, The Sun News, September 22, 2009

 
 

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