This was a case brought against a manufacturer for the defective design of a WaveRunner water craft. Two teen girls, a 15-year-old driver and a 14-year-old passenger, were operating a WaveRunner when they collided with a 30-foot speedboat. The Plaintiff-driver claimed that when she was approaching the boat, she instinctively took her hand off the throttle in an attempt to turn, but could not steer the WaveRunner, causing her to crash into the boat. Plaintiff sustained multiple debilitating injuries, including traumatic brain damage; the passenger was killed in the accident. Plaintiff will require supervision for the remainder of her life and will never be able to live independently. Plaintiff alleged that Defendant manufacturer was aware of the defect and, as a result of the defect, there was a loss of steering when the machine's throttle was released. Plaintiff asserted that Defendant failed to correct the problem or issue adequate warnings. Defendant argued that Plaintiff?driver did not know how to safely operate the WaveRunner, should have not been allowed to operate it, and would still be capable of obtaining some gainful employment after the accident.
VERDICT: $39,800,000. $16,024,000 to surviving Plaintiff?driver, $19,000,000 to estate of decedent-passenger; Defendant-manufacturer was 88% responsible; Plaintiff's mother (Fabre defendant) was 10% negligent; Plaintiffdriver was 1% negligent; owner of WaveRunner (Fabre defendant) was 1% negligent.
Perez v. Yamaha Motor Corp, USA.