Sea accidents affect more than those who own boats.

Family of Diver Lost at Sea Sues Boating Company

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

Who is liable for sea accidents?

An experienced diver from Tustin, California set off on the charter diving trip on the Sundiver Express.  It was nearly her 1,000th dive, but it turned out to be her last.  Now, the family members of the diver lost at sea have filed suit against the Sundiver and the captain who it believes acted negligently that day in failing to add the diver to the passenger roster.  Our Los Angeles boat and cruise ship accident attorneys discuss this troubling case and issues of liability surrounding accidents at sea.

Lost at Sea

The Sundiver ship set off in the morning hours with a ship full of divers. Laurel Silver-Valker was among the passengers, but for some reason her name was not on the initial passenger roster.  Silver-Valker entered the water with the captain’s help.  She dove alone that day.  It wasn’t until the boat had moved onto its second dive location that the captain realized Silver-Valker was missing. The ship returned to look for her, but by then it was too late.  She was never seen again.  

Further investigations since Silver-Valker’s disappearance reveal that she was not the first one to be left behind by a Sundiver ship.  Another diver was left behind off Newport Beach in 2004.  He sued the company and was awarded $1.68 million in damages.  Now, Silver-Valker’s family is similarly filing suit against the company that it believes is responsible for the loss of a beloved family member.    

Boat and Cruise Ship Accidents

Setting off on a boat or cruise ship can be an exciting experience for Californians of all ages.  While most boating excursions are relatively safe, accidents can certainly happen at sea.  Boat and cruise operators have a responsibility to act in a reasonable manner to protect passengers.  When a captain or crew member acts negligently and injuries or death results, they can be held accountable.  

If you or a loved one is injured on a cruise ship, boat, or ocean related excursion, contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.  Your attorney will assist you with investigating the crash and seeking the compensation you deserve.  

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.