Articles Posted in Florida Scuba Diving & Snorkeling Injury

Ft. Lauderdale Drowning Attorneys.jpgBrais & Brais’ attorneys have filed a wrongful death case in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida for the drowning of Leonardo Rosales. On October 20, 2010, Enrique Pitta of Oakland Park, Florida invited Mr. Rosales aboard his boat to go diving for lobster. The method of diving selected was not the traditional scuba tank, but, a Brownie’s Third Lung Hookah System. The Hookah System supplies air to the diver from above the surface by a gas powered motor. Mr. Rosales was unfamiliar with the Hookah System and drowned leaving behind a wife and two small children.

The complaint alleges Pitta was negligent and responsible for Mr. Rosales’ death due to his failure to:

  • Provide a reasonably safe dive plan;

Scuba Diving Injury Lawyer Attorney.jpgOn October 14, 2008, Sandals Resorts in Antigua abandoned multiple scuba divers in the open ocean for over 2 ½ hours when the resort’s dive boat left the dive site. The amazing fact of this case is just 8 months prior, the exact situation occurred at the same resort. That time a British couple was abandoned in the water for 5 hours. Brais & Brais filed a claim on behalf of a diver in Miami, Florida state court against Sandals for negligence as well as the Miami, Florida based travel agency Unique Vacation who booked the vacation for its failure to warn of problems with the Sandals Antigua scuba diving operation.

After responding to the complaint, Sandals and Unique Vacations removed the case from state court to federal court. Federal court is typically more costly to plaintiffs than state court and, for this reason, favored by corporate defendants. Brais & Brais argued the statute which Sandals and Unique Vacations relied upon to remove the case does not apply when a corporation is headquartered in the state where the lawsuit was filed. Since Unique Vacations is a Florida company, Brais & Brais argued removal was improper and the case must be remanded back to the diver’s chosen state court forum. The federal court agreed. The judge also found Sandals and Unique Vacations’ removal lacked any objective reasonable basis as the case is clearly not removable given the statute’s language and the fact Unique Vacation is a Florida corporation. Based upon this finding, and even though we took this case on a contingency basis, the Court found Sandals & Unique Vacations liable for reasonable attorney’s fees for Brais & Brais’ time associated with preparing the legal memoranda required for remanding the case. Click here to read the federal court’s order.
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images.jpgThe Associated Press reported that a Stuart, Florida Judge found a boat operator guilty of running over a scuba diver which severed the diver’s legs. The Palm Beach Gardens scuba diver was struck by boat propellers while diving about 4 miles north of the St. Lucie Inlet in January 2009. The diver testified he tried to get the boat operator’s attention by waving a spear gun above the surface, but no one acknowledged his signal. He then tried to swim out of the boat’s way, but the propeller struck his tank and legs. Judge Kathleen Roberts found the boat operator violated navigational rules, and sentenced him to six months probation on a misdemeanor charge.

Divers are routinely run over in the crowded waters of South Florida. The cause for such accidents is often times boat operators’ and/or the divers’ ignorance of navigational and diving rules. Below we explain some of the more common navigable rules applicable to dive situations.

Common Navigational Rules Applicable to Diving Situations