May 25, 2007
Today, following a two-week trial, a 12-member Rockford, Illinois, jury returned a record-setting $2 million verdict in favor of the parents and sister of a 9-year-old girl who was killed in a collision with a 1994 Bombardier Sea-Doo personal watercraft.
The girl was tubing behind a speed boat on Clear Lake near Milton when the personal watercraft, operated by a 19-year-old Rockford resident, collided with the tube and girl after doing doughnuts in the middle of the lake. The 19-year-old claimed he lost control of the Sea-Doo when he let go of the throttle. Attorneys at Rapoport Weisberg & Sims P.C. who represented the estate of the child that was killed, proved to the jury’s satisfaction that both the operator and the manufacturer of the Sea-Doo were at fault.
The jury found the operator was 95 percent liable, assigning the other 5 percent of the blame to Bombardier, manufacturer of the 1994 Sea-Doo XP personal watercraft. The claim against the manufacturer was that the Sea-Doo was improperly designed because it lost steering control while on plane when the throttle was released. According to records maintained by the Illinois Jury Verdict Reporter, this is the highest child wrongful death verdict on record from Winnebago County.
Rapoport Weisberg & Sims P.C. is a personal injury law firm based in Chicago, Illinois. The personal injury attorneys at Rapoport Weisberg & Sims P.C. have achieved multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements for individuals with lawsuits arising from medical malpractice, product liability, semitruck and motor vehicle accidents, workplace injuries and construction accidents in Illinois and Wisconsin. Rapoport Weisberg & Sims P.C.’s premier aviation negligence lawyers represent victims of commercial and general aviation disasters nationwide.