Woman sues Sea-Doo for internal injuries from water jet

Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau Sep. 5, 2011, 3:14pm

MARSHALL – After suffering internal injuries from the water jet thrust of a personal watercraft, a Winnsboro woman has filed a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer.

Riley Griffin filed suit against Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. and BRP US Inc. on Aug. 31 in the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division.

The accident occurred on July 1 on Lake Cypress Springs while Griffin was third passenger aboard a 2007 Sea-Doo Model GTO. According to the lawsuit, she slipped off the jet ski and upon entering the water, the jet thrust forced water into her body cavities. The water intrusion and propulsion caused damage to her colon and internal organs.

The defendants are accused of knowing that the women users of the personal watercrafts would be exposed to danger when riding in the passenger position and falling directly backward off the machine while wearing a personal flotation device.

The plaintiff alleges the design of the watercraft allowed for the third passenger to ride without adequate restraints, handholds or seat back design that would prevent the person from falling backwards or direct a person falling to a different bodily position or direction and out of direction of the water propulsion, the lawsuit states.

The defendants are accused of negligence, strict liability and breach of implied and express warranties.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for physical injury, fear, pain and suffering, mental anguish, impairment, disfigurement, medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, interest, and court costs.

Griffin is represented by Anthony Malley III of Moore Landrey in Beaumont and Melissa Richards Smith of Gilliam & Smith in Marshall.

A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge T. John Ward is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:11-cv-00379

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