Local couple says wife's head injury caused by defective water ski

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | Aug 5, 2013

GALVESTON - A local couple alleges that the wife purchased a defective slalom water ski, recent court papers say.

In a lawsuit filed Aug. 1 in Galveston County District Court, Sherry and Kelly Hill explain that Sherry Hill sustained a head injury which rendered her unconscious while using the ski on Aug. 8, 2011. 

The suit targets HO Sports Co., Wholesale Marine and Hern Marine Distributors Ltd.

The Hills say Sherry Hill bought the aforementioned ski nearly a week before the subject event, stating the defendants represented that it "posed no hazards different from other water skis."

According to the original petition, the nearly $500 ski, however, "has a large metal piece or protrusion on the top of the tail or aft end above the fin or skeg."

"It is foreseeable that this metal piece or protusion could inflict serious or even fatal injuries to a water skier in any number of fall or mishap scenarios," the suit says.

Kelly Hill recalls his wife attempting to cross the wake of a ski boat that was towing her when "the protruding metal piece struck her in the back of the head causing her to bleed profusely from the back of the head and immediately rendering her lifeless, unconscious and not breathing."

She, surrounded by a "large pool of blood" when her husband pulled her out of the water, was quickly transported by Life Flight to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston where she underwent surgery to repair her skull.

"As a result of the impact with the ski, Sherry Hill suffers from a traumatic brain injury and its continued effects," the suit says.

Previously employed as a commercial pilot and certified flight instructor, it adds, she "may never be able to fly again for commercial gain or even pleasure due to her injuries."
Consequently, the Hills seek unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.

They are represented by attorney Howard T. Dulmage of The Law Offices of Howard T. Dulmage, PLLC in Houston.

Galveston County 405th District Court Judge Michelle Slaughter is presiding over the litigation.

Case No. 13-CV-991

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