Originally Posted by choppywater
I will be in court most of next week for a diving accident that happened last year.
There was a group of 8 boats in our group. Part of them were running mix gas with dual tanks with a bail out. The second group were running different types of re breather setups.
Another boat pulled up from a distance and 2 divers entered the water. 2 divers went into the water both running single tanks. The depth was 100 to 115' so I know they would not be able to hit bottom with what they had, but I see all the time where divers will swim around 30' down on a tank and have the same amount of fun as we do at bottom.
We ended up pulling both bodies from the water. They are trying to say that each boat had a dive master. They are trying to sue the 8 of us for a 8 figure amount because we should of know better and are trying to hold us responsible for the 2 deaths.
Over all I think I have been involved in 20 to 25 wrongful death suits in one way or another. I worked hard to get to live the life style I have and I'm not going to kill it for taking on liabilities that that I do not have to.
Need to add...
I should of added that this lawsuit has already cost me $100,000 in lawyer fees and travel experiences. I have also been stuck at the same port for about 3 months will all the meetings I have had to have with all the different lawyers. During this time I have lost a lot of work hours and my business has suffered.
Hopefully the counter-suit will make you close to whole again.
The other way to think about this is what if one of them had lived because you guys drug them out?
Part of our curriculum is a longitudinal course that we affectionately call "Doctor 101" which basically covers the business/ethics/logistics of being a doctor - the two take aways from the lectures on malpractice were basically (1) The best way not to get sued is to be a nice guy (this is backed up by data - independent of competence/error patients who have good report and like their docs don't sue) and (2) Never let the fear of liability deter you from helping in an emergency. Good Samaritan laws aside people hardly ever are sued and even more rarely have a judgement against them for rendering aid regardless of the outcome. It sounds like you ended up as one of the statistics.
As a diver I am interested though - is there something about the sport that makes it particularly litigious? I always sign my life away everytime I go out it seems but I do hear about suits fairly often on the Scubaboards.