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Filmmaker Rob Stewart's family files wrongful death lawsuit

Discussion in 'Scuba Related Court Cases' started by packrat12, Mar 27, 2017.

  1. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    @Wookie I don't think their anger lends itself to being completely rational. I just don't think greed is their motivation. This isn't a frivolous lawsuit like coffee in your lap while trying to drive. Their son died and they want a little vengeance. Again, I simply can't fault them and can relate to their position. Besides, they aren't in the Scuba industry and have no idea how broke we are. I was sued for $10,000,000.00 by someone who blamed me for their business being harmed. Silly twit, she had no clue how broke I was/am or that the community would jump in: she just wanted vengeance and that meant hurting me however she could. Sure, it backfired back on her as vengeance often does, but I know that greed wasn't her motivation. She was hoping to destroy SB, not make a bunch of money off of us.
    northernone likes this.
  2. nm7sp

    nm7sp Angel Fish

    I think that *if* a diver, on the surface, fails to respond to a command, even after having given an "ok" signal, and is then left unattended in the water, then any jury would easily be convinced that negligence has occurred and will only be interested in who should wear it.

    Even if Sotis Shouldn't have let him do the dive and even if Rob's training, attitude and equipment tried to kill him, I believe that the jury would still atribute the major portion of the blame to him being left alone on the surface.

    Who, if anybody, is at fault for this will (IMHO) be the takeaway from this mess.
  3. CuzzA

    CuzzA Solo Diver

    That is a stretch to lay blame on Sotis because Stewart, while in the water falls unconscious and drowns after just signaling okay because Sotis just had a medical emergency. I wouldn't hold anyone responsible if I were on that jury and definitely not Sotis.

    Now, Sotis being the student's instructor and doing a dive beyond the training of the student and claiming he was just there for fun as a buddy, an equal participant to Stewart, is bs. If true Sotis may bear some responsibility. Though I probably still would find everyone not guilty.

    Stewart knew exactly what he was getting into. We all do. No one killed him. He died while scuba diving because he pushed the limits. It's well known rebreather divers have a much higher fatality rate because they are pushing limits.
    MarkFlory, Bob DBF, Wookie and 2 others like this.
  4. oldschoolto

    oldschoolto Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: maine
    Best post of this thread....:clapping:

    Wookie and CuzzA like this.
  5. Trace Malinowski

    Trace Malinowski Cave Instructor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Northeast USA
    One day, I decided to delve into our oft quoted McDonald's coffee on the lap accident. "Know the Facts:" Resources for Consumers
    Hoyden, Cowfish Aesthetic and Steve_C like this.
  6. RayfromTX

    RayfromTX Student Of Gas Mixology Staff Member

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Hill Country of Central TX
    It is not possible to render a fair and just verdict without knowing all the facts. We do not know all the facts and what we know is not even necessarily factual. To sit at our computers and declare how we would rule in the case while lacking the evidence that the jury will be presented with is called blind justice which is not justice at all. We don't know so how can we form an opinion? I understand that we all have our own truths that we base our decisions on and the idea that we as divers are ultimately responsible for the risks we take is one that I strongly share. That is however not a valid basis for an assessment of responsibility nor does it relieve those involved from their duty of care should that exist.
    northernone, RainPilot and Steve_C like this.
  7. kafkaland

    kafkaland Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Saline, Michigan
    This is a civil trial, not a criminal one. So there is no guilt or innocence. This is just an apportionment of liability, without the moral judgment of a criminal "guilty" verdict.
  8. CuzzA

    CuzzA Solo Diver

    Yes, I realized the error in the terminology after the edit time expired. I'll add, while I likely wouldn't find anyone liable based on what we know, in civil court the standard is "preponderance of the evidence" as opposed to the more stringent criminal court where we have the "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard. For those that don't know, in basic terms, all the plaintiffs have to prove is more likely than not their version of events trump the defense, or in other words, if 51% or more of the evidence supports their case, they should prevail.
    tridacna likes this.
  9. EricTheDood

    EricTheDood DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: California
    A civil jury trial typically requires 3/4 of the jurors to agree in order to get a verdict.

    I remember reading an article awhile back that mentioned that a certain % of jurors make their decisions on the first day.

    Jurors make a lot of decisions based on the appearance and the body language of the parties.

    I have a friend who once fell asleep as a juror. The defense put on powerpoint and dimmed the lights. This happened after lunch and food coma took over.

    The civil court system, especially at the state level, can be quote the shirt show.
  10. Steve_C

    Steve_C Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Raleigh, NC USA
    Some jury members base their decisions on what they think of the attorney's and their performance. Like they are judging a debate contest.
    mdb likes this.

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