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California yacht crash may result in wrongful death lawsuit

A man on a racing crew died recently during a yacht race that began in Newport and then proceeded along the California coast. According to the coroner's report, the crew member died from what was described as blunt-force injuries to the head and neck after the yacht crashed into an island.

These findings may result in a wrongful death lawsuit against the estate of the captain on the yacht. The captain also died as a result of the yacht crash.

A report by a U.S. Sailing Organization appointed panel indicated that the yacht may possibly have been on autopilot when the crash occurred. Apparently, the yacht sailed beyond what was described as a GPS waypoint and crashed into the tip of an island off the coast of Mexico.

Determination as to exactly how the crash came about has been hampered due to the yacht busting up into so many pieces after the crash occurred. However, the panel did feel that a cause of the accident was likely related to no person on the boat properly conducting a lookout.

Though this type of report will be helpful for any attorney taking on a wrongful death lawsuit, successfully bringing such a claim will require more than speculation. The attorneys will need to show that it is more likely than not that the accident occurred in a particular manner involving negligence of another party.

There will likely be other reports and other theories as to how this accident occurred. It is important that someone representing the family of the deceased man have an opportunity to examine all the evidence.

Source: Manhattan Beach Patch, "Lawsuit a Possibility as Panel Reports on Yacht Crash," by Liz Spear, Oct. 31, 2012

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