Largest Reported NJ Personal Injury Settlement during the Court’s 2022-2023 term

$5,600,000 Motorboat Accident Jury Verdict

On a beautiful day over Memorial Day weekend in 2009, five young friends were celebrating on a 15-foot Key West motorboat at the Jersey Shore. As they were boating around Manasquan Inlet admiring the sunset, they were hit head-on by a speeding 31-foot, 450 horsepower Boston Whaler. Three of the friends were ejected from the boat, two of which had minor injuries, and one who fractured his skull and subsequently drowned. Two sisters remained trapped on the boat in critical condition. A state trooper was unable to resuscitate the young man, and the two with minor injuries were treated and released.

The two sisters had to be airlifted to the Jersey Shore Medical Center for emergency treatment. The older sister was in a coma for three days and suffered from injuries such as a shattered pelvis, fractured acetabulum in the right hip, bilateral lung contusions, fractured rib, concussion, and multiple spleen lacerations. She had to undergo open reduction and internal fixation surgery for her pelvis as well as a splenectomy, leaving her with scarring that in turn ended her modelling career. She was also confined to a wheelchair for months after the accident and underwent treatment at Kessler Rehabilitation Center.

The young woman filed a lawsuit against the owner and operator of the Boston Whaler with the help of her attorney Samuel L. Davis. The Whaler was found responsible for the fatal accident after a three-week liability trial. She was awarded $5.6 million which will secure her financially for her inevitable hip replacement in the future, but sadly she still suffers emotionally from her post-traumatic stress disorder.