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

Young Woman Injured in Boating Accident—$4,870,578.94 Settlement

While enjoying Memorial Day Weekend on the Manasquan River, a 22-year-old woman was seriously injured when a Boston Whaler Powerboat collided with her Key West boat. Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C. Partner Samuel L. Davis proved that the Boston Whaler had been negligent in its failure to operate under safety guidelines, and secured our client a $4,870,578.94 settlement.

The woman, her sister, and their three friends were boating on the Manasquan Inlet in Manasquan, New Jersey, when they were suddenly hit by the Boston Whaler. The owner of the 30-foot Boston Whaler was test-driving the boat at the time of the crash. One of the passengers aboard the Key West tragically drowned after the impact threw him into the water. Two of the other passengers were thrown into the water but luckily weren’t seriously injured.

The Key West passengers were rescued by New Jersey State Police and the Coast Guard. Our client and her sister suffered severe injuries and were taken by ambulance to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, New Jersey.

Our client suffered a stomach rupture, fractured pelvis, an iliac crest fracture, bilateral pubic rami fracture, and scalp and knee lacerations. She suffered acute blood loss, a traumatic brain injury (TBI), and developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). To treat her injuries, our client underwent a splenectomy, an Incision & Drainage (I/D) procedure, and a repair and cleaning of her left knee and lower right leg. The splenectomy, which is the surgical removal of the spleen, left our client more susceptible to infection. It also meant that she would have high-risk pregnancies.

Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C. hired medical experts to author narratives and provide oral and written testimony that proved the permanent nature of our client’s injuries. Their reports helped show our client was entitled to financial compensation for her loss in income, medical bills, and pain and suffering. The firm also retained an economics expert to assess the financial loss suffered by our client. The expert determined that the accident reduced her total earning potential by several hundred thousand dollars.

Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C. also hired an engineering expert to assess liability in the collision. The expert determined that the defendant’s boat was highly maneuverable. The expert found that, if the defendant had been paying attention to his surroundings, he would have had plenty of time to either maneuver away from the Key West or stop his boat entirely.

Partner Sam Davis also retained a naval architect/marine engineer to serve as an expert witness and assess the lawfulness of the defendant’s actions. The expert determined that the defendant had violated six rules of the sea, as stated in the Mariner’s Guide to the Inland and International Rules. The defendant failed to 1. operate his boat at a safe speed, 2. determine risk of collision, 3. take action to avoid collision, 4. yield the right of way, 5. to keep out of other boats’ way, and 6. to sound “the danger signal”. The expert determined that the defendant’s violations had caused the accident. This specialist also confirmed that the Key West had been in accordance with all applicable rules in the Mariner’s Guide.

 After the collision, the police measured the defendant’s blood alcohol content (BAC) to be below 0.01%. But, Samuel L. Davis hired an expert toxicologist, who found that his BAC may have been as high as 0.09% at the time of the accident. The toxicologist believed that, by the time his BAC was measured by police, it may have gone down to 0.01%. A BAC of 0.09% is higher than the legal driving limit of 0.08%. The toxicologist concluded that, because so much time had happened between the time of the accident and the time of the BAC measurement, it was impossible to definitively say whether the defendant was impaired.

With the help of the compiled expert reports, Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C. Partner Samuel L. Davis was able to ensure our client was properly compensated for her injuries, pain, and suffering. He sued the boat operator in the Superior Court of New Jersey. The case went to trial, and Partner Sam Davis secured our client a $4,870,578.94 settlement. The defendant appealed the court’s award in the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Judiciary Superior Court, but the Judge dismissed the appeal.

Settlements are often limited by the total available insurance coverage. Insurance company adjusters and their lawyers often defend cases by claiming that a client was negligent and could have avoided being injured by arguing comparative negligence on the part of an injured client; or that their pain and suffering was caused by pre-existing medical conditions or prior injuries. Despite those defenses, the Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, PC lawyers won their client’s injury claim. Each client’s case is unique. Results may differ because of different facts, circumstances and available insurance coverage.

Call us now for a free and confidential case evaluation. We are also available 24/7 online at our website,


Medical Glossary

Bilateral Pubic Rami Fracture: The pubic rami are a group of bones in the lower pelvis. A pubic rami fracture is a breaking of the pubic rami bones.

Iliac Crest Fracture: An iliac crest fracture is a fracture that occurs in the pelvic bone. If not treated, it can progress to bother other parts of the pelvic bone.

Incision and Drainage Procedure: An incision and drainage (I/D) procedure is a procedure that treats skin and soft tissue abscesses, which are pockets of pus under the skin.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A mental disorder triggered by a traumatic event, either from experiencing or witnessing it. PTSD can cause flashbacks, nightmares, and severe anxiety.

Splenectomy: A splenectomy is a surgical procedure that either partially or fully takes out the spleen. The spleen is an important organ and plays a big role in defending the body’s immune system, but if it ruptures, develops cancer, or has a blood disorder called idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), it has to be removed to prevent it from causing internal bleeding.

Traumatic brain injury: A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an injury to the head that stops the brain from functioning how it did before the injury. They are a major cause of death and disability in the United States, and they most commonly happen while playing a sport or after getting into a car accident. Some of the immediate symptoms are dizziness, confusion, and blurry vision.