The Mazzola Law Firm, PLLC continues to battle Personal Watercraft Manufacturers in the Federal District Court of South Carolina

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Nationwide products liability attorney Brian N. Mazzola continues to battle PWC manufacturers Bombardier Recreational Products, Inc. and Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA on behalf of two young South Carolinian women that allegedly sustained massive, internal orifice injuries after falling off the back of a PWC and landing in the path of the high-pressure water jet thrust.

Brian N. Mazzola of Beaumont, Texas' Mazzola Law Firm, PLLC, in collaboration with Douglas F. Patrick of Greenville, South Carolina's Covington, Patrick, Hagins, Stern & Lewis, P.A., continue to prosecute products liability lawsuits against Bombardier Recreational Products, Inc. d/b/a BRP and Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA, which were filed on August 22, 2013 and August 26, 2013, respectively. The lawsuit against BRP is in connection with its product known as the "Sea-Doo", and the lawsuit against Yamaha is in connection with its product known as the "Waverunner".

Both lawsuits contain allegations that the products were unreasonably dangerous due to defects in both the design and marketing of the products. More specifically, as to the design defect, the complaints allege that the personal watercrafts "do not provide riders with adequate mobility restraints, handholds, straps, grips, seating configuration and/or tail design which would prevent the rearmost passenger from sliding backward off the seat upon acceleration and falling directly into the path of the jet thrust of the jet drive propulsion system." The complaints go on to allege that several safer alternative designs existed at the time the products were manufactured which would have incorporated one or more of the following modifications:

a)    A simple grip strap across the seat which could be held between the passenger’s legs thereby allowing them to independently secure themselves to the watercraft;
b)    Handholds in or adjacent to the seat that are high enough and located sufficiently in front of the last passenger so as to allow her the ability to reach and grip the handles, while at the same time allowing her to keep her center of gravity sufficiently forward;
c)    A contoured seat with a bolster or backrest high enough to prevent the last passenger from sliding off the rear of the craft;
d)    Lengthening of the rear deck of the craft far enough to allow the output pressure of the jet drive to dissipate prior to the point where a fallen passenger could be seriously injured by such flow; and
e)    A contoured housing over the jet propulsion system that would direct or slide a fallen passenger to the side or far enough behind the jet flow to reduce or eliminate the danger.

As for the marketing defects, the complaints allege that the products were placed on the market without adequately warning the users of the watercrafts that a passenger could slide or topple off the back of the craft and land directly into the path of an extremely dangerous jet of water which was likely to inflict severe and permanent damage to human tissue and organs. The complaints further allege that the warnings which were provided were small, inconspicuous, hidden within a barrage of other warnings, unclear, non-specific, vague and therefore, in violation of ANSI standards and entirely inadequate to provide the protection needed by passengers invited to ride on such watercrafts.

According to court documents, both Plaintiffs sustained multiple lacerations to the vagina, anus, rectum and perineum, and their medical treatment required emergency surgical intervention including the surgical implantation of colostomy bags.

The Mazzola Law Firm, PLLC is currently handling additional cases against personal watercraft manufacturers based on similar allegations, in other states across the nation. For those interested, additional information can be found at, or may be obtained by calling The Mazzola Law Firm, PLLC at 866-497-2039.

The foregoing cases are styled as follows:

Civil Action No. 6:13-2281-JMC; Julie Jenkins vs. Bombardier Recreational Products, Inc. d/b/a BRP; United States District Court, District of South Carolina, Greenville Division

Civil Action No. 8:13-cv-02311-JMC; Deborah Meek Hickerson vs. Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA and Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.; United States District Court, District of South Carolina, Greenville Division

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Brian Mazzola
The Mazzola Law Firm, PLLC
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