Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed in Snorkeling Accident of University of Virginia Student

A Virginia family recently filed a lawsuit following their daughter’s December 2012 death during a Semester at Sea program in the Caribbean.

The 22 year old young woman was a University of Virginia student at the time of the accident, which happened last December in Dominica. She was reportedly struck by the propeller of a catamaran during a snorkeling excursion.

The lawsuit reportedly seeks funeral costs and other financial recovery. The complaint was filed in federal court in Miami against various defendants involved in operating the Semester at Sea program.

Though the facts reported in this tragic case are sparse, the parties named as defendants are the organization who ran the semester at sea program, a hotel, a travel agency (presumably the one who coordinates arrangements for semester at sea), and the owner/operators catamaran company. Due to the fact that the defendants are being accused of wrongdoing, they must have each had a hand in the boat trip that led to the young woman’s tragedy. The types of negligence involved vary depending on the defendants’ various functions, but could potentially include things such as failure to maintain the boat in a safe manner, failure to supervise students adequately, failure to properly research vendors, etc.

In this case, the family is seeking funeral costs and other financial damages, likely in the form of a wrongful death lawsuit. A wrongful death lawsuit is designed to attempt to compensate family members for the loss of a loved one that would not have occurred absent the negligent behavior of the defendant as accused in the case. Recovery in wrongful death cases can potentially include things such as the lost earning capacity of the family member, loss of companionship, any relevant medical costs related to the incident, and in some cases funeral expenses. The laws regarding wrongful death suits vary by state, and in Maryland are governed by the Maryland Wrongful Death Statute. The family in this case likely filed their lawsuit in Miami due to some sort of binding “choice of venue” clause involved in the paper work that was likely signed prior to their daughter enrolling in the Semester at Sea program.

If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury or death due to someone else’s negligence, contact the experienced Washington D.C. area personal injury attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers immediately. Our attorneys have many years of experience in working with individuals and families who have suffered as a result of the personal injury or wrongful death of a loved one. We have extensive experience in representing families who have lost loved ones as a result of car accidents, medical malpractice, birth injuries, premises liability and other traumatic events. If you believe that your loved one died because of the negligent actions of another, please contact us today by calling 1-800-654-1949 or by visiting our website, in order to schedule your initial free consultation.

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