Zac Springer’s mother contacted Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner attorney Dean Brett to seek a second opinion after her initial lawyer advised that the claim was not worth pursuing. Since her son Zac had died in a jet-ski accident and there was no automobile insurance available, he concluded that the claim had no recoverable value. Dean Brett determined that homeowners insurance provided coverage for the homeowner’s failure to supervise use of a jet ski while the family was on vacation. The Estate of Zachary Springer recovered $2.5 million for his tragic death in the jet-ski accident.
The claim arose when Zac Springer was invited to accompany a friend and his father on vacation to Lake Powell, Utah. Utah law requires that minors use jet skis only after being trained and certified, and then only under close adult supervision. Instead of supervising Zac and his friend, the father partied while letting the 15-year-old boys ride the jet skis, contrary to the rental contract, the laws of Utah, and common sense.
The tragedy occurred on the afternoon of the first full day of the vacation. The two boys took the jet skis out around 5:00 p.m. This vacation was Zac’s first use of a jet ski ever, and he was operating with absolutely no adult supervision more than a mile from the anchored houseboats. The boys were operating their jet skis at about 25 mph when Zac’s friend t-boned Zac’s jet ski, which then stopped in the water. Zac was hit and knocked off the jet-ski. His friend jumped into the water to hold the unconscious boy afloat. They were in the water together for nearly 30 minutes before help arrived.
The claim was brought under Utah’s wrongful death statute. Recoverable damages included funeral and medical expenses, the value of services the decedent might have rendered to the household, the amount of money the deceased child might have earned, and the loss of society, companionship, protection and affection.
The recovery came from the entire policy limits of the friend’s father’s homeowners’ policy, a source of recovery only found when Zac’s mother sought a second opinion at Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner Law.
The Estate of Zachary Springer recovered $2.5 million for his tragic death in the jet-ski accident.