Orlando rowing club hit with 2 lawsuits after kids are killed by lightning

Daytona Beach, FL – The family of one of the two boys killed by lightning during a rowing practice in September on Lake Fairview in Orlando has filed a wrongful death lawsuit. The family of the 13-year-old boy has sued the Power Ten Rowing Club, North Orlando Rowing Club and USRowing. This comes after the family of the other victim, an 11-year-old boy, also sued the rowing club last year. 

According to the latest lawsuit, the 13-year-old boy was one of four students on the boat when thunderstorms rolled into the area. Other rowing teams stayed indoors for practice that day while the boy’s team went out on the water.

While the students went out on the water, the coach stayed on the dock. The lawsuit claims the students had a hard time hearing instructions from the coach through the rain and thunder.

Lightning struck the boat while the students were trying to return to shore. The 13-year-old and an 11-year-old were knocked out and were unconscious when the boat capsized. The younger kid was held above the water by the other students until the coach reached them with a boat, but he died in the hospital days later on his 12th birthday. The 13-year-old boy was lost in the lake and his body was retrieved by dive teams hours later.

Both lawsuits accuse the rowing club of negligence, and lack of training and supervision during the practice.

When can you sue a sports club in Florida?

In Florida, you may be able to sue a sports club for:

Negligence: If the sports club failed to exercise reasonable care to protect you from harm, and you were injured as a result, you may be able to sue for negligence. For example, if you were injured because the sports club failed to maintain their equipment or facilities in a safe condition, you may have a claim.

Intentional misconduct: If the sports club or its employees engaged in intentional misconduct that caused you harm, you may be able to sue for damages. For example, if a coach or trainer intentionally caused you physical harm, you may have a claim for assault and battery.

Breach of contract: If you have a contract with the sports club, and the club breaches the terms of the contract, you may have a claim for breach of contract. For example, if the sports club fails to provide the services or facilities promised in the contract, you may have a claim.

However, in most cases, it’s not going to be easy and you should consult with a seasoned Daytona Beach personal injury lawyer to explore your legal options. 

What is a release of claims and when does it apply?

The main obstacle to filing a lawsuit is that many sports clubs in Florida will have you sign a release of claims as part of your membership agreement. Typically, a release of claims will state that you assume all the risks associated with practicing a sports activity. For instance, if you injure a muscle at the gym you won’t be able to sue. You knew that certain exercises may result in injury so they are not liable for any damages. On the other hand, if there’s an equipment malfunction, that is the club’s responsibility. You never signed a form agreeing to use defective equipment. Your lawyers can accuse the owners of the club of negligence for failure to provide adequate maintenance. 

You may also have a claim in a case involving gross negligence. In the tragic story mentioned above the coach should have kept the children indoors due to severe weather conditions. By sending the kids out on the water he put their lives at risk. What’s more, the coach remained on the dock leaving the children to fend for themselves in a terrible storm. 

If you were recently injured while at a sports club in the Daytona Beach area, schedule a free consultation with an experienced lawyer at Pappas & Russell PA as soon as possible. They will help you gather all the evidence you need and prepare your personal injury claim, while you can focus on your recovery

Contact info:

Pappas & Russell PA

213 Silver Beach Avenue

Daytona Beach, Florida 32118

Phone: (386) 254-2941

Source: 2nd lawsuit filed after boy killed in lightning strike while rowing on Lake Fairview in Orlando

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