Grady-White Boats sued over capsize, death in Gulf

Michelle Keahey Aug. 26, 2011, 4:48am

The manufacturer of a recreational fishing boat is being sued after a February incident in which a fishing boat capsized and a Louisiana man died after an extended time in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Jeffrey Mock and Brian Mock, in their own right and on behalf of the Estate of Kenneth J. Mock, filed suit against Grady-White Boats Inc. and Harold D. Dowsey and/or the estate of Harold D. Dowsey on Aug. 19 in federal court in New Orleans.

The incident occurred on Feb. 12, at approximately 7:30 a.m. as Kenneth Mock was a passenger on a recreational fishing vessel owned by defendant Dowsey. The vessel was a 25-foot recreational fishing boat manufactured by the defendant Grady-White Boats.

Dowsey and Mock was traveling out of South Pass for the purpose of recreational sport fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. En route, one of the vessel's two outboard motors stopped working.

According to the lawsuit, the other engine was turned off in order to restart the failed engine and that's when the men noticed that water was entering the inside cockpit area of the boat. The boat flooded and ultimately overturned, sending the men into the waters of the Gulf. Due to the extended amount of time in the water and the cold temperature, Mock died.

Defendant Grady-White Boats is accused of negligence in that the boat was in a defective condition that made it unreasonably dangerous.

Defendant Dowsey is accused of negligence for failing to adequately inspect his vessel and keep it in a safe and operable condition, failing to properly maintain all equipment, failing to use reasonably safe methods when operating the vessel and for careless operation of the vessel. He is also accused of negligence for failing to maintain control of the vessel, failing to ensure the all passengers on the vessel wore protective, life-saving vests at all times while the vessel was in operation and failing to provide proper safety equipment.

On behalf of Kenneth Mock, the lawsuit is seeking damages for physical and mental pain, suffering and discomfort, medical and funeral expense, loss of wages, loss of consortium, plus interest and court costs.

The plaintiffs are represented by Conrad S.P. Williams III and J. Christopher Zainey Jr. of Williams Law Group in Houma.

U.S. District Judge Carl J. Barbier is assigned to the case.
Case No. 2:11-cv-02057

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