NEW ORLEANS — A Jefferson Parish man is suing two boat manufacturers, alleging their negligence caused him to be thrown from an airboat.
Michael A. Helmstetter Jr. of Terrytown, Louisiana, filed a lawsuit May 20 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana against Alumi Tech Inc. and Mast Motorsports LLC, alleging negligence, design defect, manufacturing defect and breach of warranty.
According to the complaint, on May 22, 2015, while Helmstetter was on a bowfishing charter trip, he attempted to slow the airboat when entering a small pond in the vicinity of Hopedale. The suit says the engine throttle stayed fully open, forcing him to turn the airboat hard to the right in an attempt to avoid the marsh bank, which caused him severe injuries when he was thrown from the boat.
The plaintiff alleges the defendants negligently designed and manufactured the airboat and failed to employ alternative design methods.
Helmstetter seeks a trial by jury, judgment for compensatory damages, pre-judgment and post-judgment interest, attorney fees, costs and expenses and any other relief the court deems proper. He is represented by attorneys Kenneth E. Pickering and Gary A. Cotogno of Pickering & Cotogno in New Orleans.
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana Case number 2:16-cv-06688