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Yamaha Appeals Jury’s Finding on Defective WaveRunner

May 12, 2012
Colson Hicks Eidson

Last June 2011, a  Palm Beach County Florida jury found the Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA mostly responsible for a 2005 personal watercraft accident that killed a 14-year-old girl, Jaysell Perez and left her friend, Samantha Archer  with permanent injuries. Within five months, Yamaha filed an anticipated request for a new trial which was denied by presiding Judge David Crow.   An October 4, 2011 formal appeal of the lower courts ruling filed by Yamaha counsel with the 4th DCA in Palm Beach is still ongoing.

According to a report at, its WaveRunner watercraft had a known steering defect, which Yamaha failed to remedy. The jury found Yamaha was mainly at fault in the fatal accident, with 1 percent blame falling on the victim and the man who let the girls take his WaveRunner out on the water. The jury found the victim’s mother 10 percent responsible for taking the girls to the party and giving them permission to ride the WaverRunner. The total jury award for damages was $35 million.

In a statement, Yamaha stands by its product and that safety is its top priority. “The WaveRunner is a safe watercraft when driven responsibly,” said the statement.

Personal watercrafts are extremely popular on Florida’s waters. A personal watercraft can be difficult to operate, and even more difficult when if it has defective components. Regardless, proper training courses and rider experience will likely reduce the chances of accidents and injuries.

Colson Hicks Eidson – Florida injury attorneys