VerdictSearch Case of Note for Week of December 12, 2011: Admiralty/Maritime Man is awarded $1M for facial fractures in sailing crash*
Thompson v. Forni
Admiralty/Maritime – Alameda County
A jury awarded $1 million to a sailing crewmember who sustained several facial fractures after two sailing vessels collided. In 2009, David Thompson, then 54, was struck in the face by a metal roller that gave way on Gary Gebhard’s sailing vessel, which he was on, after it collided with James Forni’s vessel during a race. Thompson fractured his right cheekbone, eye socket and nasal orbit, resulting in nerve damage. Gebhard claimed Forni violated racing rules of sailing by failing to have a look out and for proceeding when he didn’t have the right of way. Forni admitted partial blame, but claimed that Thompson was injured by Gebhard’s post-collision actions. The jury found Forni 72 percent liable for the crash and Gebhard 28 percent liable.
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Additional Library Resources
The library has a strong admiralty and maritime collection. Information about bringing maritime tort actions can be found in The Law of Maritime Personal Injuries (Thomson West) and The Law of Seamen (Thomson West), both available at the Main Library in Oakland.