I’m very disturbed as the owners of the Conception take a defensive legal step against wrongful death lawsuits which should and will arise. Truth Aquatics, have filed a petition in Federal Court citing an 1851 legal statute in an attempt to virtually eliminate their financial liability. The lawsuit claims the 1800’s era maritime statute limits the liability of the boat owners to the an amount equal to the value of the Conception after the tragedy occurred. Obviously the Conception has been completely obliterated in the fire and therefore the plaintiffs argue the value of the boat is $0.
This lawsuit literally seeks to tie the legal rights of the families of those who lost their lives aboard the Conception to $0. It is not possible for me to express the depth of my disdain for this legal maneuver, however desperate the owners of Truth Aquatics may be.
There is no doubt in any legal minds regarding the wrongful death legal exposure Truth Aquatics does and should face due to the fire on the Conception which claimed the lives of 34 people. This callous tactic was used while investigators are still searching for the body of the final victim of this tragedy. Truth Aquatics called this “another unfortunate side of these tragedies.”
While the callousness of this action by Truth Aquatics is obvious on its face, the fact that this lawsuit was filed before any of the victim’s families could initiate a wrongful death claim may provide a legal advantage. The action seeks to preclude the families from filing actions in State Court as the owners of the Conception take a defensive legal step in an attempt to force the lawsuits to be consolidated in Federal Court. Time will tell.
I’m not actually surprised to see the owners of the Conception take a defensive legal step against wrongful death lawsuits which will inevitably arise from this senseless tragedy. However, after more than 40 years of experience in wrongful death cases here in Southern California I am surprised and disturbed by the reported actions of one law firm who had their firm’s administrator attend a makeshift memorial and approach family members. Ambulance chasing has no place in a professional legal practice, and I firmly believe the families should not have to face a sales pitch in the midst of their grief.
This case will ultimately go to trial, and the families of the victims will need a proven and experienced wrongful death trial and personal injury attorney. California law provides plenty of time for them to grieve before filing their wrongful death lawsuit. If any of the family members of those who lost their life on the Conception have questions we invite them to contact us or call 949-305-1400 to get straight forward legal advice and counsel based upon 40 years of genuine trial and legal experience. Our thoughts remain focused on those who have lost loved ones and friends in this senseless tragedy.