Beasley Allen lawyer Ben Locklar has filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of Wahoo and Susan House, the parents of Travis House who was killed during a boating crash that occurred on Lake Jordan in Elmore County, Alabama, during the July 4th holiday. House, a soon-to-be senior at Marbury High School, suffered fatal injuries and was thrown from the boat he was riding in when it was hit by a boat Damion Bruno was operating.
Bruno, of Clanton, Alabama, was operating a 19-foot Maxum runabout boat and the lawsuit states he was doing so “in a dangerous and reckless manner” that was almost certain to cause injury or death. It also states that Bruno has “had a long history of substance abuse and was not competent or qualified to safely operate a boat on the waters of the State of Alabama.”
“Beasley Allen is honored to represent the House family in seeking justice for this uncalled-for death of a beloved son, brother, and family member,” said Locklar. “Travis was enjoying the evening on Lake Jordan with friends, but Damion Bruno’s reckless actions ended the evening tragically. Mr. Bruno had a duty to his fellow boaters to operate his boat safely and his failure to do so caused his boat to slam so violently into the boat carrying Travis and fellow passenger, Clay Jackson, that it knocked them both out of the boat and killed them.”
On July 4, House, Jackson, a 26-year-old father of two, and several of their friends watched the annual holiday fireworks demonstration from their boat on Lake Jordan. They were returning to land, along with numerous other boaters, when the crash happened near an area known as Weoka Creek not far from the Titus community. House and Jackson were knocked from the boat and their bodies were not recovered until two days after the crash. Officials determined that House died from injuries sustained during the crash.
The two deaths that occurred as a result of Bruno’s negligent actions are just two of the 25 boating-related Alabama deaths that have occurred in the first half of 2019, according to media reports. During the Independence Day holiday, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) Marine Patrol Division reported there were 12 boating crashes resulting in six deaths – including House and Jackson. The deadly first six months has already exceeded year-end total boating-related deaths in the state for the last two calendar years. Alabama boating laws were updated and fully in effect beginning in 1999 and have helped reduce deaths but boat operators have the ultimate responsibility to operate their vessels safely. ALEA says several factors have contributed to the rise in boating-related deaths and encourages all boaters to take the same precautions they would take on roadways when operating cars.
The lawsuit was filed in the Circuit Court of Elmore County, Alabama, case Number 29-CV-2019-900307.00.
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