A US judge has dismissed a claim against Brunswick Corporation in a negligence suit brought against the maker of Sea Ray Boats by an insurance company alleging a boat they manufactured and sold sunk after catching on fire due to Brunswick’s faulty Zeus pods.
US District Judge John Steele granted a motion by Brunswick to dismiss claims of negligence and denied the motions to dismiss claims of express and implied warranty breach.
The case stems from a 2016 incident in which a boater ran his Sea Ray aground off the coast Naples, Florida. When he tried to move the boat, the Zeus pods “failed to sheer, causing the vessel to sink."
Sea Tow Naples used a pump to keep the boat from taking on more water in a salvage attempt when fuel from the pump leaked onto the boat, causing the vessel to catch fire. Atlantic Specialty Insurance Co paid US$936,622, the agreed upon value of the boat, to its customer, then sued Brunswick for recovery.
Judge Steele granted the motion to dismiss Atlantic’s claims for negligence, agreeing with Brunswick that the claims are “barred by the economic loss rule”, noting “federal maritime law does not permit recovery in tort for such purely economic loss.”
The order dismissed the negligence claim without prejudice, giving Atlantic 30 days to amend their complaint.