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Discovery Begins In Case Involving Phoenix Resident Who Lost Sight on Sportfishing Charter

Discovery began this week in a case where Tony Piccuta of Scottsdale Injury Lawyers, LLC represents a Phoenix resident who lost sight in his right eye. Discovery is the process in a lawsuit where each side develops evidence by taking sworn statements, requesting documents from one another, and sending written questions related to the case. The term “discovery” is appropriate because, during the process, each side is seeking to discover evidence and facts to use in support of their case.

The injury occurred when the client was on a fishing boat off the coast of California. The client had traveled from Arizona to visit his son in California, and the two planned on deep-sea fishing. The client chartered a deep-sea fishing trip, believing that the trip would be safe and appropriate for beginners. The client was one of over twenty passengers aboard the boat who had paid to charter the day-long fishing trip.

However, while aboard the charter, little to no safety instruction was given to the passengers, and they were not required to wear protective eyewear. The client was standing next to another passenger who was reeling in a line caught in seaweed. As the passenger did so, he repeatedly lifted the tip of his pole above the edge of the boat in an upward motion. The line snapped, and a sinker weight shot back toward the boat and struck the client in the right eye. The force exploded the globe of the client’s right eye, and he permanently lost vision as a result.

The lawsuit Piccuta filed alleges that the charter fishing company and the boat owner and operators were negligent. The lawsuit alleges that the charter fishing company misrepresented that the chartered fishing trips were safe for beginners and purposefully withheld the dangers and hazards associated with its trips. The lawsuit also alleges that the owner and operator of the boat were negligent for not instructing passengers on how to properly reel in a line stuck in seaweed, for failing to instruct the passengers on safety, for failing to intervene when they saw the passenger reeling in the line in a dangerous manner, for failing to warn about eye injuries and for failing to notify passengers to wear protective eyewear.

The case is pending in the United States District Court for the Central District of California and is entitled Bakkila v. Channel Islands Sportsfishing Center. It is designated case #5:17-CV-02438 and is brought under admiralty jurisdiction and maritime law.

If you or a loved one is an Arizona resident that was injured while in California, contact Scottsdale Injury Lawyers, LLC today. Our firm not only helps injured victims here in Arizona, we also have attorneys licensed to practice in California. This means we can meet with you here locally in Scottsdale or Phoenix, and still handle your case in California. Do not hesitate to contact our office today for a free consultation.

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