Due to COVID 19, we're providing FREE consultations via PHONE or VIDEO conferencing for your safety and convenience. Please see Our Coronavirus Policy.

Jet Ski Injuries to the Rectum and Vagina Lead to  Very Justified Lawsuits against the Manufacturers

jet-ski-300x200

One thing I love about my job as a New York personal injury lawyer is that I am always learning new things. A novel personal injury case walks in my door and I say, “wow, I didn’t know that could happen”!  But then I research it and find out that not only does it happen, it happens repeatedly. And it happens because someone, and not the poor injured guy, but rather a big, fat, rich company, screwed up.

Here’s a recent example:  Two young ladies are riding on a jet ski (some manufacturers call them WaveRunners or Sea-Doos).  The driver speeds up and the backseat passenger falls backward into the water. The fall into the water didn’t hurt, of course.  It’s a fairly soft landing.  And since a jet ski has no propellers, she did not get chewed up by a prop. (We have successfully represented several clients with prop injuries, one who lost her leg).  No, what happened was that the jet ski’s “jet” of water pummeled her rectum so hard it caused severe internal damage.  She almost lost her life by bleeding to death.  And her rectum was so damaged that she ended up needing to wear a coloscopy bag.

These facts stunned me.  At first I thought this was just a fluke accident, that the “jet” of the jet ski had coincidentally hit her at just a certain angle so as to be able to enter her anus and her rectum, and that it was a one-off event.  I figured at best my client had a claim against the driver of the jet ski for accelerating too quickly. I wondered whether the owner or driver of the jet ski would even have liability insurance coverage  for the accident. (Unlike for a car, New York law does not require boat insurance).

But then I did a little research and found that this was not a “fluke” or a one-off event. This type of injury – called a “douche” injury – is well known in the jet-ski industry.  The main jet ski manufacturers (Bombardier, Kawasaki, and Yamaha) are well aware of the danger because they have all been sued before for precisely this kind of injury. So the “big” defendant, and the “deep pocket” one, is the manufacturer of the jet ski, not the jet ski operator. And that’s the defendant that seems most culpable, too.

I’ll tell you why the manufacturer is culpable in a minute.  But first, more about this type of injury.  It is essentially a hydrostatic assault on the rectum or vagina caused by a flood of water so intense that it enters an orifice (vagina or anus) at great force and can cause “blow out” injuries internally. The injuries can include tears to the vaginal or rectum walls, perforation of the walls, bladder damage, severed arteries, displacement of the colon, and injury to the bowels, cervix, uterus or fallopian tubes, and can result in death from massive bleeding. It is not at all unusual for the douche injuries from jet skis to necessitate emergency surgical intervention including a laparotomy and/or colostomy.  Often the surgical implantation of a colostomy bag is required because the rectum is destroyed beyond repair:

coloscopy-bag-225x300

So now let’s talk about the culprit, the jet ski manufacturers.  These are BIG injuries so you would think the manufacturers would do everything humanly possible to avoid them. But what have the jet ski manufacturers done to try to prevent them? Very little: Essentially, they slap a warning on the jet ski. It says you should wear protective swimwear, like a wetsuit (in small print of course) so as not to to suffer a “douche” type injury from the jet. (Yeah right.  Like they believe people actually read those warnings!  And that on a hot summer day when folks are out for some fun they’re going to want to wear a wet suit!)

What they have not done, and which would seem pretty simple, is redesign the seat of the jet ski so that a backseat passenger can’t fall back into jet’s direct flow.  All it would take is a kind of seatback you have seen on some motorcycles, like this:

motorcycle-back-281x300

The manufacturers have so far refused to re-design their jet skis to make them safe. But they eventually will, believe me.  This type of injury will get more and more common because jet ski sales are soaring.  As jet skis multiply, so will the lawsuits, and unless the manufacturers do something about it, they will end up in the poor house.

Remember those three-wheel ATV’s that caused such devastating injuries (paralysis and crushing deaths) in the 1980’s?

three-wheel-atv

The three wheels made them unstable and subject to flipping over on top of their occupants.  Why don’t you see them anymore?  Because personal injury lawyers like me sued them to kingdom come.  They were forced to redesign the vehicles by adding a fourth wheel:

atv-2-300x191

And voila, no more “flip-over” injuries.

I’m making the same prediction here.  Eventually the jet ski industry will see the light. They will add backseat protection against falling into the path of the “jet”.

In the meantime, if you know anyone who has suffered this type of injury, have them call me for a free consultation.  Together we can make jet-ski manufacturers see the light. Money talks (to big business) like nothing else, and together we can do some big “talking” to them. $$$$$$$.

Keep safe!

Mike Bersani

Email me at: bersani@michaels-smolak.com    I’d love to hear from you!

michaels-smolak.com
Finger Lakes Boating Accident Lawyers
Michaels & Smolak, P.C.
315-253-3293

Contact Information