Marietta Law Firm Secures Landmark Legal Victory to Transform Boating Safety

Talk of the Town Case Update

RABUN COUNTY, GA—Collaborating with Don Fountain of Clark, Fountain, La Vista, Littky-Rubin & Whitman, Ashby Thelen Lowry Catastrophic Personal Injury Lawyers spearheaded a lawsuit against Malibu Boats, LLC after the manufacturer’s boat defect tragically changed a Georgia family’s life.

The Batchelder v. Malibu Boats, LLC case focused on the devastating loss of 7-year-old Ryan Paul Batchelder. The young boy was tragically swept from a designated bow seat during a 5 mph bow swamping incident, leading to his fatal interaction with the boat’s unguarded propeller. This groundbreaking legal win has reshaped safety standards in the boating industry.

Malibu Boats issued a sweeping global safety warning that explicitly prohibits passengers from sitting in the bow seats while the boat is in motion and launched a campaign to distribute new safety labels. These include updated capacity labels, warning stickers, and comprehensive guidelines on avoiding bow swamping — measures directly resulting from the legal strategy.

Older-Model Malibu Boat Owners, Operators & Passengers May Be at Risk

Taking decisive steps to enhance consumer safety, Ashby Thelen Lowry seeks to reach potential Malibu boat owners who may still be at risk by allowing passengers to be in the bow seats while the boat is in motion.

Affected model owners should contact Malibu Boats for updated safety information, including those who operate:

1986–2002 Sunsetter
1989–1994 Euro-f3 Sunsetter
1990–1993 Mystere 215LX Euro-f3
1993–1998 Echelon LX
1995–2014 Response LX
1998–2003 Sportster LX
1999–2006 Sunsetter LXi
2002–2007 Sunsetter (23) XTi
2003–2008 Sunsetter 21 XTi
2003–2011 Response LXi
Ashby Thelen Lowry Focuses on Creating a Lasting Impact

This case, spearheaded by Drew Ashby, who has devoted his career to representing survivors and the families of those wrongfully killed in accidents like these, is a monumental example of how legal advocacy can bring about sweeping changes in industry safety standards.

The verdict in this critical case initiated a cascade of reforms in the boating industry, setting new safety benchmarks and warning other manufacturers.

Siding with the family, the jury found Malibu Boats, LLC, and Malibu Boats West, Inc., negligent. A monumental $200 million was awarded, with $80 million for Ryan’s pain and suffering and an additional $120 million in punitive damages.

This verdict is a record in Rabun County and the largest award for pain and suffering in a wrongful death case in Georgia’s history.

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