Family Sues Teen For Boating Accident Death

Family Sues Teen For Boating Accident Death

A $20 million lawsuit has been filed against a teen accused of causing a boat accident that killed a 6-year-old boy on Memorial Day.

The parents of the boy, Andrew and Alexandra Smith, allege that 13-year-old Christopher Ruiz’s negligent and careless operation of his families motorboat directly resulted in the tragic death of their son, Charlie Smith.

Smith, his 9-year-old brother, and father were snorkeling near Key West with their divers flags raised when Ruiz’s boat hit Charlie, and then the family’s boat. Ruiz fled the scene.

The lawsuit alleges that, “after running over Charles Smith with the motorboat, Christopher Ruiz collided into Andrew Smith’s boat, causing that boat to sink and then left the Smith family at the scene of the collision, in distress with a dying 6-year-old.”

Charlie died in the hospital soon after the accident.

The lawsuit also claims that Ruiz’s parents, Manuel and Christina, were a causal factor in their son’s death by allowing their teen to operate a 17-foot-boat, even though he was licensed.

“You wouldn’t give a 13-year-old your car to drive. It’s common sense,” said plaintiff attorney Ira Leesfield. “Parents need to be aware of the responsibility they face when they let their children operate these high-powered instruments.”

The wrongful death lawsuit was filed before the fourth of July weekend in an attempt to highlight issues of parental responsibility.

“Hopefully, people will be more cautious and parents will watch kids more carefully with the awareness that there could be loss of life without proper supervision,” Leesfield said.

The suit seeks $20 million in damages.

Find a Lawyer Now

Search for a Personal Injury lawyer in your state or province by using the forms to the right.