San Diego Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Filed Against Communications Company in Sailboat Mishap
The lawsuit resulting from one sailing trip that had gone very, very wrong has recently been dismissed by San Diego Superior Court Judge Judith Hayes, according to U-T San Diego.com, and the couple who filed the lawsuit are not too happy about it.
Back in April, Charlotte and Eric Kaufman, both residents of San Diego, were reportedly two weeks into a sailing trip that was intended to be “a [sailing] trip around the world” with their two daughters, ages one and three, when their youngest daughter fell ill. The couple attempted to contact the U.S. Coast Guard for medical advice, but when their sailboat ran into bad weather, it became clear that their satellite phone on board the boat had been damaged and was unable to make or receive any calls.
The Kaufmans ultimately decided to call off the trip, due to not being able to receive any medical advice, and they activated an emergency alarm on the boat while they were stranded a few hundreds of miles off the coast of Mexico.
The alarm reached the California Air National Guard, who parachuted down to the boat and waited for a Navy ship to rescue the family.
While the Kaufmans were picked up and safely delivered back to land, their sailboat was left and sea and has since sunk underwater.
In July, the couple decided to file a lawsuit against the company in charge of the boat’s satellite phone service; if the phone had not been so badly damaged, the Kaufmans argued, they wouldn’t have had to abandon their trip and their sailboat.
The phone company, ironically called Whenever Communications, stated that they had been in the process of switching SIM card providers and that it was some other company that was responsible for the phone malfunction.
After Judge Hayes dismissed the case, the Kaufmans’ personal attorney stated that they would be filing another lawsuit against Whenever Communications, this time in Florida, where the company’s headquarters are located.
As part of a complicated industry that generates around $6 billion of revenue per year in the U.S., it’s not surprising that Whenever Communications had been working in conjunction with multiple other companies to provide phone service in remote areas. Nevertheless, if the Kaufmans are able to prove that the company is still liable for the faulty phone, it’s likely that the family could receive steep monetary compensation — maybe even enough to buy a new sailboat and cover the costs of another worldwide sailing trip.