MRO Magazine

Searcy Denney Files Suit on Behalf of Catastrophically Injured Palm Beach Boater

June 27, 2016
By PRN NewsWire

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., June 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — South Florida law firm Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley P.A. (Searcy Denney) today announced that it has filed a civil suit against Tracker Marine, L.L.C., (Tracker Marine) doing business as Bass Pro Shops, and related parties on behalf of Mr. Daniel Pena for product liability and negligence claims resulting in catastrophic injury.

The suit alleges that, on March 5, 2016, Mr. Pena and three passengers took his new 2015 Mako 18 LTS boat – which was both manufactured and rigged by Tracker Marine – for an afternoon pleasure cruise on the Intracoastal Waterway. After several hours on the water, Mr. Pena piloted the vessel south toward the Harvey E. Oyer, Jr. boat ramp, at which time a defectively manufactured hydraulic steering line unexpectedly disengaged from the vessel’s helm.

The failure caused near instantaneous loss of hydraulic pressure to the vessel’s outboard motor, which, in turn, caused a total loss of steering. The torque created by the spinning propeller of the outboard motor turned the vessel approximately 180 degrees with sufficiently violent force to eject Mr. Pena from his position at the helm, hurling him over the gunwale and into the water.

Tragically, Mr. Pena was struck in the face and head by the propeller and skeg of the vessel’s outboard motor immediately after he was ejected. Mr. Pena was horribly disfigured, sustained a traumatic brain injury, and suffered physical impairments that now prevent him from living a normal life.

According to the complaint, Tracker Marine utterly failed to meet the industry’s quality control standards during the manufacturing of the vessel. The complaint also alleges that the defendant’s service technicians failed to perform an adequate 20-hour service check after the sale and delivery of the boat.

The case is number 50 2016 CA 007119xxxx MB in the Circuit Court of the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit, Palm Beach County, Florida.

“The injuries Mr. Pena sustained due to the negligence of Tracker Marine are some of the most gruesome and life-altering I have seen in all my years of practicing law,” commented Mr. Pena’s attorney, Searcy Denney shareholder Jack Hill. “While constant public efforts to remind boat operators of their safety responsibilities are wholly commendable, in this case justice demands a different focus. In this case, we must focus on the egregious irresponsibility of the manufacturer.”


Mr. Pena and his attorneys are calling on witnesses of the incident to come forward in order to further substantiate the actual events. The incident occurred approximately one mile south of the Hypoluxo Bridge on the Intracoastal Waterway at around 4:30 pm on Saturday, March 5, 2016.

“We’re asking that anyone who may have had a clear view of Mr. Pena’s vessel come forward and tell their story,” advises Searcy Denney attorney Adam Hecht. “With help from the public, we can ensure that the proper parties are held responsible so that Mr. Pena can receive the best medical help he deserves and desperately needs.”

Mr. Pena’s attorneys at Searcy Denney have scheduled a press conference for 11:00 am Wednesday, June 29 at which Mr. Pena and his wife will repeat the call for witnesses and further discuss the importance of this case for themselves and their community. The press conference will take place at the offices of Searcy Denney.

In the interim, witnesses to the incident can reach Mr. Pena’s representatives Jack Hill or Adam Hecht at 561-686-6300 or 800-780-8607.

About Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley, P.A.

A nationally recognized trial law firm, Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley, P.A. is committed to protecting and vindicating the rights of people injured through negligence, deceit and abuse of power. Over the past 30 years, the firm has represented clients in courtrooms throughout Florida and across the nation.

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To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:

Photo: Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley, P.A.

CONTACT: Joan Williams,