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SNELL & WILMER WINS WRONGFUL DEATH CASE
Snell & Wilmer won a defense verdict on behalf of an Arizona town sued in Federal court alleging wrongful death. Patrick Fowler and Craig Logsdon represented Lake Havasu City in the trial before USDJ Neil V. Wake. Plaintiffs claimed that the town was responsible for the drowning of a 26-year-old on Labor Day weekend 2003 in the Bridgewater Channel portion of Lake Havasu, a narrow strip of water inside the city limits.
On busy holiday summer weekends, the Channel fills with thousands of people and hundreds of boats. Decedent’s family contended carbon monoxide emitted from an idling boat caused decedent’s death.
The jury returned a defense verdict after only ninety minutes of deliberation. The jurors agreed that boat engine exhaust was not the cause of death. Alcohol, heat exposure, and a head injury played a role, the jurors believed, causing decedent to pass out and drown. Jurors also concluded that the town acted responsibly in addressing air quality issues and public safety in the channel.