Lake Milton woman sues manufacturer over jet-ski injuries


Staff report

YOUNGSTOWN

A Lake Milton woman who claims she was seriously injured after falling off a Sea-Doo jet-ski in 2017 is suing its Canadian manufacturer, claiming the watercraft’s design is defective.

The suit was filed in mid-April in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court on behalf of Jessica Bartholomew of Lake Milton.

Bartholomew claims she was a passenger on the craft as it traveled across Lake Milton in August 2017. She reportedly slid off the craft’s seat and fell directly behind it, into the path of its jet-drive propulsion system. A “forceful injection of water” caused the woman “mutilating injuries” to her lower body, according to the suit.

The suit alleges Sea-Doo maker Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. of Quebec could have designed the craft with grip straps, handholds or a contoured seat to keep passengers safely on the craft. It also claims the watercraft is “defective and unreasonably dangerous” because it doesn’t properly warn that passengers may slide off and suffer injuries from its water-jet.

The craft was a 2017 Sea-Doo GTR, according to the suit. The suit brings claims of defective design and warning as well as negligence and seeks a combined $150,000 in compensatory and punitive damages.

A Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. spokesman declined to comment, as the case is in litigation.

The company last week filed to move the case from the county courts to the U.S. Northern District of Ohio court, records show.

The Cleveland-area injury attorney representing Bartholomew could not immediately be reached to comment Wednesday.

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