James N. Hurley, a shareholder with the Miami office, successfully defended The City of Fort Pierce Marina in a civil lawsuit resulting from damages to five vessels docked at the marina during Hurricane Frances. These five boat owners and their insurers sought $3 million in damages.
Despite plaintiffs' claims, the court found that: the marina was properly constructed and operated; that it adequately warned customers of any design limitations though its license agreements, rules and regulations; and that the license agreement contained a provision whereby the boat owners agreed not to hold the marina responsible for any loss.
"We are very pleased with the court's decision. Hurricane Frances was a strong and long-lasting storm that caused a lot of damage at the marina, but the vessel owners clearly had the responsibility to secure their own boats, and signed agreements stating so. In addition, marina regulations strongly urged boat owners to seek safer refuge for their vessels in the event of a hurricane," said Hurley.
Hurley is board certified in admiralty and maritime law by The Florida Bar, and Chairman of the Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute. He focuses his law practice on admiralty and maritime law, insurance coverage and bad faith disputes.