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Archive for dredge pipe

Back in 2012 Mark Barhanovich of Biloxi, Mississippi was going out fishing in his boat with a friend just off Biloxi. The Suzuki outboard motor struck a dredge pipe, broke off, flipped into the boat, and killed Mr. Barhanovich, at least partially with the propeller.

Mark Barhanovich's center console fishing boat. Photo from Edward Fritsch expert witness report

Mark Barhanovich’s center console fishing boat.
Photo from Edward Fritsch expert witness report

Mark Barhanovich

Mark Barhanovich

Bean, the dredging firm, previously settled with the Barhanovich family.

Bean brought Suzuki of Japan into the suit in an effort to recapture some of any potential losses. Suzuki moved for summary judgement in U.S. District Court of Southern Mississippi and the case was dismissed.

We covered the Barahanovich accident and case in several previous posts.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit heard the Barhanovich case in September 2016.

On 4 November 2016, the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals filed its opinion. As is sometimes the case, the U.S. Court of Appeals affirms in part (agree with the lower court on some things), and reverses and remand in part (disagree with some of the lower court’s findings and remand the case back to them). Read More→

0 Categories : Legal Shorts

Mark Barhanovich

Mark Barhanovich

On September 16, 2012 Mark Barhanovich’s boat struck a dredge pipe off Deer Island, Mississippi, his 225 horsepower Suzuki outboard motor broke off, flipped into the boat, and he was killed by the propeller.

As to what led up to the appeal, see our post titled, Barhanovich case: Suzuki released, Bean appeals

The Expert Reports

A little more information on the expert report in question and its timing is below.

Bean’s expert, Edward Fritsch of ATA Associates, prepared an expert report dated 19 October 2014. At the end of the report, he lists a total of 3 opinions. They were basically, (1) But for failure of the Suzuki outboard swivel bracket, the engine would not have entered the boat and struck Mr. Barhanovich. (2) The extent of fracture of the swivel bracket on the Barhanovich boat is much greater than that of similar brackets failed in the lab and requires evaluation of the properties of the specific bracket on the Barhanovich boat. (3) If Mr. Barhanovich knew a dredge pipe was in the area, he should have been going less than 28 mph.

Suzuki DF225 outboard

Suzuki DF225 outboard

Per Bean, Suzuki did not provide full responses to their discovery til 6 April 2015.

Edward Fritsch, Bean’s expert, filed a supplement (update) to his report on 30 July 2015 said to be based on additional things learned from Suzuki’s disclosure. In this report Mr. Fritsch lists a total of 10 opinions, all of which target Suzuki.

Suzuki basically claimed the first expert report was not relevant because it did not make direct claims against Suzuki.

Suzuki claimed the second report introduced ideas and opinions not in the first report. Per Bean supplemental reports were only to expand on ideas previously discussed, not to introduce new opinions.

Suzuki was thus able to get both reports and Mr. Fritsch’s testimony (deposition) tossed from the case on 16 September 2016, just two weeks before the scheduled trial.

That left Bean holding an empty bag when Suzuki moved for summary judgement.

The judge granted summary judgement to Suzuki and Bean appealed. Read More→

0 Categories : Legal Shorts

Rex Chambers' boat with outboard motor broke off

Pro angler, Rex Chambers’ boat with outboard motor broke off

When outboard motors strike submerged objects they can break off and flip into the boat as seen in our lists of outboard motors breaking off and flipping into boats and large outboard motors breaking off and flipping into bass boats.

We previously posted information on several existing and proposed solutions, including The Leash, a vectran tether targeting bass boat applications.

Submerged objects have a wide range of characteristics ranging from almost pure water with just a few weeds or small pieces of debris all the way up to stumps, pilings, dredge pipes, railroad ties, and concrete piers. When outboard motors from various manufacturers of various sizes and speeds strike this wide range of objects, the outboard motor log strike system behaves in a number of different ways (modes).

Especially of interest are outboard motors that break off the boat. Breaking off the boat is a prerequisite to breaking off and flipping into the boat. Not all outboards that break off will flip into the boat. But for an outboard to pass over the rear deck, and enter the seating area of a bass boat, it must first break off the boat.

The Outboard Motor Log Strike Modes Chart for a bass boat below illustrates the range of behaviors (modes) encountered.

Outboard Motor Log Strike Modes

Outboard Motor Log Strike Modes

Read More→

When an outboard motor strikes a submerged object at speed it may break off and flip into the boat. Outboards that flip into the boat usually do so with the engine still running and the propeller turning at thousands of RPM. Those on board can be critically injured or killed.

We have long been especially pointing out the need to prevent larger outboard motors, such as those on bass boats, from entering the boat.

The Leash is a new product designed specifically to prevent outboard motors from flipping into bass boats and usable in other applications as well.

All images below, except the hand sketch have their origins based on images on The Leash’s Facebook page.

Shortly after we posted this page, The Leash also launched a web page on TheLeash.net.

The Leash: promotional image

The Leash: promotional image

Read More→

0 Categories : New Products

Mark Barhanovich

Mark Barhanovich

The fatal propeller accident in which Mark Barhanovich’s boat allegedly struck a dredge pipe and the Suzuki outboard motor broke off, flipped into the boat and struck him with the propeller has resulted in perhaps the most complicated propeller accident case ever with no end in sight.

Mr. Barhanovich was a cherished, well known citizen of Biloxi Mississippi with a young family when the accident occurred off Deer Island Mississippi in September 2012.

Recently Suzuki was released from the case, but Bean quickly appealed and the case is now in the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Read More→

0 Categories : Legal Shorts

Outboard broke off and flipped into Michael Moreno's boat. Image via Bass Angler magazine.

Outboard broke off and flipped into Michael Moreno’s Ranger bass boat. Image via Bass Angler magazine.

Back on 29 September 2011, Mike Moreno, a professional bass angler, and his stepson, Jared Mitchell were prefishing the California Bass Federation State Championship tournament

The were rolling along in a Ranger bass boat powered by a 250 horsepower Mercury outboard motor.

About 8 am they struck a dredge pipe on the San Joaquin River Delta. The Mercury outboard motor broke off, flipped up into the boat, and landed between the consoles with the engine still running. Both men sustained major injuries. Mike Moreno was pinned down by the motor. Jared was cut by the propeller. This quick account of the accident was gleaned from Things can happen beyond your control. Bass Angler magazine. 18 October 2011.

The Moreno’s filed a case 12 October 2012 in the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Sacramento, Case #34-2012-00133702 focusing on the dredging operation being insufficiently marked / lack of warnings. That case also named the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as defendants. With the federal agencies named as defendants, on 8 April 2013 the case was moved to Federal Court:

Michael Moreno, Deanna Moreno (spouse of Michael Moreno), Jared Mitchell
vs.
Ross Island Sand & Gravel, Costa County, Sacramento County, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

United States District Court
Eastern District of California
Case # 2:13-cv-00691-KJM-KJN Read More→

0 Categories : Legal Shorts

Mark Barhanovich was killed 16 September 2012 when his 23 foot center console fishing boat struck a dredge pipe off Deer Island, Mississippi. The 225 horsepower Suzuki outboard motor broke off and flipped up into the boat, fatally striking him with its still rotating propeller.

Deer Island Barge Position

Position of the Deer Island, Mississippi barge associated with the dredging operation per USCG 2012 Week 37 Local Notice to Mariners dated September 12, 2012. Deer Island is the long thin island to the south west of the barge (red balloon).

Mr. Barhanovich’s family settled a civil suit against the dredging operation, C.F. Bean, LLC and other parties.

The United States Attorney’s Office filed criminal charges against Bean on Friday 16 October 2015 for not properly marking the dredge pipe.

Case Citation: United States of America v. C.F. Bean LLC. Criminal No: 1:15cr71HSO-RHW. United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi Southern Division.

Bean pleaded guilty in Federal Court on Tuesday 27 October 2015 to improperly marking its dredging operations near Deer Island. Read More→

0 Categories : Legal Shorts

Suzuki DF225 outboard

Suzuki DF225 outboard

On 3 February 2014, C.F. Bean, Bean Meridian, and Archer Western Contractors filed a Third Party Complaint in U.S. District Court, Southern District of Mississippi, Southern Division. The complain called for adding Suzuki (USA), Suzuki (Japan), and Bob’s Machine Shop (jack plate manufacturer) as defendants in the case regarding the death of Mark Barhanovich. Mr. Barhanovich is thought to have struck a dredge pipe off Deer Island Mississippi in September 2012. His outboard motor flipped into the boat, where it struck and killed him.

Bean and Archer basically want to blame everything on Suzuki (in the U.S. and in Japan), and on Bob’s Machine Shop.

On 6 March 2014, Jerrie Barhanovich, widow of Mark Barhanovich, filed a brief stating her opposition to Bean and Archer’s request to bring Suzuki and Bob’s Machine Shop in as defendants.

She says Bean and Archer’s request should be denied on 2 counts:

  • The motion does not comply with local rules
  • The proposed third party complaint is futile, will delay the trial, and will prejudice her side of the case.

Read More→

0 Categories : Legal Shorts

Jerrie Barhanovich, widow of Mark Barhanovich filed suit against C.F. Bean and Archer Western Contractors in the death of her husband resulting from a boating accident in which his boat allegedly struck a dredge pipe.

We previously covered the accident in Mark Barhanovich Boat Propeller Accident at Deer Island Near Biloxi, MS: Dredge Pipe Strike?.

We also covered the Jones Act suit by C.F. Bean, their attempt to limit their potential liability in this accident.

Now, Jerrie Barhanovich has filed suit in those proceedings. Her case is: Jerrie P. Barhanovich, Executrix and Personal Representative of the Estate of Mark Barhanovich, Deceased.

It was filed 20 March 2013 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi.

The claim begins by describing the September 16, 2012 accident that claimed Mark Barhanovich’s life. It says a vessel in navigation (the barge) created a submerged obstruction (the dredge pipe) and failed to adequately “monitor, mark, light, and warn” of the obstruction.

Claims are being made under admiralty and maritime law. Bean and Archer are subject to jurisdiction because they were the proximate cause of Mark Barhanovich’s injuries, and their acts arose from a contract in part with the State of Mississippi. Read More→

0 Categories : Legal Shorts

Mark Barhanovich

Mark Barhanovich

Mark Barhanovich (deceased)is the defendant in a Jones Act suit by C.F. Bean regarding the September 16, 2012 boating accident in which Mr. Barhanovich is alleged to have struck a dredge pipe near Deer Island, Mississippi.

We previously covered the accident in detail at Mark Barhanovich Boat Propeller Accident at Deer Island Near Biloxi, MS: Dredge Pipe Strike?”.

The current lawsuit is:
In the Matter of C.F. Bean LLC, as Owner Pro Hac Vice and Operator, and Bean Meridian LLC, as the Record Owner, of the Barge Bean 20, Official 627225, Praying for Exoneration from or Limita v. Mark Barhanovich. Filed 15 March 2013 in Federal Court in Mississippi Southern District Court.

The motive behind C.F. Bean and Bean Meridian in filing the case is an attempt to limit any potential liability on their part. They are doing this by claiming the Jones Act applies. In the U.S. (with the exception of some states and some situations), the liability for damages and injuries caused by a vessel in navigable waters is limited to the value of the vessel and its contents (freight) after the incident. Back in 1851 when Congress passed the Limitation of Liability Act (now part of the Jones Act), their intent was to reduce the potential liability of ship owners. Congress reduced their potential liability to encourage investment and competition in waterborne commerce (shipping and transportation). Read More→

0 Categories : Legal Shorts