S.P.I.N. Stop Propeller Injuries Now Propeller Injury Information
S top Propeller Strikes
P rovide Support to Survivors
I nform and Educate Public Policy Legislators and Regulatory Agencies
N etwork with Victims and Their Families to Enhance Boating Safety
Stop Propeller Injuries Now Stop Propeller Injuries Now

The Federal Safe Boating Act gives authority to the U.S. Coast Guard to standardize and regulate boats and the associated equipment. No other entity, such as the states, can pre-empt this federal authority. To date the Coast Guard has no regulation in place. For years, every court case based on harmful and dangerous equipment, i.e. exposed propeller, has been ruled in favor of the marine industry in the absence of Coast Guard regulation. It was as if the failure to regulate was an implied regulation.

In the 3 December 2002 decision, the Supreme Court over ruled the concept of federal pre-emption . The decision allows for claimants to petition and to seek redress for loss of life and limb under state common law. This is particularly beneficial where states have strong consumer protection and liability laws in place.

To date, it is our understanding that Mercury Marine is challenged in fifteen court rooms around the United States. The Sprietsma trial is pending in the Illinois courts as well.

Consequent to this ruling, the Coast Guard has made considerable effort to urge marine manufacturers to provide equipment solutions to prevent propeller strikes. A Notice of Proposed Rule Making # 10163 ( www.dms.gov ) is pending.

Our position since SPIN 's inception was that industry should and could solve the problem, instead of being the problem. It was in their interests to do this before court awards so punished the industry that they are put out of business. We did not want to see the pockets of the few engorged at the expense of research and development. Big litigious awards will not bring back the dead nor rebuild the amputee. But apparently, it is the only thing that the marine industry understands.

If you want to learn more about this case, we refer you to:

www.spremecourtus.gov/opinions For the syllabus and Unanimous Opinion

www.rbbi.com/invent/guard/propg/updates For a layman's view of the rule and decision of technology

www.boat/us For an article by Elaine Dickinson AHigh Court re-powers debate.@ No 2, Vol 8, page 36

S.P.I.N. Stop Propeller Injuries Now S.P.I.N. - Stop Propeller Injuries Now
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