Underwater Leg Impact Propeller Guard report Volume4
This post is the fifth of a series of five posts covering the boating industry’s legal defense. Specifically, their legal defense against boat propeller guard product liability / product defect lawsuits. It focuses on our review of the 1990 underwater testing of a propeller guard impacting cadaver legs. The testing was performed at State University of New York at Buffalo by Mercury Marine and OMC.
This post is an introduction to a lengthy pdf report titled Mercury Marine & Outboard Marine Corp. Propeller Guard Case Legal Defense Volume IV Leg Impact Study. The materials can be found at Boat Propeller Guard Product Liability Defense.
As seen in the image below, the 1990 Leg Impact study was used by the boating industry to support the 1989 NBSAC study. Without the leg impact study, the 1989 NBSAC keystone study would fall. The boating industry’s legal defense against recreational boat propeller guard product liability / product defect cases relies upon it.
The introduction to the our review of the 1990 Leg Impact Study report is copied from Volume IV below.
A Brief Introduction to Our Review of the 1990 Head Impact Study
One version of Tyler Kress’ Leg Impact Paper
1988 – 1991 was an especially difficult time for Mercury Marine and Outboard Marine Corporation (OMC). A multitude of propeller injury lawsuits were being filed. The suits claimed their drives should have had propeller guards.
Mercury and OMC had a mutual protection relationship in trying to find relief from these lawsuits. Then along came the U.S. Coast Guard National Boating Safety Advisory Council (NBSAC) forming a propeller guard subcommittee in May of 1988.
Mercury and OMC both had representatives on the NBSAC subcommittee on propeller guards. Dick Snyder, Mercury’s long time expert witness in boat propeller cases was also closely involved with the subcommittee.
Mercury and OMC were also involved in a propeller guard project for the U.S. Marine Corps in this era.
Dick Snyder testified underwater propeller guard impact studies grew from a discussion he had with John Snider and Peter Fuller at a seminar on injuries. He was talking with them about their work with cadavers and motorcycle accidents and the potential to do similar research underwater.
The State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo has a large circular pool. It was originally constructed for testing humans in special environments. The facility is known as the Center for Research and Education in Special Environments (CRESE).
The boating industry has since used the facilities for several propeller guard studies.
If you are unfamiliar with the tank at SUNNY see our video in the Introduction or read any of the studies performed there.
Data for the leg impact study, discussed in this volume, and the head impact study discussed in Volume III were both collected in December 1990.
Together, these two studies were intended to support the 1989 NBSAC subcommittee on propeller guards study as seen in the image above.