Miami Attorneys Thomas Scolaro and Adam Rose have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Sunset Watersports, the company operating the parasailing tour that resulted in the death of Nicholas Hayward. Mr. Hayward is survived by his 10-year-old son.
On July 17, Sunset Watersports’ boat captain, Andrew Santeiro, harnessed Nicholas and his girlfriend to their parasail and launched them in the air despite dangerous weather conditions. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission’s investigative arm has already concluded that “severe weather [was] a contributing factor”. Scolaro says that, “this incident would not have occurred but for Sunset Watersports’ utter disregard for the safety of its passengers and violations of Florida Law.” Scolaro further says that “Witnesses have already confirmed that the boat operator was displaying a ‘cowboy attitude’ ignoring passengers’ screams to slow down. Passengers report the operator never should have put them out there because they could not even stand on the deck without tipping over.”
Florida Statute 327.375 prohibits parasailing if the observed wind conditions are more than 20 mph or wind gusts are more than 25 mph. “Laws mean nothing if your health and safety are in the hands of cowboys who do not think the law applies to them. A young boy will grow up without a father because a boat operator wanted to play chicken with mother nature.”
The 46-year personal injury firm has been at the forefront of parasailing and watersport litigation for decades. Leesfield Scolaro obtained a record settlement in 2008 on behalf of the family of two teenaged sisters involved in a fatal parasailing ride in Broward County. The tragedy made national news due to the operator’s negligence who sent the two girls in the air in the middle of a brewing storm. The efforts of Leesfield Scolaro resulted in the passage of the first laws regulating commercial parasailing in the State of Florida.