Mon 18th Jul | 2022

$200M Jury Award Reaffirmed After Court Denies All of Malibu’s Post-Trial Motions including its Motion for a New Trial

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July 18, 2022 – Clayton, GA – A Rabun County Judge has denied all of Malibu LLC’s motions for a new trial in the fatal boating case involving 7-year-old Ryan Paul Batchelder.

“Justice for Ryan Batchelder was served when a Rabun County jury announced its $200 Million verdict back in August of 2021,” said Don Fountain, lead trial attorney. ”We support the judge’s conclusion that there was no legal basis to proceed with a new trial.”

Malibu LLC has 30-days to decide if it will appeal. If so, they must post a bond for the judgment.

In 2014, the Batchelder family rented a 2000 Malibu Response LX open bow ski boat for a family reunion held at Lake Burton in Rabun County Georgia. While the boat was being operated at about 5-7 mph and properly loaded at a weight hundreds of pounds below the maximum rated capacity, the bow carrying four children swamped washing young Ryan into the water.

In an effort to prevent the boat from sinking, the operator, who did not see Ryan leave the boat, briefly put the boat into reverse, and Ryan became entangled in the boat’s unguarded propeller. He died as a result of drowning and significant injuries causing extensive blood loss.

Following a three-week trial in August 2021, lead counsel, Don Fountain and partners Julie H. Littky-Rubin, Ben J. Whitman, and Georgia Trial Lawyers Drew Ashby and Max Thelen obtained the record-breaking $200M Jury Verdict against Malibu Boats LLC.

For more information, contact Don Fountain at or 561-899-2144.

Related Documents

July 18, 2022 – Order on Malibu Boats, LLC’s Post-Trial Motions

July 19, 2022 – First Amended Order on Malibu Punitive Damages

News Coverage

Great Trials Podcast Interview Episode 138: Don Fountain and Drew Ashby | Batchelder et al v. Malibu Boats, LLC, f/k/a Malibu Boats, Inc.; Malibu Boats West, Inc. et al. | $200 million verdict

Judge slams boating company found at fault for death of 7-year-old Lake Worth boy

Credit: Ari Hait, WPBF

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