Tue 4th Jun | 2024

Class Action Targets Malibu Boats, LLC Over Persistent Safety Defects in Wake of Previous Litigation

Accidents In the News Personal Injury Product liability BY

A new class action lawsuit has been filed against Malibu Boats, LLC by plaintiff Terry Blasingame, who is representing a class of individuals from across the United States. This legal action addresses serious safety defects in several models of Malibu boats, which were purportedly sold with defective bow seating areas susceptible to being swamped by water. This flaw poses significant risks of injury or ejection of occupants from the boat when in motion.

Filed in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware, the complaint alleges that Malibu Boats was aware of the bow seating hazard as early as 1996 but failed to adequately warn consumers until a service advisory in July 2023. This advisory, which came too late for many, mandated that no passengers should be in the bow area of the affected models while the boats are in motion, thereby reducing the seating capacity.

The models cited in the lawsuit include the Sunsetter, Response LX, and Sportster LX, among others produced between 1986 and 2011. According to the lawsuit, the flawed design allows the boat’s bow to submerge under the wake during normal use, such as crossing its own wake at low speeds.

This class action lawsuit builds on the precedent set by the landmark $200 Million Dollar Jury Verdict in Batchelder v. Malibu Boats, LLC case, where Malibu Boats was held accountable for a design defect that tragically resulted in the death of a young passenger who was riding in the bow of a Response LX boat. The outcome of the Batchelder case has catalyzed significant reforms across the boating industry, focusing on enhancing safety protocols and manufacturing standards to prevent similar incidents.

Despite these industry-wide changes, the current lawsuit suggests that risks remain for owners and lessees of the earlier models, underscoring the need for continued vigilance and accountability in product safety practices.

Plaintiffs in the current case are seeking compensatory damages and injunctive relief that compels further corrective actions from Malibu Boats to address the alleged defects. The lawsuit also aims to ensure that such safety oversights are comprehensively addressed, promoting greater transparency and safety in recreational boating.

For more information or to participate in the class action lawsuit, affected parties are urged to contact legal counsel.