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Freeman and Maynard Obtain Exoneration for Client Following Trial in Shipowner’s Limitation of Liability Act Case

March 28, 2019

Tracy Freeman (Partner-Houston) and Allison Maynard (Partner-Dallas) obtained complete dismissal of a claimant’s case following a bench trial in federal court in the Eastern District of Oklahoma. The case was filed under the Shipowner’s Limitation of Liability Act and may be the first one of its kind tried in the Eastern District of Oklahoma. Wilson Elser’s client was operating his ski boat on Lake Texoma when it traversed wakes left by a larger vessel. The claimant, who was sitting at the bow of the client’s boat, reportedly bounced up three times, landed on the floor and reportedly sustained multiple fractures in his back.  Claimant alleged client was traveling at an unsafe speed and that he failed to keep a proper lookout. At the conclusion of the claimant’s case in chief, Tracy and Allison moved for judgment on partial findings that their client should be entitled to complete exoneration. The trial judge granted the motion, finding that the claimant did not sustain his burden of proof necessary for a finding of negligence. Client was completely exonerated. 

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