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Felder Secures Exoneration of Jet Ski Rental Company

August 2, 2019

Otis Felder (Of Counsel-Los Angeles) represented a jet ski rental company in an alleged wrongful drowning case before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California (Sacramento Division).  The rental company filed a petition with the federal court arising from the drowning of an unauthorized rider. Based on the pleadings alone, the district court found that the estate of the rider failed to state a claim for negligent entrustment under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) as it could not establish a duty owned to the unauthorized rider. The estate appealed to the Ninth Circuit, arguing it should have been allowed to proceed in Alameda Superior Court on a determination of liability after it had conducted discovery. Upon remand by the Ninth Circuit, the district court agreed with Otis and found that it would be prejudicial to the rental company to have to re-litigate when the estate failed to even state a claim. Finding an absence of any viable claims, the court entered an order exonerating the rental company and judgment in its favor.  

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