Lawsuit Filed In Fatal Boating Accident

Posted on Sep 09, 2010
   A third lawsuit involving personal injury has arisen from an alleged drunken boating accident in Connecticut that left one person dead and two injured. On Friday, Elizabeth "Libby" Protzman, 22, filed a lawsuit against the boat's driver, Arthur King Hall, who is accused of second-degree manslaughter in the September 3, 2009 accident.

   Jonathan Cook, 24, was killed and Protzman and Devon Hardy, 22, were injured.

   Additionally, Hall, 25, is to be arraigned today on a disorderly conduct charge. He was arrested August 24 for allegedly breaking into a home while drunk and resisting arrest.

   "This was a terrible tragedy that had a profound impact on a number of families, including Ms. Protzman's," said Protzman's New Haven attorney, David Grudberg. "We look forward to our day in court." Cook's and Hardy's families filed lawsuits against Hall in May.

   Hall had a blood alcohol level of four times the legal limit the night the boat smashed into a seawall, according to the warrant for his arrest. He is also accused of second-degree manslaughter with a vessel, first-degree reckless endangerment, first-degree reckless operation of a vessel while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs, and two counts of second-degree assault.

   The lawsuits accuse Hall of recklessness and negligence, saying he "failed to keep a proper outlook, operated the vessel at an unreasonable speed, operated the vessel under the influence of intoxicating liquors or drugs, or both, and failed to stop the vessel so as to avoid a collision with the  seawall."

   Cook was pronounced dead at the scene of a brain injury. Hardy was in a coma and suffered memory loss, loss of cognition, and a number of other injuries. Protzman sustained severe injury to her legs, feet ankles and back, head and brain trauma, loss of consciousness, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

   The families have also filed documents claiming that Hall's father, Bennett Hall, who owned the Boston Whaler, is partially responsible for the fatal accident.