Family of Drowning Victim to Sue City of Santa Barbara

Family of Drowning Victim to Sue City of Santa Barbara title=
Family of Drowning Victim to Sue City of Santa Barbara
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Source: Law Offices of Cappello & Noël LLP

Family members of a drowning victim have filed claims for damages against the City of Santa Barbara.

The claims state that one of the City's tenants, Santa Barbara Sailing Center, rented a stand-up paddleboard on April 29, 2017 to non-swimmer Davies Kabogoza who subsequently fell and drowned in Santa Barbara Harbor. The Sailing Center is located at the harbor's boat rental and sailing instruction facility on City property.

The claims charge that the Sailing Center did not inquire about Kabogoza's swimming skills, did not help Kabogoza select an appropriate life vest for his skill level and did not advise Kabogoza on how to wear the Type-V life belt he was given, which had to be pulled to activate.

The Sailing Center employees, according to the claim, gave Kabogoza a stand-up paddleboard that was not appropriate for a non-swimmer and did not require or recommend that he use a leash to tether him to the board in case he fell.

"The City has a duty to ensure that special care is given when one of its tenants rent equipment for water activities," says Barry Cappello, managing partner of Cappello & Noël LLP who is representing Kabogoza's mother and brother. "We understand that City employees were aware of the Sailing Center's negligence when it came to safety yet did nothing to remedy the problem."

The claims, filed October 25, 2017, are seeking damages for wrongful death and names Scott Riedman, Harbor Master and Waterfront Director, City tenant/concessionaire Skip Abed, owner of Santa Barbara Sailing Center, and other City and center employees.

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Resident Oct 28, 2017 09:16 AM
Family of Drowning Victim to Sue City of Santa Barbara

Most rental companies such as this require renters to sign a "hold harmless" agreement. I wonder if this company did that. If so, I wonder if the court will honor it and toss this case where it belongs.

Flicka Oct 28, 2017 09:07 AM
Family of Drowning Victim to Sue City of Santa Barbara

Suing gives people a better chance of getting a hunk of money than buying lotto tickets. If this paddle board had been rented to a 10 year old there might be a problem. An adult who rents should act like a responsible adult. Who knows what this young man said when renting the board. It's very sad he died, but blame on the City and Harbor Master is out in left field.

sbbulldog Oct 28, 2017 08:46 AM
Family of Drowning Victim to Sue City of Santa Barbara

My experience with the sailing center is contrary to this claim. I found every employee to be cautious and helpful. Being that the young man is not available to testify, I'm curious as to how the family was informed that the sailing center was negligent. That seems to a fact that is not in evidence.

Luvaduck Oct 28, 2017 08:31 AM
Family of Drowning Victim to Sue City of Santa Barbara

Negligent of his parents not to tell this adolescent he didn't know how to swim, but he can't sue them posthumously, so they're safe. The big question is, why isn't the entire ocean fenced off to prevent accidents? And shouldn't electric lines be eliminated for the safety of hang-gliders? And where are the crossing guards on every street corner?? Bottom line folks: There is no way to protect those who don't take responsibility for themselves and use due diligence. Sad for the man and his family, but not a rational tort.

a-1511238166 Oct 28, 2017 07:56 AM
Family of Drowning Victim to Sue City of Santa Barbara

This one helluva way for the family to let this young man be remembered for his idiotic choices rather than the real accomplishments in his short life. Being a recipient of the Darwin Award is not a fitting epitaph. Forgive my insensitivity but stupidity and greed knocks the caring out of me.

jallen4767 Oct 28, 2017 08:39 AM
Family of Drowning Victim to Sue City of Santa Barbara

I agree whole heartedly. Who knows what answers he gave the rental place in order to get access to something he had no business doing! I'm sorry for the loss too but he risked his life and lost. Interesting how greedy attorneys are right there to make money by preying on grieving family. Shameful!!

a-1511238166 Oct 28, 2017 07:10 AM
Family of Drowning Victim to Sue City of Santa Barbara

He certainly LOOKS athletic! You would assume he's old enough and fit enough and wise enough to know that he will be on the water and it's an ocean at that and he better know how to swim. I am not in favor of blaming the city or a business for one's own stupidity. May he rest in peace~

Ducky Oct 28, 2017 06:38 AM
Family of Drowning Victim to Sue City of Santa Barbara

Why is it that everyone except the tax paying middle class treats America as if it were their very own cash cow? You know, this sh$&’s not free-it’s coming out of someone’s (many people’s!) pockets.

420722 Oct 27, 2017 06:33 PM
Family of Drowning Victim to Sue City of Santa Barbara

Agreed shorebird, as an adult he should have told them he couldn’t swim or decided on a different activity but if he did tell them he couldn’t swim at all and they still rented it to him...Ouch.

a-1511238166 Oct 27, 2017 06:27 PM
Family of Drowning Victim to Sue City of Santa Barbara

I'm a lefty liberal but I hate that people don't take responsibility for themselves. People who go in the ocean should be responsible for their own safety, unless the equipment was faulty. People who fall off cliffs when they are drunk should have figured out ahead of time that this is the edge of the continent. I was saddened when this man died. But why did his parents not teach him that a person can drown in a body of water? This is not the city's responsibility.

shorebird Oct 27, 2017 06:01 PM
Family of Drowning Victim to Sue City of Santa Barbara

I went to a high school where swimming was part of P.E. and you couldn’t get a diploma if you couldn’t swim. It boggles the mind that a college educated athlete who knew he couldn’t swim would risk his life so carelessly.

a-1511238166 Oct 27, 2017 04:29 PM
Family of Drowning Victim to Sue City of Santa Barbara

It's pretty simple, if the rental co. had a practice of renting out water equipment without checking if people were able to properly and safely use it and not being able to use it properly or safely posed a risk of harm/death (ie, the rental co. was acting negligently) and the City knew about it and did nothing, the city could be negligent. This isn't that far-fetched of a lawsuit. I've seen way worse. Most of you just love to get angry and play armchair attorney whenever you see a story about a lawsuit. Grow up folks, negligence is a real thing.

a-1511238166 Oct 27, 2017 04:51 PM
Family of Drowning Victim to Sue City of Santa Barbara

Yes, the rental company should be taking responsibility for renting out a piece of equipment to someone who didn't know how to use it without even checking if they knew how to use it when the misuse of that equipment posed a significant risk to life. Glad you figured that out Rex, esq.

REX OF SB Oct 27, 2017 04:44 PM
Family of Drowning Victim to Sue City of Santa Barbara

Yes, negligence is a real thing. So is taking responsibility for your own actions. These folks sure learned the 'Murican way of lawsuits quickly. THIS is why foreigners laugh at us. (At least the ones who aren't suing us.)

a-1511238166 Oct 27, 2017 04:10 PM
Family of Drowning Victim to Sue City of Santa Barbara

Ludicrous. It is very sad what happened, no doubt. The dangers associated with participating in water activities as a nonswimmer are not a surprise nor a secret nor created by the business, they are inherent, basic, and well-known. Hope the city attorney fights this instead of settling, I doubt it though. This City loooves to settle.

a-1511238166 Oct 27, 2017 03:27 PM
Family of Drowning Victim to Sue City of Santa Barbara

When you see how much ludicrous and irrelevant hassle you get from all those overpaid bureaucrats for the slightest business activity it's highly time they are confronted with their shortcomings and failures when it comes to important and life threatening matters which they ignore out of incompetence . How they get hit by a huge amount of damages, they deserve no less.

a-1511238166 Oct 28, 2017 04:57 PM
Family of Drowning Victim to Sue City of Santa Barbara

624 here : Try to understand what I said : they should focus on IMPORTANT matters rather than all the inane and irrelevant regulations they annoy you with all year long..

a-1511238166 Oct 28, 2017 07:42 AM
Family of Drowning Victim to Sue City of Santa Barbara

How are these "overpaid bureaucrats" responsible if a tourist who can't swim decides to rent a watercraft without informing anyone of his shortcoming? Methinks people expect way too much of the nanny state.

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