Family of Drowning Victim to Sue City of Santa Barbara

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.


Written by Anonymous

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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