Water Safety Updates
Oregon resident lost arm after collision with dory boat
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 13 August, 2014 - A jury has awarded Bend Oregon resident Cole Ortega more than $3.8 million in economic and noneconomic damages after a 2008 surfing accident that severed his arm. The jury determined that the state of Oregon was 70 percent negligent.
The lawsuit was filed on Ortega’s behalf in 2010. It sought damages from the state for failure to provide adequate warnings of the danger of collision between dory boats and people near Cape Kiwanda.
In 2008, then 14-year-old Ortega’s left arm was severed after a collision with Martin’s dory boat while Ortega was surfing near Cape Kiwanda in Pacific City. Surgeons at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland were able to reattach his arm after the accident.
The jury determined, among other things, that the danger of collisions between dory boats and people at or near Cape Kiwanda was not open and obvious to all people who would encounter it.
“One of the claims of the state of Oregon is that the risks of dory boats was open and obvious to (Mr. Ortega),” an attorney said. “He’d never been out there when they were coming in and out. … It just didn’t occur to him that a dory boat might hit him.”