Edna and her husband Michael have spent the past 12 years of their lives living in one of California's foremost suburbs. They've been officially retired from their jobs for most of this time, and they have decided to spend some more time traveling together. As part of their plan to see more of the world, they go on a regular yacht cruise to a different part of the world once a year.
In 2016, they booked the year's cruise a few weeks early to coincide with their wedding anniversary. They settled on an appropriate cruise that was departing at just the right time and was going to take them through a tour of the Bahamas: The one place that Edna always said that she wanted to experience more of.
The cruise offered them an impressive package deal: All meals were included over the period of a 14-day luxury cruise. With it, they would see on-site entertainment, get to take part in the casino on the ship and get to spend some quality time together.
Edna was leaning towards the theater on the boat, while Michael couldn't wait to experience the selection of restaurants advertised on the cruise. He had a fine love for steak and the reviews said that what they served on-board was some of the best – even better than steakhouses in Texas.
On the third day of the cruise, Michael and Edna experienced what they thought was a routine stop. An announcement over the PA system said that the yacht was forced to make a sudden and unscheduled maintenance stop. The yacht would be standing still for approximately twenty minutes, and from there they would resume.
Relieved that it wasn't a serious issue, Michael and Edna agreed that their itinerary would be the same for the rest of the day. Michael said that he would pop up to the room to get their bags before they left the restaurant – it was only a five minute walk and he would be back before the yacht would get moving again.
When he got up from his seat, the boat gave a sudden forward jerk. An announcement over the PA system said that the technical issues had been fixed earlier than anticipated, and the boat was back in motion as they had planned.
From there, nothing went as anyone had planned.
Michael had lost his footing when the boat was put back into motion without warning by the captain.
What would have been a normal fall for anyone else was a far worse one for Michael, who already had existing issues with compromised bone health due to chronic osteoarthritis.
He wasn't moving.
Edna immediately called for medical attention. The yacht's attending doctor declared Michael dead at the scene of the accident.
It was the worst possible thing that could have happened, and the events of the incident changed Edna's life forever. She had to return back on the cruise ship of their dreams by herself – and she knew well what would be waiting for her on shore.
When she returned to California, she found out that Michael's life insurance plan refused to cover the accident – and similarly, he himself had not made any proper provisions for what was to happen after his death. Michael's years of debt was as good as hers. Additionally, the yacht company refused to take any responsibility for the accident.
The consequences of the accident changed Edna's life and lost her more than just a partner: It also lost her all of the savings and most of the assets that had taken them years to accumulate.
If the scenario referenced above sounds familiar, wrongful death law firms can help.