Thursday, June 16, 2011

Teen's death on WaveRunner leads to $39,000,000.00 Verdict Against Yamaha

Boca Raton, FL – Attorneys for two Florida families won a $39,000,000.00 jury verdict against Yamaha Motor Corp. USA in a WaveRunner collision that claimed the life of one teen, 14-year-old Jaysell Perez, and left another, Samantha Archer, scarred and mutilated for life.

Attorney's Robbie B. Baker, Esq., of Baker, Zimmerman & PerezDavid Kleinberg, Esq., of Neufeld, Kleinberg & Pinkiert, P.A. and Eric Ansel, Esq., of Ansel & Miller won a hard fought battle against Yamaha that lasted approximately 5 years and culminated in a six-week trial in West Palm Beach, Florida. Plaintiffs’ attorneys accused Yamaha Motor Corp. USA of failing to correct a known steering defect with the personal water craft and then failing to adequately warn people that an operator could not steer without throttle. This defect was particularly dangerous for a first time operator, such as Samantha Archer, as she had no idea that she had to increase energy in a collision avoidance situation. The jury found that this defect resulted in Perez and Archer crashing into a boat.

“This was such a preventable tragedy,” said family attorney Robert Baker. “Yamaha and the rest of the personal watercraft industry have long known about the steering defect, but had failed to correct the problem in time to prevent this horrific tragedy. Yamaha corrected this steering defect in 2003; however, the subject personal water craft was manufactured in 2001 and the accident occurred on March 27, 2005. Yamaha also failed to take any remedial action. Unfortunately, both Archer and the Perez families will have to live with their losses for the remainder of their lives.”

Following the verdict, the families and attorneys headed to Currie Park to place flowers in the water as a memorial to Jaysell. Samantha Archer is left trying to put her life back together after having been absolved of any wrongdoing by the Jury.


Baker, Zimmerman & Perez, a Boca Raton / Parkland civil litigation firm, focuses on Catastrophic Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, and Defective Products. The firm is headquartered at 6991 North State Road 7, Second Floor and may be reached at (954) 509-1900. Additional information about Robert B. Baker or Baker Zimmerman & Perez, P.A. may be obtained from the firm’s website at


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