Why Testing was so Crucial in Determining Causation of a Jet Ski Accident

Case Study:Why Exemplar Testing Can be Critical in a Case

Recently, CED Technologies Inc. was retained by plaintiff’s counsel in a jet ski explosion case. In the complaint, the plaintiff had rented a jet ski from a marina. The plaintiff, prior to leaving the marina, filled the gasoline tank of the jet ski before leaving the dock. The plaintiff then started the jet ski and proceeded away from the dock. After it moved several feet forward away from the dock, the jet ski stalled. The plaintiff, then tried to re-start the jet ski but this didn’t work, so the plaintiff opened the lid to where the engine and gasoline tank were located and tried the starter again. This action caused the jet ski to burst into flames and the plaintiff sustained major burn injuries.

The defense countered the plaintiff’s argument that the accident was caused by human error by “over-filling” the tank or some other factors that caused the jet ski explosion. The CED engineers reviewed the witness statements and depositions but most importantly, searched for recalls or prior reported accidents. This extensive search revealed that the jet ski had a recall on the gasoline neck at the top of the tank. This neck had a problem where it could potentially crack. The CED team then secured the actual jet ski from the accident to reveal that in fact the neck was cracked.Although the neck was cracked it still didn’t reveal the cause of the explosion.

To provide a conclusion, the engineer performed a non-destructive testing on the jet ski involved in the accident. The engineers built an “air tight” housing facility and then filled the tank but this time left the top of the jet ski open. This revealed that with the top open, the vaporization was much quicker and could produce an explosion. The final test was to allow the vaporization and use the starter. In this test, the vaporization occurred and an explosion indeed happened.

Thanks to the video from the testing and the research and analysis of the fuel vaporization rate, the case quickly moved to settlement. CED engineers continuously use analysis and exemplar testing to support claims for both plaintiff’s and defense counsel; helping many of our clients.