In this case my client's foot was cut off by the propeller of a ngeligent pleasure boater. The accident happened on Lake Havasu which is bordered by both California and Arizona. Although we could have handled this case under state law in either Arizona or California, instead we chose to file it as a federal case under admiralty law, also called maritime law. The reason for this was that the negligent boater had inadequate insurance and there was an argument that the repair facility which had worked on the negligent boater's boat was also partly at fault. Under state law the repair facility would only be liable for the percent at fault it was, but under federal maritime law the repair shop would be jointly liable with the negligent boater for my client's entire loss.
Although most people and even lawyers might not realize this, any boating accident on an interstate navigable water of the United States gives the injured party the right to sue in federal court under admiralty law.
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