Father and son hit by boat propeller settle brain injury lawsuit for $12 million

A father and son who were seriously injured when a boat backed over them while they were scuba diving have settled their lawsuit against the scuba diving center for $12 million.

Jared Adkins and his son settled the lawsuit against the Florida Keys Dive Center in Tavernier, after the dive center initially argued that it should be protected by liability release forms that Adkins had signed.

Adkins and his son, then 11 years old, went on a scuba diving trip organized by the dive center in August 2011. The lawsuit alleged that Captain John Brady was at the helm of the Big Dipper, a 46-foot vessel, when it backed over Adkins and his son, striking them with its propellers. Because of the way the boat was designed, Brady could not see the area of the diving platform from the helm, the lawsuit alleged.

Both Jared Adkins and his son suffered severe head injuries. Adkins’ son underwent a cranioplasty to repair his skull, and Adkins suffered a skull fracture and brain damage. The father and son filed a negligence complaint in federal court in April 2014.

The settlement provides $11 million to Adkins’ son and $1 million to Adkins. Before the settlement is final, it must be reviewed by a guardian ad litem appointed by the court to protect Calvin’s interests.