Dustin Herman, the attorney for the widow, argued in opening statements that Dive Rite Express failed to execute the proper tests to ensure the safety of their specialized underwater breathing device.
“This is about failing to do safety testing on a piece of life safety equipment,” Herman said of the 2010 death of Skiles. “If a corporation doesn’t do this type of testing, divers will die.”
Lawyers for the defendant argued that Skiles wasn’t certified to use the special breathing apparatus. Additionally, they claim Skiles was taking Ambien to treat insomnia (as well as hydrocodone) during the dive.
Skiles tragically died while photographing goliath groupers for National Geographic. He lost consciousness while ascending from 83 feet, lost his mouthpiece, and drowned.
More on the ongoing case can be found in the Palm Beach Post.
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