Wave runner operator sues owner for entrusting her to its use

Kelly Holleran Sep. 16, 2010, 2:36am

A St. Louis woman has filed suit against the man who she claims irresponsibly allowed her to drive his wave runner on the Mississippi River, causing her serious back pain.

Donna Regh claims defendant Bruce Braswell gave her permission to operate his vehicle on the water on July 19, 2009.

"While Plaintiff was operating Defendant's wave runner on the river, Plaintiff hit a large unexpected wave which caused the wave runner to abruptly leave the water and land hard," the suit filed Sept. 3 in Madison County Circuit Court states. "When the wave runner landed on the water, Plaintiff felt immediate extreme pain in her back."

When Regh returned to Braswell's boat, she was in so much pain, she needed help to get off the wave runner, according to the complaint.

Her injuries were so severe, she could not stand without assistance and had to be taken to the hospital by ambulance, the complaint says.

Because of the incident, Regh claims she sustained a fractured vertebrae, suffered great pain and mental anguish and has been hindered and prevented from attending to her normal employment. In addition, she lost money and incurred medical costs, according to the complaint.

Braswell negligently failed to provide Regh with any instructions, failed to instruct her on how to properly position herself on the wave runner when she encountered a wave, failed to warn of dangerous conditions on the Mississippi River and entrusted Regh with the wave runner when he knew she was incompetent to drive it, the suit states.

In her two-count complaint, Regh is seeking a judgment of more than $100,000.

She will be represented by David S. Corwin of Sher Corwin in St. Louis.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-920.

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