A woman living in Virginia’s Fauquier County has filed a six million dollar wrongful death lawsuit against an Orange County subdivision regarding a boating accident that killed her husband.
Lake of the Woods subdivision has been sued by Michelle Goodman due to an accident in which a pontoon boat struck and killed her husband, Jason Goodman, in July 2010. The lawsuit also names the operator of the boat, Charles Schulle. Goodman is also seeking a $500,000 punitive judgment against Schulle for the same incident, citing his direct responsibility for the accident that killed her husband.
Goodman has charged both Schulle and Lake of the Woods with negligence in the accident. She claims that the subdivision operated their lake in an unsafe, unmonitored manner, which directly contributed to Schulle’s unsafe operation of his boat on the day of the accident.
The accused parties came to their defenses individually. Lake of the Woods asserts that it has no direct control over operators on the lake, and that Schulle’s actions are not the responsibility of the subdivision in this case. Schulle maintains a different assertion, directly accusing Jason Goodman’s own negligence as leading to his death in the accident.
In what might be the first blow to Schulle’s defense, however, he was fined a total of $1,000 shortly after the accident. The fine was for operating a boat in a reckless and unsafe manner. If he wishes to assert that he was not responsible for Goodman’s death, he will most likely have to overcome this particular piece of evidence in court.
As yet, there has been no court date filed to begin proceedings, nor has a judge been announced as overseeing the litigation in the case. Since it is a civil rather than a criminal matter, the process could take some time to proceed through Fauquier County courts.