Insurer Off the Hook for Mysterious Missing Yacht
(CN) - There is no basis to retry a man's insurance dispute over the mysterious disappearance of his yacht and the man driving it, a federal judge ruled.
Eurys Gamez purportedly owned the 32-foot Glasstream fishing yacht that his cousin, Alfredo Hassun, loaned to a friend, Alexis Suarez, for a fishing trip in 2007.
"Suarez and the vessel then mysteriously disappeared and were never heard from again," the ruling filed Monday in Miami states.
Ace American Insurance Co. denied Gamez's claim for the loss of the boat, and he sued for breach of contract.
A jury ruled in favor of Ace because Gamez and Hassun made misrepresentations on their insurance application, including the wrong address for where they kept the boat not noting that Hassun was more of an owner than Gamez of the boat.
On Monday, the court denied Gamez's renewed motion for judgment and his motion for a new trial because of the insurance misrepresentations.
"With two people, each has less 'skin in the game' than a single person would, and the universe of things that could go wrong increases significantly: the boat is probably in use more often, it likely travels back and forth between different locations, there is a risk of miscommunication between the two persons, and so forth," U.S. District Judge Patricia Seitz wrote. "One might even loan the vessel to an acquaintance that the other might not trust."
"Because Florida law does not require that misrepresentations increase the hazard, and because there was sufficient evidence at trial for a reasonable jury to conclude that Gamez's intentional misrepresentations affected Ace Insurance's ability to assess the risks it was insuring, both of Gamez's motions are denied," she added.