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Ironman Organizers Not|Responsible for Fla. Death

(CN) - Organizers of the 2006 Florida Ironman are not responsible for the death of a 35-year-old Montana man who drowned while competing in the race.

The ruling upholds a federal jury's verdict finding no proof of negligence by North America Sports and USA Triathlon.

Brian Moore, a representative for Bernard Rice's estate, argued that the wrongful death case, filed in state court on behalf of Rice's wife and three children, was improperly transferred to federal court.

Moore claimed the estate was entitled to a new trial in state court, because the organizers' removal motion had been filed too late and should not have been granted.

The Atlanta-based federal appeals court disagreed.

"We conclude that any error in failing to remand the case would be procedural error insufficient to warrant vacating the judgment and remanding for a new trial in state court," the three-judge panel wrote.

The 2006 Ford Ironman Florida Triathlon took place in Panama City Beach.

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