Jury awards $9.5M to sisters injured in 2009 boat collision

AP News
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Posted: Jul 30, 2016 4:13 PM

HACKENSACK, N.J. (AP) — Two sisters from New Jersey have received a $9.5 million jury award stemming from a 2009 boat collision that left them with serious injuries and killed one of their friends.

Jamie and Gina Franzino, of Mahwah, were aboard a 15-foot skiff that collided with a 31-foot boat in the Manasquan Inlet.

The driver of the larger boat, Ed McCarthy, of McCarthy's Marine Sales, was found liable in a trial in January, The Record (http://bit.ly/2aCFTVO) reported.

Last week, at the conclusion of the damages portion of the trial, a jury of five women and three men awarded $3.9 million to Jamie Franzino and $5.1 million to Gina Franzino. Gina Franzino also received $500,000 to cover an anticipated hip replacement operation.

An email message left with McCarthy wasn't returned Saturday.

"While money cannot take away Jamie or Gina's physical and emotional scars, it will certainly help them carry on their lives with financial stability," Samuel L. Davis, an attorney who represented Gina Franzino, told the newspaper.

According to Coast Guard officials, at the time of the crash the skiff carrying five people and the larger Boston Whaler with two people aboard collided on the north side of the Manasquan River between Point Pleasant Beach and Brielle.

After the collision, the smaller boat came to rest in about 2 feet of water near Fishermen's Cove, a conservation area also known as Dog Beach

Jamie Franzino suffered injuries including a collapsed lung, broken rib, fractured pelvis and concussion. Gina Franzino suffered a broken pelvis and had to have her spleen removed.

Another passenger on their boat, 24-year-old Kyle Tanis, of Mahwah, suffered a skull fracture and drowned.

The two men aboard the larger boat were not injured in the collision. The crash tore the tail off the skiff and left its front end heavily damaged. Its center console was ripped from the hull by the impact. The Boston Whaler also sustained extensive damage.

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Information from: The Record (Woodland Park, N.J.), http://www.northjersey.com