Wednesday 11 December 2019
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Sea crash victim sues boat and jet ski drivers for “lifechanging” injuries

Sea crash victim sues boat and jet ski drivers for “lifechanging” injuries

Monday 11 November 2019

Sea crash victim sues boat and jet ski drivers for “lifechanging” injuries


A Jersey lawyer who “miraculously” kept his leg, and life, after a serious crash at sea two years ago is suing the drivers of the speedboat and the jet ski who he says are to blame for his “traumatic and disfiguring injury.”

Set out in documents currently before the Royal Court, those involved in the horrific collision in St. Brelade’s Bay back in 2017 are now locked in a legal battle over who should be financially compensated for the accident, which saw the jet ski passenger, Giles Corbin, threatened with amputation.

Mr Corbin has now brought a civil case against both the driver of the speedboat which ‘T-boned’ the jet ski, Michael Dorynek, and the jet ski driver, Tyson Flath. The case is before the Royal Court.

In terms of criminal proceedings, Mr Dorynek was the only one charged with driving his speedboat – called ‘Severe Attitude’ – without due care and attention, for which he was fined £5,000 in the Royal Court earlier this year.

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Pictured: Michael Dorynek after the criminal proceedings earlier this year.

The incident took place during the afternoon of 19 June 2017 when the jet ski that Mr Flath was riding – with Mr Corbin as a passenger – and Mr Dorynek’s speedboat collided in St. Brelade’s Bay. The bow of the boat ploughed into the side of the jet ski and Mr Corbin’s leg bore the brunt of the impact resulting in him having to be air-lifted to Southampton Hospital for emergency treatment. 

Within the civil claim, each of the three parties has submitted documents laying out their version of events through each of their legal representatives. 

Having sustained serious injuries – which he lays out in detail within his claim – Mr Corbin accuses both vessel drivers of “negligence or breach of duty” which not only caused the crash, but also the damage to his leg. 

Mr Corbin’s claim states: “As a consequence of the collision [he] sustained a traumatic and disfiguring injury of the utmost severity to his left leg. The surgeons at Jersey General Hospital initially recommended above-the-knee amputation (offering only a 10% chance of preserving the limb). 

“[Mr Corbin] was eventually transferred to University Hospital Southampton, where there was a surgeon who was able to try and save the leg. Miraculously the principal artery was not damaged, as [Mr Corbin] would have bled to death in the water had this occurred.” 

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Pictured: Mr Corbin was threatened with amputation of his left leg.

Recounting the amount of medical treatment he has had to undergo as the result of the accident, Mr Corbin lists:

  • 300 ultrasound treatments;
  • over 2000 hours of physiotheraphy, hydrotherapy, and lymphatic drainage;
  • around 1,200 hours spent in hospitals;
  • over 40 X-ray and CT scans.

On top of this, Mr Corbin also says that he suffers psychologically as well as mentally, having been diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a result of the accident. 

Both Mr Flath and Mr Dorynek accept that Mr Corbin suffered serious injury as a result of the crash, but they each deny that they are personally responsible for this outcome. 

Mr Dorynek denies “any negligence or breach of duty” and rather claims that either Mr Flath or indeed Mr Corbin himself were to blame for what happened. Mr Dorynek accuses the jet ski driver of breaching his duties as the operator of the vehicle and then suggests that Mr Corbin could have caused the accident because he “distracted Mr Flath by talking with him.”

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Pictured: The collision took place in the water at St. Brelade's Bay two years ago.

Similarly, Mr Flath says that both the collision and injury were “solely caused or contributed to” by Mr Dorynek’s negligence and/or breach of duty as the operator of the speedboat and denies any responsibility for the crash. 

Mr Corbin claims that he and Mr Flath know one another “socially” and, on the day in question, the lawyer was planning to get a taxi back into town to collect his car and attend another engagement.

He alleges that Mr Flath “volunteered to take [him] out of the bay directly to St. Helier so that [he] would not need to use a taxi.”

Mr Corbin asserts that he “declined the offer” and said that he would prefer to go by taxi, but that Mr Flath “insisted upon taking [Mr Corbin] out of the bay and around the headland to St. Helier.”

Mr Flath, however, accepts that the two men were friends, he denies that Mr Corbin “declined [his] offer… or that [Mr Flath] ‘insisted’ on this course of action.

Rather, Mr Flath states that Mr Corbin “agreed” to be taken into town this way.

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Pictured: The documents in this case are now before the Royal Court.

In terms of the amount of general damages that Mr Corbin can claim, the civil document notes that according to the guidelines currently used by the Jersey courts for the category of injury he suffered, he would be entitled to between £76,730 to £108,370. 

This, Mr Corbin argues, is not a sufficient reflection of his suffering – adding that this amount “is materially less than six months’ earnings” for him.

Mr Corbin “contends that the award should be of a considerably greater magnitude.”

Neither of the other men agree with this assertion, insisting that Mr Corbin’s case falls within the standard guidelines of the Jersey courts.

Mr Corbin is claiming “general damages pain, suffering and loss of amenity, special damages, future losses, the cost of future care, and adaptations to his living environments.”

As part of a separate civil proceeding brought before the Royal Court, Mr Flath (the jet ski driver) is also suing Mr Dorynek (the speedboat driver) for the “injury, pain and psychological trauma” and the “loss and damage” that he has suffered as a result of the crash. In addition to damages, Mr Flath seeks “a declaration that the collision was solely [Mr Dorynek’s] fault.”

In response to this claim, Mr Dorynek reasserts his denial that he was to blame for the collision and emphasises that Mr Flath also owed Mr Corbin “duties of care” as the driver of the jet ski. 

The cases continue.

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