FORT LAUDERDALE -- Geico Marine Insurance Company has filed a lawsuit against Smith & Wick Marine Diesel, Inc., a marine diesel service company that performs mechanical services for motor vessels.

According to the lawsuit filed April 17 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida Fort Lauderdale Division, GEICO was the insurer of the 2006 Grand Banks 47-foot Europa motor vessel known as the Grand Cru, owned by William and Carole Outerbridge.

Geico Marine Insurance Company has filed a lawsuit against Smith & Wick Marine Diesel, Inc., a marine diesel service company.
Geico Marine Insurance Company has filed a lawsuit against Smith & Wick Marine Diesel, Inc., a marine diesel service company. | pexels.com

The lawsuit states the Grand Cru sustained severe fire damages April 18, 2016, when the Outerbridges hired Smith & Wick to perform various mechanical services to the motor vessel.

According to the lawsuit, the fire started due to negligent work and services provided by Smith & Wick, including failure to properly secure the vessel's batteries and electrical system, smoking in the vicinity of an electrical bonding plate and abnormal heating of a control cable. 

“Smith & Wick had a duty to use reasonable care with regard to the service of Grand Cru,” the lawsuit stated.

The complaint alleges Smith & Wick breached their duty to the Outerbridges and was negligent with regard to the service of the engines, electrical system and other components of the motor vessel Grand Cru.

“As a result of the failure of Smith & Wick to properly service the motor vessel Grand Cru and take other such steps as were necessary to avoid an electrical fire, the Outerbridges have suffered severe damages to their yacht, the contents of their yacht and their personal property,” the lawsuit said.

According to the Outerbridges' allegations, Geico has made payments on behalf of the the couple for certain losses and damages they suffered as a result of the fire on the Grand Cru.

The lawsuit states Geico is entitled to recover payments from Smith & Wick. The losses suffered by Geico total $211,583.83, according to the suit.

“Geico has paid for necessary adjusting and expert services to properly meet its duties to its insureds, the Outerbridges, to be able to properly adjust the claims made,” the complaint stated.

Geico requested judgment for damages against Smith & Wick, in addition to prejudgment interest calculated from the date of the loss, costs of bringing the lawsuit, attorney fees and all other relief the court deems just and proper. 

Geico is a Maryland corporation with its principal place of business in Alexandria, Virginia.

Smith & Wick is a Florida corporation with its principal place of business in Jupiter, Florida.

The lawsuit states the case is within the diversity jurisdiction of the court because the parties are citizens of different states and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000.

Geico is represented by attorney Robert A. Craven of Law Office of Robert A. Craven in St. Petersburg.  

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U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida Fort Lauderdale Division




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