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Aramark Receives A Break

Aramark Receives A Break
August 15
14:45 2016

A federal appeals court has handed down a limited reprieve for Aramark Sports and Entertainment, overturning a lower court ruling that the Lake Powell concessioner was negligent in not warning boaters of the perils of inclement weather.

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver ruled Aramark had no duty to monitor the weather or to provide forecasts to persons renting boats.

Three retired Florida police officers and their wives rented a 20-foot Baja Islander boat in April of 2009. The operating manual specified it could withstand winds of 31 miles per hour. The forecast for the day called for sustained winds of 25 to 35 miles per hour, with gusts reaching 55 mph.

The group visited Rainbow Bridge successfully, but the boat sank in high winds near Padre Butte on the return trip. Two couples drowned, while the third was able to swim to shore.

District Judge Teena Campbell ruled that Aramark was negligent in letting boats on the water that day in light of the forecast. The appeals court reversed the decision, but did send the case back to Utah for a determination of whether Aramark had a duty to explicitly warn boaters of the vessel’s limitations.

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