Personal Watercraft Injuries | PWC Accident Attorneys

A trend of increasing number and severity of injuries associated with use of personal watercraft (PWC) has been noted as the use and popularity of PWC also rises. Statistics compiled and distributed by the United States Coast Guard continue to establish that the rate of injuries secondary to PWC use is significantly greater than that from other water sports. Reported injuries run the gamut from closed head trauma, facial fractures, and spinal injuries, to internal organ injuries, severe lacerations, and hydrostatic injuries (a/k/a internal orifice injuries).

PWC Internal Orifice Injuries

One particularly serious type of PWC Injury occurs when a rider falls off the back of the watercraft and into the path of the high-pressure water jet. The jet thrust is powerful enough to force water into the rider’s orifices, which can result in severe internal injuries to the rider’s vagina, anus or rectum, or even death.

Whereas PWC injuries to other parts of the body can inevitably be attributed to operator inexperience, negligence and/or reckless behavior, the same cannot be said about PWC Orifice Injuries. Indeed, PWC Orifice Injuries can and do occur, in the absence of negligence or human error, upon materialization of the following circumstances: 1) passenger falls off back of PWC, 2) passenger lands in water in close proximity to PWC’s jet nozzle, and 3) passenger’s legs are abducted upon landing in water. All three circumstances occur every day, on lakes and waterways all across America. That they all three not occur simultaneously, should not be left up to chance.

Through our extensive experience gained over the years, Mazzola Law Firm’s products liability lawyers have developed a team of preeminent experts in the areas of PWC design and manufacturing, as well as warnings and human factors analysis. And we have an extensive library of authoritative texts, periodicals and articles concerning these industry-related issues. Our personal watercraft accident attorneys have successfully cross-examined the defense experts most frequently retained by PWC manufacturers, and have created a library of prior deposition and trial testimony that enables us to effectively neutralize and often capitalize on their opinions.

Claim is Against PWC Manufacturer – Not Owner – Not Driver

At Mazzola Law Firm, we represent individuals that have sustained PWC internal orifice injuries in civil actions against the PWC manufacturer. Not against the individual that owns the PWC.  Not against the individual that was driving the PWC. Orifice injuries occur as a result of design and marketing defects, therefore the claims brought are based in strict product liability law, and  against those responsible for designing and marketing the PWC – Yamaha, Bombardier or Kawasaki (depending on whether the subject PWC was a Waverunner, Sea-Doo or Jet Ski, respectively).

Texas Product Liability Lawyers | Mazzola Law Firm, PLLC

If you have sustained personal watercraft internal orifice injuries and want to learn more about your legal rights, contact Mazzola Law Firm for a free consultation and case evaluation. We look forward to meeting with you in our Beaumont, Texas office, or at a location of your choosing. For those interested, we also offer telephone and Skype consultations.

About Us

An Experienced and Determined Advocate

Attorney Brian N. Mazzola is proud to be included in The National Trial Lawyers Association’s Products Liability: Top 25.  

This invitation-only professional organization is composed of and limited to the Top 25 attorneys from each state or region who serve individuals and families who need attorneys to represent them in the American legal system regarding Products Liability claims. Members of the Products Liability Trial Lawyers Association: Top 25 exemplify superior qualifications of leadership, reputation, influence and performance in their area of specialty.

Mazzola Law Firm, PLLC has also been honored by the Trial Lawyers Board of Regents with the Litigator AwardTM for Boat & Watercraft Accidents, and is proud to be the only law firm in Texas to hold this distinction in what is a very specialized area of law. Bottom Line — No one has more experience prosecuting this specific type of products liability case than the Mazzola Law Firm.

More information about attorney Brian Mazzola can be found at the link below:

Brian N. Mazzola


PWC Injury FAQ

What are PWC Internal Orifice Injuries?

PWC Internal Orifice Injuries are hydrostatic injuries to the vagina, anus, rectum or perineum of a PWC passenger secondary to the jet stream created by the PWC jet thrust propulsion system. Oftentimes, individuals sustaining such injuries require emergency medical intervention including the surgical implantation of a colostomy bag. Consequences of PWC rearward ejection orifice injuries include permanent disability, disfigurement or death.

What have PWC manufacturers done to help prevent Internal Orifice Injuries?

Despite having been aware of the catastrophic consequences of PWC Internal Orifice Injuries for over two decades, the PWC manufacturers at Bombardier, Yamaha and Kawasaki have failed to incorporate safer alternative designs into the Sea-Doo, Jet Ski or Waverunner.

The current design of the various makes and models of PWC require passengers to ride without adequate mobility restraints, handholds, straps, grips, seating configurations and/or tail designs which would prevent them from sliding backwards off the seat (often upon acceleration) and landing directly in the path of the jet thrust from the jet drive propulsion system.

What legal options exist for those that have sustained Internal Orifice Injuries?

The Mazzola Law Firm has helped many individuals across the United States hold PWC manufacturers accountable for placing products into the market that they know to be defective. No amount of money will ever take away either the physical or psychological damage that one suffers as a result of these horrible injuries. But by seeking legal recourse in a court-of-law, those that have been injured will not only be helping to force PWC manufacturers to do the right thing (by incorporating safer alternative designs into PWC), they will also be able to seek maximum financial compensation for their past and future medical expenses, past and future lost wages, past and future mental anguish, past and future physical impairment, past and future pain and suffering and past and future disfigurement.

As currently designed and marketed, in what ways are PWC defective?

Design Defect
The available safer alternative designs would incorporate:

1)​A simple grip strap across the seat which could be held between the passenger’s legs;
2)​Handholds in or adjacent to the seat that are high enough to be reached and gripped while allowing passengers to keep their center of gravity sufficiently forward;
3)​A contoured seat with a soft and low bolster or backrest which would prevent passengers from sliding off the rear of the craft;
4)​Lengthening of the rear deck of the craft far enough to allow the output pressure of the jet drive to dissipate prior to the point where a fallen passenger could be seriously injured by such flow; and
5)​A contoured housing over the jet propulsion system that would direct or slide a fallen passenger to the side or far enough behind the jet flow to reduce or eliminate the danger.

Marketing Defect
In addition to design defects, manufacturers can also be held liable for placing into the stream of commerce products with “marketing defects” (in some states, this is known as “failure to warn”). Although the laws may differ somewhat from state to state, generally speaking, manufacturers must not place products into the market without adequately warning users of the product of known risks associated with its use. In the case of PWC, adequate warnings are not provided to put riders on notice that they could fall from the rear seat of the craft and land directly in the path of an extremely dangerous jet of water which could inflict severe and permanent damage to human tissue and organs. Too often, the warnings which have been provided, are small, inconspicuous, hidden within a barrage of other warnings, poorly placed for passenger viewing, unclear, non-specific and vague, and therefore, in violation of ANSI standards.

PWC Injury Blog

Hickerson v. Yamaha (Part 2)

On December 6, a three-judge panel for the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in the Deborah Meek Hickerson v. Yamaha Motor Company, Ltd. and Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A.  matter. Judge Diana Gribbon Motz, Judge G. Steven Agee and Judge Henry F. Floyd presided over the proceeding. Fortunately (but unfortunately not surprisingly), the Court was …

Hickerson v. Yamaha

Without regard for truth or justice, and through a deliberate distortion of the law, defense lawyers for product manufacturers have successfully hijacked the current state of product liability law in South Carolina. Oral arguments in the Hickerson v. Yamaha case are set for December 6, 2017 in Richmond, Virginia. Links to briefing below: Appellant Hickerson’s …