Isabelle Florentine

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Our firm recently settled a boating accident case for $3.97 million, the full insurance policy limits. Our client initially worked with two other law firms but after eighteen months, was told by those law firms that they could not help her. In April 2021, she found us. By August 2021, Butler Kahn obtained this policy-limits settlement for the client. Details about the case follow, although names have been changed.

Boating Accident on Lake Lanier
On September 2, 2019, Ms. Isabelle Florentine, a 32-year-old, active woman, went out to Lake Lanier with some friend. Because it was Labor Day Weekend, one of Isabelle’s friends rented a pontoon boat for all of the friends to enjoy. That boat was equipped with a waterslide, an on-board generator, and a water pump, among other things. A picture of that boat appears to the right.
Isabelle and her friends enjoyed the boat for most of the evening—going down the slide and swimming around the perimeter of the boat. Isabelle and another friend, Jessica Potter, recall hearing a humming noise while using the slide and swimming near the boat. Out of concern for their safely and fearing the noise was coming from the engine, both Isabelle and Jessica asked about the noise. Isabelle and Jessica were told—more than once—that the noise was coming from the on-board generator and the water pump, which ensured the slide was wet when in use.
Later in the evening, Isabelle and Jessica went back to the top deck of the boat to go down the slide. Jessica remembers that the boat was stopped and, while she heard the same humming noise, she believed the engine was off. Jessica says this was because the boat was not moving, and she and Isabelle were previously told that the humming noise was coming from the on-board generator.

Boating Accident, Propellor Injury, and Amputation of Leg
Because Jessica believed it was safe, Jessica went down the slide. Isabelle followed. Sadly, the operator of the boat—who was under the influence of alcohol and marijuana—turned on the propeller and began to back the boat. Isabelle looked up to see the boat bearing down on her. She could not escape in time. The boat backed over her. The propellor struck her leg. The spinning steel tore into her flesh. It chopped skin, muscle, and bone. When she finally got free Isabelle shouted that she couldn’t feel her leg.

The scene was chaotic. Isabelle’s friends tried to help her. Someone pulled her out of the water. Her femoral artery hand been severed, and she was bleeding profusely. Emergency medical personnel rushed Ms. Florentine to the hospital. The lower part of her left leg was essentially destroyed. The propellor flayed the muscle and skin. The bones inside her leg looked like a disorganized bundle of sticks. Doctors amputated her left leg just below the knee. Isabelle’s x-ray appears to the left and a picture of Isabelle’s leg after the amputation appears below.

Witness Testimony Confirmed that Our Client Did Nothing Wrong
As soon as Butler Kahn got the case, we began talking to witnesses. It was important to move fast because roughly a year and a half had passed since the boating accident. The witnesses confirmed what happened, and BLF was able to obtain affidavit (sworn statements) from multiple witnesses.

This case shows why people hurt in boating accidents need a good boating accident lawyer. Isabelle was told by two law firms that they could not help her – after those firms waited for eighteen months. Within three and half months of being hired, BLF obtained a policy-limit settlement for Isabelle in the amount of $3,973,260.00. We’re proud of that.

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