Personal Watercraft Orifice Injuries | personalwatercraftinjuries.com
What are Orifice Injuries? What causes Orifice Injuries? Other terms for Orifice Injuries? What should a manufacturer do to prevent Orifice Injuries? What is the Safety Hierarchy? What should you do if you have sustained Orifice Injuries? Claim is against the PWC manufacturer, not owner or driver...
What are PWC Orifice Injuries*?A trend of increasing number and severity of injuries associated with the use of PWCs 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 of other water sports. Reported injuries run the gamut from closed head trauma, facial fractures and spinal injuries, to severe lacerations and internal organ injuries.
PWC Orifice Injuries
One particularly serious type of PWC injury, PWC Orifice Injuries, occurs when a rider falls off the back of the PWC and lands in the path of the blast of water emanating from watercraft's jet thrust propulsion system. The jet thrust is powerful enough to force water into the rider’s lower body orifices, which can result in severe internal injuries to the rider’s vagina, anus or rectum. The consequences of PWC rearward ejection orifice injuries include permanent disability or death.
What causes PWC Orifice Injuries?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.
Individuals sustaining orifice injuries require immediate medical intervention, which most commonly includes the surgical implantation of a colostomy bag.
Are there other terms used to reference PWC Orifice Injuries?Yes. Other terms for PWC orifice injuries include:
PWC hydrostatic injuries, PWC water douche, BRP Sea Doo orifice injuries, Yamaha waverunner orifice injuries, Kawasaki jet ski orifice injuries, Rearward ejection orifice injuries, jet pump orifice injuries, jet thrust orifice injuries, personal watercraft internal injuries, jet ski vaginal injuries, jet ski rectal injuries, jet ski anal injuries, jet water enema, jet water douche, personal watercraft vaginal injuries, personal watercraft rectal injuries, personal watercraft anal injuries, personal watercraft perineal injuries, personal watercraft colorectal injuries and personal watercraft anorectal injuries.
What should personal watercraft manufacturers do to prevent PWC Orifice Injuries from occurring?Kawasaki, Yamaha and BRP, are well aware of the risks and catastrophic consequences of orifice injuries, as they have each been been sued numerous times for orifice related injuries, dating back to 1991. Throughout this time period--SPANNING OVER THREE DECADES--personal watercraft manufacturers have also been well aware of the fact that safer alternative designs exist that would prevent orifice injuries from occurring. Despite their collective knowledge of such alternative designs (which include a raised seatback/backrest, properly designed handholds and properly designed seat straps), PWC manufacturers have chosen to rely on warnings as the sole preventative measure taken to protect passengers from the risk of orifice injuries.
What is the Product Safety Hierarchy and why is it relevant to PWC Orifice Injury litigation?The engineering profession has adopted something generally referred to as the product safety hierarchy. The safety hierarchy is shown below:
The product safety hierarchy addresses the relative efficacy, desirability, and priority ranking of several hazard mitigation approaches or strategies, including: a) Designing out (re-engineering) or eliminating the hazard so that it no longer poses a threat; b) Devising a means to guard, shield, or protect the user from exposure to or coming into contact with the hazard; or c) Providing the user with an adequate warning of the hazard – so that he/she is at least cognizant and aware of the potential harm the hazard may cause. It has commonly been noted that the top priority, most highly prized, most effective approach is the option “a.”— namely, to Design-out/Re-engineer-the-product-so-that-the-problem-goes-away method.
By attempting to warn their way out of a design defect, PWC manufacturers are in direct violation of core safety engineering principles, most significantly, the product safety hierarchy. David R. Lenorovitz, Edward W. Karnes & Brian Haygood (2020) Personal watercraft (PWC) injury hazards – analyses, technical advancements, and continuing safety challenges, Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science, 21:3, 285-311 (https://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/AIDPTF4MMFDZM9REBDYP/full?target=10.1080/1463922X.2020.1714095)
What should you do if you have sustained PWC Orifice Injuries?If you have been in a PWC Orifice Injury accident, contact an experienced products liability attorney to discuss the facts of your accident and your potential legal options. Because preservation of the subject product ("PWC") is critical to the successful prosecution any product liability claim, it is important that you do not delay in seeking legal counsel.
Claim is Against PWC Manufacturer – Not Owner – Not DriverPWC orifice injury claims are brought 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 (i.e., Yamaha, Bombardier or Kawasaki--depending on whether the subject PWC is a Waverunner, Sea-Doo or Jet Ski, respectively).