UPDATE: On Friday, May 20, 2016, a Palm Beach County jury has cleared diving equipment manufacturer Lamartek of wrongdoing in the 2010 drowning death of Wes Skiles, a renowned underwater photographer and cameraman, reports the Palm Beach Post. Jurors found that Lamartek, which is also known as Dive Rite, was not responsible for Wes Skiles’s death. See the full report here.

Renowned underwater photographer Wes Skiles died in a 2010 diving accident because of faulty breathing apparatus that the manufacturer knew was prone to failure, his widow Terri Skiles alleges in a lawsuit filed last week in Palm Beach County (Florida) circuit court. She is seeking unspecified damages.

Terri Skiles also alleges that the manufacturer conspired to destroy evidence of that failure. Because of that, she says she will have difficulty proving that the manufacturer, its suppliers, and a distributor are to blame for her husband’s death.

Wes Skiles, a regular contributor to National Geographic, died July 21, 2010 at the age of 53 while diving near Boynton Beach, Florida, about a mile offshore with three other divers.  The Palm Beach County Medical Examiner ruled several months later that Skiles’ death was an accidental drowning. “There was nothing to indicate natural causes or outside forces,” the medical examiner’s chief investigator told the Palm Beach Post in November, 2010.

When Skiles died, he was using an O2ptima FX rebreather apparatus that he had borrowed from another diver. Terri Skiles alleges in her lawsuit that “Due to an unexpected catastrophic failure of the subject O2ptima FX rebreather during the dive, Wesley Skiles passed out underwater and died.” She is suing the manufacturer, Dive Rite, an affiliated online retailer called Dive Rite Express and Mark Derrick, the owner of Dive Rite Express. Also named as defendants are two companies that supply critical electronic components that Dive Rite uses to make the O2ptima FX rebreather.

Dive Rite declined to comment.

To read the about Skiles’ other allegations and her lawsuit, visit PDNOnline.

Related stories:
Underwater Photographer Wes Skiles Dies on Shoot
Death of Underwater Photog Ruled Accidental


COMMENTS

MORE POSTS

Obituary: Armando Trovati, Longtime AP Skiing Photographer, 73

Posted by on Monday August 7, 2017 | Obituary

Armando Trovati, a longtime Associated Press photographer who covered the professional skiing beat, died on Sunday. According to reports, Trovati, 73, died of lung cancer at his home in Milan. Trovati started working with the AP as a teenager. Based in Milan, he began as a darkroom assistant and messenger. According to the AP, he worked... More

Obituary: Gary Friedman, LA Times Photographer, 62

Posted by on Friday June 16, 2017 | Obituary

Gary Friedman, a longtime Los Angeles Times photojournalist, died Wednesday after a fight with cancer, The Times reports. He was 62. During his career, Friedman photographed presidential elections, Olympic games and the aftermath of the 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City. He won a World Press Photo award in 1981 for his coverage of Yvonne and... More

Obituary: Color Pioneer Marie Cosindas, 93

Posted by on Thursday June 1, 2017 | Obituary

Marie Cosindas, who earned fame and recognition in the 1960’s for her still lifes and color portraits, has died. She was 93, Art News reports. Born in Boston in 1923, Cosindas studied at the Modern School of Fashion Design in the 1950s and took drawing and painting classes at the Bostom Museum School. She later... More