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. Skiles’s widow, Terri Skiles, filed suit in 2012 alleging that her husband had died because of faulty breathing apparatus manufactured by Lamartek. She claimed the Lamartek knew the apparatus—called the O2ptime FX rebreather—was prone to failure. She was seeking $25 million in compensation for her and the couple’s children. The death had been declared an accidental drowning by The Palm Beach County Medial Examiner in November 2010.
The lawsuit went to trial last week. Jurors found that Lamartek, which is also known as Dive Rite, was not responsible for Wes Skiles’s death. The jury also concluded the rebreather was not dangerous, according to The Palm Beach Post report.
Skiles was a regular contributor to National Geographic magazine and National Geographic television. He grew up exploring the caves of northern Florida. National Geographic credits him with developing and refining a technique for using multiple strobes to dramatically light the underwater environment of caves.
Alan Diaz, who won the Pulitzer Prize in 2000 for his photo of federal immigration agents seizing Elián González, the six-year-old Cuban refugee at the center of an international custody dispute, died July 3, according to an AP report. He was 71. Diaz had been freelancing for AP in Miami when González was found floating... More ›
Jack Laxer, who photographed mid-century modern architecture in southern California and became a master of 3-D stereo photography, died June 12 in Culver City, California, according to Chris Nichols, former chair of the Los Angeles Conservancy Modern Committee. Laxer was 91. Born in Brooklyn, Laxer moved to southern California as the post-World War II building... More ›
South African photographer Sam Nzima, whose iconic photograph (right) from a Soweto uprising in 1976 helped turn world opinion against apartheid, died Saturday in Mpumalanga province, South Africa, according to press reports. He was 83. Nzima’s famous photograph showed a distraught 18-year-old named Mbuyisa Makhubo carrying the dead body of 13-year-old Hector Pieterson, a student... More ›