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OceanGate protects itself from lawsuits in submersible deaths even if negligent

OceanGate protects itself from lawsuits in submersible deaths even if negligent

It's been discovered that OceanGate, the company behind the ill-fated submersible designed to explore the depths of the sea reportedly protects itself from the perils of underwater exploration with a comprehensive liability waiver. 


The tourist submarine, a 21ft submersible operated by OceanGate Expeditions went missing after contact with the vessel was lost around an hour and 45 minutes after it submerged.


Search and rescue officials said the men likely died on Sunday, June 18, before military planes using sonar buoys detected what they thought could have been SOS 'banging' sounds in the water.

The victims have been identified as OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, French Navy veteran Paul-Henri (PH) Nargeolet, British billionaire Hamish Harding, Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood, and his son Suleman, who was just 19. 


A document obtained by TMZ, which was used on a trip last summer, repeatedly mentions the risk of serious injury or death, and tells passengers they assume the risk without any recourse against the company.


OceanGate also stated that even if it's negligent in the design or operation of the vessel, the passengers have no legal recourse. The document states, "I hereby assume full responsibility for the risk of bodily injury, disability, death, and property damage due to the negligence of [OceanGate] while involved in the operation."


Here are what passengers are told they are up against;


"A portion of the operation will be conducted inside an experimental submersible vessel. The experimental submersible vessel has not been approved or certified by any regulatory body and may be constructed of materials that have not been widely used in human occupied submersibles.

"When diving below the ocean surface this vessel will be subject to extreme pressure, and any failure of the vessel while I am aboard could cause severe injury or death.

"If I choose to assist in the servicing or operation of the submersible vessel, I will be exposed to risks associated with high-pressure gases, pure oxygen servicing, high-voltage electrical systems and other dangers that could lead to property damage, injury, disability and death."

A waiver also read; 


"I understand the inherent risks in the activities that will be undertaken during the operation, and I hereby assume full responsibility for all risks of property damage, injury, disability, and death .... I hereby agree to defend, indemnify, save, and hold harmless OceanGate Expeditions, Ltd. ... from any loss, liability, damage, or costs they may incur to due to any claim brought in violation of this Release."


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