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Liability in OceanGate Sub Tragedy


GOLDLAW Founder and Critical Case Attorney Craig Goldenfarb was recently asked to provide insight with respect to the validity of the waivers the passengers on the  submersible OceanGate Titan signed before their doomed voyage.

Although all of the passengers who died in the OceanGate Titan submersible tragedy signed a liability waiver that alluded to the risk of death multiple times before boarding the vehicle, the waiver may not be ironclad for a number of reasons. One complication may be the “choice of law” provision. “The choice of law provision gives jurisdiction to a county in case any litigation ensues from the contract,” said Goldenfarb. In this case, any disputes could be governed by the laws of the Bahamas, where OceanGate is registered.


Further complicating the process? The side of the law you may sit on. Families of the victims will certainly feel that they have a case. OceanGate, the attorneys who wrote the waiver passengers signed, and other defense lawyers will claim the waivers are legally valid. But, as the investigation into the cause of the Titan’s implosion progresses, additional legal issues could emerge as more is learned about what actually happened.

“If one of the component parts failed, then you would be suing the manufacturer of a component part instead of suing OceanGate,” Goldenfarb said. “There may be areas of liability that nobody is aware of yet.”

Here are links to stories Goldenfarb was quoted in: