Sailors Widow Files Suit

A lawsuit has been filed in the death of Roger Stone, the man who lost his life saving others when a Texas A&M-Galveston sailboat sank on June 6th. Rod Rice reports.

Roger Stone and five others were taking part in a regatta when ten hours after leaving Galveston the Cynthia Woods began taking on water. In the pitch black night Stone pushed two young men to safety but never escaped the boat himself. The subsequent investigation found that the keel of the boat fell off. Attorney Randy Sorrels at first all parties cooperated, but when the boats structure became an issue the manufacturer stopped co-operating.

"They have, and still today refuse to provide the manufacturing specifications and the design drawings. There failure to provide this information indicates there is something to hide. For this reason we have filed suit this morning in Galveston County against Cape Fear Yacht Works, against the designer, against the repair company that put on the keel."

Sorrels says the plans in question have been turned over to the Coast Guard, but not the Stone family or the boats owner Texas A&M.  Sorrels says keels just don't fall off sailboats. Linda Stone agrees and says that why she's filing this lawsuit.

"We don't want anyone else to get hurt.  We don't know what went wrong, we need to find out what went wrong. We need the documents and they had been cooperating and so we had been working with them. As far as money, we haven't talked about that."

Linda Stone says there is another reason for the lawsuit.

"Well, I owe it to Roger to follow through. One of his core values was if you're responsible for something you need to own it, and somebody was responsible for the boat falling apart and they need to own it."

Bio photo of Rod Rice

Rod Rice

Local Anchor, Morning Edition

Rod Rice became fascinated with radio at an early age, while sitting on his Grandfather’s lap listening to his "programs" on the big Emerson Radio...