The Infamous $2 Million Bungee Cord Lawsuit

I was in the garage securing some boat gear with a bungee cord this morning. As the cord slipped harmlessly from my hand it reminded me of an incident at Lake Muskoka in 1999. Back then two friends were putting a 17 foot runabout on a trailer after a pleasant day of boating. A bungee cord used to secure the engine cover slipped from the owner’s hand and stuck his guest in the eye. There was a serious eye injury that resulted in a lawsuit. The suit was settled before The Supreme Court seven years later and the judgement came in at $2.2 million. It is hard to imagine a simple mistake with bungee cord could cause such serious injury and end up being heard in Canada’s  highest court.



The lawsuit Isen v Simms is well known to maritime lawyers and insurance companies because of the ruling on the application of the limitation of liability. This section of the Canada Shipping Act would have capped the settlement at $1 million but the Supreme
Court ruled otherwise.  Follow the link if you want to read more about this case.

For boat owners the moral of the story is that even small accidents can result in serious injury. Make sure your boat policy has at least $2,000,000 coverage for third party damage and injuries.   To discuss your boat insurance call us at 1-800-661-7211 or email 

(this is an updated post from my previous blog )