PAGE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - A lawsuit filed in federal court in Phoenix blames a tour boat company for creating dangerous wakes in Lake Powell, causing a Utah woman to suffer a broken back.
The suit, which was filed late last year, claims Aramark negligently operated one of its tour boats on Labor Day, creating a large wake that threw Christine Gilmour into the air. Gilmour was riding in a smaller boat with her husband and children.
"As I was going up, the boat was going down. Then they hit the next wave and the boat comes up as I'm coming down and I hit with such force it was like being in a car collision," said Gilmour.
Her husband, Gregory, was a Lt. Commander in the Chilean Navy and believes Aramark is using boats that are not suited for use in a lake.
"These have 'V' hulls, right?" said Gregory Gilmore. He says those deep hulls can create large, dangerous wakes, in narrow waterways like those in parts of Lake Powell.
This is not the first time Aramark's boats have been linked to injuries on Lake Powell.
"It's the second time in four years within 4200 yards of the same place that this type of accident has happened. The exact same boat. The exact same captain. The exact same mechanism and the exact same injury," said Joe Watkins, who is the Gilmours' attorney.
A spokesman for Aramark said the company is unable comment on this particular case because it is in litigation, but he did offer a statement about the company's boats.
"We work with the Coast Guard and National Park Service on an ongoing basis to ensure our tour boats are safe and properly permitted to operate on Lake Powell. Furthermore, as a designated concessioner for Lake Powell, we take seriously our responsibility for complying with rules regulating tour boat operations and safely sharing and navigating the waterways with all boaters and recreational watercraft users," wrote David Freireich, from Aramark's corporate communications department.