HUVERSERIAN, Raffi

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HUVERSERIAN, Raffi (1955-2005) died as a result of a near-drowning incident on March 30, 2005 when he ran out of air diving at Casino Point Underwater Park. Raffi Huverserian and his son Ari rented scuba diving equipment from Catalina Scuba Luv. They signed an equipment rental agreement which included a Release of all Claims. The Huverserians entered the water at a beach in Avalon. Raffi ran out of air at 60 feet and buddy-breathed with his son, but after coming to the surface he went into cardiac arrest on the beach. Although he was resuscitated in Avalon, he died the next day at UCLA Medical Center.


The Huverserian family sued the scuba shop.


Ari Huversarian, et al v. Catalina Scuba Luv, Inc., 2010 Cal. App. LEXIS 750.


LAWSUIT FILED BY FAMILY OF THE DECEDANT FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL SUMMARY: The facts in this case are undisputed. Raffi Huverserian and his son, Ari Huversarian, rented scuba diving equipment from defendant and respondent Catalina Scuba Luv on March 30, 2005. Raffi Huverserian executed an equipment rental agreement which included the exculpatory language at issue in this case. There is no claim that the Huverserians rented the equipment for either a boat dive or a multiple day rental. The Huverserians took the dive equipment to Casino Point Dive Park in Avalon and entered the water. Raffi Huverserian ran out of air at a depth of 60 feet. He made a controlled ascent by breathing with his son, but went into cardiac arrest on the beach. Although he was resuscitated in Avalon, he died the next day at UCLA Medical Center.

A wrongful death complaint was filed by appellants, Mr. Huverserian's wife, son, and daughter. Respondent answered and filed a cross-complaint for indemnity, contribution, and equitable relief against Oceanic Worldwide.1 Asserting that exculpatory language in the rental agreement provided a full defense, respondent moved for summary judgment. Appellants opposed the motion on the ground that the exculpatory provision did not cover the circumstances of this action.

The trial court granted the motion for summary judgment, finding the exculpatory language provided a complete defense. Judgment for respondent was entered and this timely appeal followed.