The family of Rob Stewart, a Canadian filmmaker and shark conservationist, filed a wrongful death lawsuit on 28th March 2017 at Broward County, Florida. The lawsuit has been filed following the death of Rob Stewart during a dive off the Florida Keys in January 2017 and seeks unspecified damages.
Rob Stewart died whilst filming for Sharkwater Extinction at the Queen of Nassau wreck, 9.7 kilometres off the coast of Islamorada. According to the lawsuit, Stewart dived to a depth of 70m with dive organizer Peter Sotis and came into difficulties during the third dive of the day. Stewart and Sotis surfaced together with breathing difficulties and Stewart disappeared from the surface whilst Sotis was being given medical attention. Stewart’s body was found 300 feet from where he was last seen at the surface following a multi-agency search.
The lawsuit claims negligence and the Stewart family’s attorney, Michael Haggard, has commented that the death “was a preventable tragedy that was going to happen to someone.” He went on to state the family “hopes the legal action will push out and/or change the ways of all irresponsibly operating diving businesses and help keep attention on Stewart’s mission of ocean conservation.”
The defendants listed are Horizon Dive Adventures, Add Helium LLC and dive organizers Peter & Claudia Sotis.