Nathan Carman civil trial begins over insurance for 'suspicious' boat sinking
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) - Nathan Carman is appearing in Providence Federal Court this week for his civil trial.
Carman is trying to get insurance companies to pay for the cost of his sunken boat, "Chicken Pox". The boat sank while he was on a fishing trip with his mother off the coast of New England three years ago.
Insurers are refusing to pay the $85,000 claim, saying Carman made suspicious alterations to the 31-foot boat before leaving from a South Kingstown marina with his mother in 2016.
Carman's lawyer, David Anderson, said the man who sold him the boat, Brian Woods, swindled him into buying it even though it was damaged.
Woods spoke to cameras outside of court Wednesday, saying that the vessel was in excellent condition when he sold it.
"He modified the boat. That's why it sank. Intentional or unintentional, I don't understand why he would do that."
Woods testified in court Tuesday and described the repairs he made when he bought it in 2007.
He said the day he sold it to Carman, he felt uneasy.
"They talk about the first day being the best day owning a boat, and the last day the best day owning a boat. It’s kind of a joke. He wasn’t excited at all. It was unsettling. Looked like he was on a mission," said Woods.
When the boat shipwrecked, Carman was rescued, found eight days later on a life raft near Martha's Vineyard. His mother, Linda Carman, was never found.
On Tuesday, Bernard Feeny, the man who conducted a survey of the boat after Carman purchased it, gave expert testimony.
"Excellent boat, running great. He used it for eight or nine months, had no problems," said Feeny outside of court.
Although Carman is considered a person of interest in his mother's disappearance and his grandfather's unsolved murder, the judge ruled none of that can be used in this trial about insurance money.
"It's just a shame the whole thing is a shame. I'm curious to find out where it goes. I know that everybody realizes there more to the story than what's been said," added Woods.
The trial will continue Thursday.
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