Judge rules against Nathan Carman in sunken boat trial
By: Ellie Romano
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) - A federal judge has ruled against Nathan Carman in a civil trial over his yacht insurance policy.
Carman set sail from Jamestown with his mother, Linda Carman, on his 31-foot fishing boat "Chicken Pox" in September of 2016. The boat sank, ultimately killing Linda, and stranding Carman at sea for days until he was found by the Coast Guard.
He filed an $85,000 insurance claim for his boat in October of 2016. National Liability & Fire Insurance Company denied the claim four months later.
Following a civil trial over the insurance claim dispute, Judge John McConnell determined the insurance company does not have to pay the claim because Carman made "faulty repairs" to his boat that contributed to its sinking.
According to McConnell's ruling, "the day before he left to fish, Mr. Carman found water in the bilge again. He replaced the port bilge the next day."
McConnell determined Carman repaired the boat incorrectly and actually caused the boat to sink faster.
The judge ruled Carman's multiple modifications made the boat unseaworthy and put it in poor condition.
"He performed not only repairs to the boat, but also modifications-- modifications that weren't even necessary," said ABC6 legal analyst Ken Schreiber.
Schreiber thinks it was a poor legal move for Carman to go to trial against his insurance company, while at the same time being investigated as a person of interest in his mother's death.
"It's bad publicity. Its bad exposure," said Schreiber.
Schreiber said Carman's testimony in the insurance case could be used against him in a criminal investigation.
"I can tell you the investigating agency has already ordered a transcript of his testimony to see if it matches up with other statements he's given," said Schreiber.
Carman was also a suspect in his Grandfather's murder in 2013 but was never charged.
Below is Judge McConnell's full ruling on the case:
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