Judge Denies U.S. Explore’s Bid for Summary Judgement in Personnel Injury Case Filed by Paralyzed Japanese Tourist


Guam – U.S. District Court Judge Francis Tydingco Gatewood has rejected a bid for Summary Judgement by U.S. Explore and its Insurance Company First Net.

The case involves a Japanese tourist, on a U.S. Explore tour here on Guam, who, on March 22 of 2009, dove head first into a shallow area at the base of a waterfall along the Fonte River.

The tourist, Dr. Koichi Ogawa, struck his head on the bottom and fractured his C-5 vertebra. “Due to the injuries he sustained from the dive, Dr. Ogawa was rendered a quadriplegic.”  Dr. Ogawa has sued seeking $10-million in damages.

READ Judge Tydingco-Gatewood’s decision HERE

U.S. Explore sought Summary Judgement seeking a declaration from the court in its favor, without a full trial. They argued that “they are entitled to summary judgment  because U.S. Explore had no legal duty to warn or protect Dr. Ogawa from the injuries he sustained because primary assumption of risk applies and the danger was open and obvious as a matter of law.”

 But in her opinion, Judge Tydingco-Gatewood ruled that “there is a genuine issue of material factas to causation and summary judgment would be inappropriate.”