A couple sued OceanGate’s CEO for allegedly not refunding money for their canceled trip on his sub.
They said they dropped the lawsuit after the company’s submersible imploded with the CEO on board.
They said “honor, respect and dignity” are more important than money after five passengers died.
A couple who sued the CEO of the company behind the submersible that imploded last week have dropped their lawsuit following his death.
Sharon and Marc Hagle, from Florida, sued OceanGate Expeditions CEO Stockton Rush earlier this year after they said they weren’t reimbursed the $210,000 they paid for a trip aboard the Titan submersible, which was canceled multiple times.
But the couple said in a statement to Fox 35 Orlando on Monday that they were dropping the lawsuit after last week’s tragic event, when the submersible imploded killing Rush and four other people on board.
“As has been reported, we have been involved in a legal dispute with Stockton Rush, CEO/Founder of OceanGate. In light of these tragic events, we have informed our attorneys to withdraw all legal actions against Stockton,” they said.
“Like most around the world, we have watched the coverage of the OceanGate Titan capsule with great concern and enormous amount of sadness and compassion for the families of those who lost their lives,” they added. “We honor their zest for life, as well as their commitment to the exploration of our oceans.”
The couple also said that “honor, respect and dignity” are more important to humanity than money, and sent their wishes to the families of those who died.
The Hagles filed their lawsuit in February 2023, Fox 35 Orlando reported.
The couple, who have previously gone into space with Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, first entered into a contract with OceanGate in 2016, to go on a 2018 trip aboard the company’s Cyclops 2 vessel, which later changed its name to Titan, the outlet reported, citing court filings.
They paid a $20,000 deposit, the documents said.
The Hagles then wired $190,258 to OceanGate in February 2018, according to court filings. Contracts around this time also showed the vessel’s name change to Titan, the outlet said.
The lawsuit claimed that OceanGate then canceled the expedition planned for June 2018, rescheduling it for July 2019, but that later trip was also canceled because a support vessel couldn’t take part, according to Fox 35 Orlando.
The couple asked for a full refund in June 2019, and the company said it was working on it, according to the filings.
But the lawsuit said OceanGate then told the couple a few months later that they would be part of a July 2021 trip and wouldn’t get their refund if they declined, according to the report.
Rush also told them their money would be held in an escrow account but that also didn’t happen, according to the lawsuit.
OceanGates’ Titan submersible lost contact with its mothership an hour and 45 minutes into its dive on June 18, 2023, sparking a desperate search to find the vessel.
The US Coast Guard said on Thursday that debris found in the search indicated the vessel had imploded, and that the five people on board had died.
Over the past week it has become clear that experts repeatedly raised safety concerns regarding the vessel, and old clips of Rush dismissing safety regulations in the name of innovation have also emerged.
There have also been other reports of failed trips. CBS News’ David Pogue went on the submersible in 2021 but said the trip was canceled after 37 feet due to an equipment malfunction.
In addition to Rush, four other passengers died aboard the Titan: British billionaire Hamish Harding, former French navy diver Paul-Henri Nargeolet, and British-Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son Suleman.
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