The husband of a woman who drowned last year when she was thrown from a yacht during an office outing sued her former employer yesterday for $25 million, claiming he cast her into the water knowing she could not swim.
Theodoris B. Scott, an office worker at the Harbridge House management consulting firm in Washington, died June 27, several hours after the head of the company, Harry B. Ellis Jr., 58, threw her from his yacht into 10 feet of water in the Magothy River in Maryland.
The suit, filed in D.C. Superior Court by Scott's husband, Clarence, alleges that Ellis knew that Scott, 29, could not swim but nevertheless lifted her off the deck of the yacht Present Moment "during the course of some very dangerous horseplay."
According the suit, Scott "sank immediately and disappeared in the water." Scott regained consciousness briefly after being taken to a Baltimore hospital, but died later that night.
The suit claims Scott's death was the direct result of "combined intentional and negligent acts" by Ellis.
Scott's drowning ended what had been planned as an idyllic boat trip from Annapolis across the Chesapeake with Ellis and 23 passengers: his staff and their spouses and friends.
Ellis was charged with manslaughter following the incident, but the charges were later dropped. A Maryland assistant state's attorney explained that "the evidence doesn't establish that he was warned she couldn't swim."
The suit seeks damages from Ellis and from the company on behalf of Scott's 6-year-old daughter, Cherise Passion. Clarence Scott is a second-year medical student at Georgetown University.