Rob Stewart’s family have launched a lawsuit follow the death of the documentary filmmaker last month.
In a long expected move the family are filing a lawsuit that names Peter Sotis, Stewart’s Rebreather (CCR) instructor and buddy on his final dive, and Sotis’s company Add Helium as a number of defendants after declaring his death was a “preventable tragedy”.
RELATED: Profile: Rob Stewart
Sotis is well known to have had several legal issues – he was one of four defendants to plead guilty to a $300,000 jewelry heist in Fort Myers in 1991, a conviction that resulted in him serving nearly three years in federal prison. He also was sued recently by his former business partner, in which he is accused of selling military-grade scuba equipment to a Libyan militant and selling non-certified compressed air tanks to the company’s customers.
The Stewart family hopes the legal action will push out and change the ways of all irresponsibly operating diving businesses and help keep attention on Stewart’s mission of ocean conservation.
Michael Haggard of The Haggard Law Firm, which represents the Stewart family, issued this statement:
“When you learn more about these defendants and the history of negligent behavior by people like Mr. Sotis, you come to realize this was a preventable tragedy that was going to happen to someone”