Lake George boat crash lawsuits settled

QUEENSBURY — Lawsuits filed against Alexander West, his parents and passengers who were on his boat during the 2016 fatal boat crash on Lake George have been settled for an undisclosed amount of money.

The lawsuits filed by Eric McCue, father of 8-year-old Charlotte McCue, who was killed by a crash caused by an impaired West, were settled in recent weeks for an amount described by the case’s lead attorney as the “full insurance policy” that the West family had.

Lawyer E. Stewart Jones said he could not divulge the amount of money involved because of a confidentiality agreement.

“The whole insurance policy was paid,” he said.

Boat insurance is not required to register a boat in New York, and it was unclear what insurance policy paid for the settlement.

West, his parents and three passengers on the boat were all named in the litigation, which was filed in stages in 2017. Two lawsuits that each sought $3 million were filed, one for wrongful death for Charlotte’s death, the other for pain and suffering the family endured from the death as well as serious injuries that Charlotte’s mother, Courtney McCue, suffered.

In addition to the Wests, passengers Matthew Marry, Kristine Tiger and Morland Keyes were also named as defendants, in light of their failure to cooperate with police after the crash. A fourth boat passenger who did cooperate and testified against West in his manslaughter trial, Cara Mia Canale, was not sued.

West was convicted of second-degree manslaughter and lesser charges and is serving a 5- to 15-year state prison sentence for driving his parents’ boat under the influence of drugs and after drinking. He and his friends had been partying at an all-day party known as Log Bay Day before the collision.

He was found to have acted recklessly in driving his boat into the side of one driven by Charlotte’s grandfather a short distance from the family’s home on Cramer Point in Lake George.

It was unclear whether all of the defendants settled or some were dismissed as part of the settlement, as the court files in the case have been sealed. No judgments were listed against the Wests or any of the defendants at the Warren County Clerk’s Office.

State Supreme Court Justice Martin Auffredou presided over the case.

The Wests were represented by Albany lawyer Edward Tobin, who did not return a phone call for comment Tuesday.

Jones said no settlement will fully compensate the McCues for what they went through.

“It was horrific,” Jones said. “No amount of money will change what happened here.”