PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A Vermont man at the center of a civil trial is expected to take the stand Thursday in federal court after time constraints kept him from doing so on Wednesday.
Nathan Carman, 24, is being sued over an $85,000 insurance claim he made on a boat before it sank. Carman and his mother, Linda, disappeared when their boat went down off the coast of Rhode Island during a fishing trip in 2016.
On Wednesday, an insurance employee who handled Carman’s claim took the stand. In the insurance claim, Carman detailed what happened that day.
Carman wrote that his boat began to fill with water and sank suddenly, leaving him in the ocean holding onto a bag of supplies.
He said called out for his mother but couldn’t find her.
“I continued to try and locate my mom, looking for her and calling out and listening for a reply until dark, then I made myself rest,” Carman wrote.
Carman was found unharmed eight days later. Linda was never found and has been presumed dead.
The National Liability and Fire Insurance Company and BoatUS argue they shouldn’t have to pay up, saying Carman significantly altered the boat’s condition and caused it to sink. The defense argues the vessel was old and had issues before Carman bought it.
Naval architect Eric Greene argued there’s no way Carman’s boat sank as quickly as he claims.
“I don’t see any way this boat could rapidly sink short of striking a huge object in the ocean or a rogue wave going over the top of it,” Greene testified.
Carman is listed as a witness for both sides. He was expected to testify on Wednesday but the judge decided to postpone it until 9:30 a.m. Thursday.
When Carman takes the stand, his testimony will focus solely on the insurance aspect of the case. The judge has barred any questions and comments regarding his mother’s disappearance.
Carman’s aunts — Linda’s sisters — believe Nathan killed both his mother and his grandfather John Chakalos in hopes of inheriting a portion of Chakalos’ $44 million estate.