The Florida Couple’s Surprising Move: Oceangate Lawsuit Drop

In our previous article, we discussed the Stockton Rush Lawsuit. In this article, we will discuss the Florida couple who dropped the Ocean Gate lawsuit. We all know the ocean has always fascinated us with its mysterious and powerful allure.

But when ambition outpaces prudence, the sea exacts a terrible price. Such was the case with the tragic implosion of OceanGate’s Titan submersible. Undoubtedly, Rush’s loss was a tidal wave for those who followed his vision.

Who are Marc and Sharon Hagle?

First of all, let us discuss the Florida couple who dropped the lawsuit. The Hagles are a prominent family based in Winter Park, Florida. They made their fortune in commercial real estate. In addition, they are known for their philanthropy.

Marc Hagle is the chief executive of a residential and commercial property development firm called Tricor International. The Winter Park real-estate firm develops housing across the country. Moreover, it develops shopping centers, warehouses, medical facilities, drugstores, and offices..

Sharon Hagle is the founder of SpaceKids Global. It is a nonprofit organization that works to encourage students to pursue careers in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics).

The organization conducts national essay competitions. In addition, you can pursue careers within the space industry through speaking engagements at schools. The couple also secured spots on Blue Origin’s New Shepard mission.

Oceangate Lawsuit

Tragedy Strikes OceanGate

Unexpectedly, a devastating incident has shaken the ocean exploration community. The even more surprising thing was that 5 fatalities occurred, including the Stockton Rush.  It is noteworthy that, Stockton Rush was not the only notable person on the vessel.

Pakistani nationals Shahzada and Suleman Dawood were also on board. In addition, British billionaire Hamish Harding was another passenger. Also, a renowned French diver Paul-Henri Nargeolet was among those who lost their lives.

All this happened because of the Titan’s complete failure. The tragedy deeply impacted those following the company’s ambitions. Among those affected was a Florida couple who had previously sued Rush over a canceled expedition.

For those who do not know Rush, let us tell you that Rush was the founder and CEO of OceanGate. He was a passionate advocate for ocean exploration. In addition, he graduated from Princeton and UC Berkeley. Interestingly, Rush began his career as a pilot before turning his attention to submarine construction. On top of that, he founded OceanGate in 2009. His only mission was to enable researchers and explorers to access the ocean’s vast resources.

The Titan

The Titan submarine exemplified Rush’s goals. It was made of titanium and carbon fiber. According to the documents filed by the company in April with a U.S. District Court in Virginia, “The Titan was designed to dive 2.4 miles with a comfortable safety margin”.

However, The company’s exploration efforts in deep seas could have resulted in the accident. According to AP, it weighed 20,000 pounds in the air. The company (OceanGate) stated that once it reached the seafloor, it was balanced to float neutrally.

The Hagle’s Canceled Expedition

Marc and Sharon Hagle booked a deep-sea dive on the Titan submersible in 2018.  As per the Independent report, they paid a $210,000 deposit to join OceanGate’s Titanic expedition. In fact, they hoped to be among the company’s first paying customers. The expedition was repeatedly postponed. Consequently, this led the Hagles to grow suspicious and request a refund.

Initially, they were told their deposit would be fully refunded. However, the company allegedly refused to return their money. Frustrated, the Hagles filed a lawsuit against Rush in February. He claimed misrepresentation and sought reimbursement.

Marc Hagle Sued OceanGate’s CEO

The Hagles sued Rush in February. They claimed they have tried many times to get a refund for their trip to witness the renowned ship’s wreckage. However, they were overlooked despite never receiving the refund and seeing the wreckage.

It was assumed that the couple had paid $210,258 to the company. They claimed their expedition was postponed many times. After talking to The New York Times, they said, it was due to the company needing to run more tests on the Titan.

Because their trip was postponed multiple times, the lawsuit stated they couldn’t get a refund. In addition, the company demanded that they join a July 2021 voyage to the wreckage.

Oceangate Lawsuit

Timeline of Events

This timeline covers the legal actions taken against OceanGate and Stockton Rush. In addition, we have mentioned expedition cancellations.

Date Event
November 2016 The Hagle signed a contract with Stockton Rush for a manned submersible dive expedition to the RMS Titanic. They paid a deposit of $10,000 each.
October 2017 The Hagles were supposed to pay a $40,000 milestone payment each, 15 days after Cyclops 2’s first dive. However, they started considering a refund around this time.
2017 Rush visited the Hagles in Florida to explain the Cyclops 2 mission. He also confirmed that Cyclops 2 would be ready for a June 2018 dive to the Titanic. Furthermore, he assured them of a full refund if they wanted.
January 2018 The Hagles received a second contract requiring full payment for the expedition, totaling $190,258.  Subsequently, they wired the payment to OceanGate
February 1, 2018 Under the original contract, the Hagles’ final payment of $55,129 each was due.  This payment was approximately four months before the scheduled date of their expedition.
February 2018 Cyclops 2 was renamed Titan.
June 2018 The expedition was planned but had to be canceled. There wasn’t enough time to certify Titan for the depth of the Titanic wreckage.
2019 The new trip scheduled for 2019 was also canceled due to “equipment failure.”
After June 2018 The Hagles requested a refund for everything they had paid, plus punitive damages.


Florida Couple Drops OceanGate Lawsuit

The legal battle took a tragic turn when news broke of the Titan’s catastrophic implosion. Sadly, the submersible lost contact with the control ship on June 18. Four days later, the US Coast Guard confirmed all five on board had perished.

Afterward, the Florida couple decided to drop the OceanGate lawsuit. They stated that:

“We have watched the coverage of the OceanGate Titan capsule with considerable anxiety. Like many others around the world, we also feel a great deal of regret and compassion for the families of those who died.”

Furthermore, they added:

“In light of these unfortunate occurrences, we have instructed our attorneys to discontinue any legal action against Stockton. Honor, respect, and decency are more vital to the human spirit.”

Final Thoughts

The Titan tragedy is a painful reminder, as the Florida couple drops the OceanGate lawsuit. The frontier of discovery, whether at sea or in space, is a thin and merciless line. We mourn the loss of Stockton Rush and the four souls who shared his final voyage. Each left behind not just a legacy but loved ones who now grieve in the shadow of the ocean’s indifference.

Yet even in sorrow, there is a stubborn spark within us that refuses to be extinguished. The same spark drove Rush to build his titanic dream. This is the same force that propels the Hagles toward the stars. Certainly, it will carry a new generation of explorers forward.

Leave a Comment