PROVIDENCE, RI (WFSB) - A man accused by his family of being behind the deaths of his mother and grandfather was back in court on Thursday for a civil trial.
Nathan Carman, formerly of Middletown, saw his trial resume in Providence, RI.
The trial is to decide whether or not Nathan Carman should get an $85,000 insurance payout for his sunken boat.
In 2016, Nathan Carman and his mother, Linda Carman, ventured out on a fishing trip. Nathan Carman's boat went down and a freighter picked him up several days later.
Linda Carman was never seen again and is presumed dead.
Attorneys for the insurance company, Boat U.S., argue that Nathan Carman's shoddy work caused the vessel to sink.
However, Nathan Carman's lawyers claim the boat, called "Chicken Pox," was in poor shape when he bought it.
In court so far, the boat's original owner admitted that he only knows a small bit about the boat's history.
Day three of the trial continued on Thursday.
Boat U.S. Vice President Michael Pellerin testified that Carman never told the company of the changes that affect the boat's value.
"It's up to our insureds to let us know what material changes they make on vessels," Pellerin said on Thursday.
He added that Carman did notify Boat U.S. of a life raft that upped the value by roughly $20,000, but he never disclosed removing a bulkhead or trim tabs.
Carman's attorney, David Anderson, accused Boat U.S. of being misleading.
He said the company markets itself as a membership association, like AAA for boaters.
Instead, the company is owned by a for-profit insurance company.
Anderson has also claimed Carman never received the policy.
Boat U.S. argues the boat was in good condition when they issued the policy.
Video shown in court shows the boat operating at full speed with no problems after the sale.
However, Anderson maintains the 40-year-old boat was deteriorating despite repairs. He said the boat was destined to sink even before Carman's work.
Carman bought the boat in December of 2015.
Two witnesses on Thursday testified to Carman's maintenance of the boat.
Bud Smedberg said he replaced the engine in Sept. 2016. He also said Carman declined to fix his bilge pump, which removes water from the boat.
Michael Iozzi saw Nathan Carman using a drill to remove trim tabs from the rear of the boat.
Plaintiffs said Carman created a flooding risk for the boat by not properly patching the holes.
Before Linda Carman's disappearance, Nathan Carman's grandfather, John Chakalos of Windsor was murdered.
He has not been charged with a crime in either case.
The deaths are not expected to be a factor in the civil trial.