Three generations of Norma Michaels’ family.

By LYNDA COHEN

The family of an Atlantic City woman killed by an intoxicated boater while swimming near her dock last summer has filed a wrongful death lawsuit, the family’s attorney said.

“The negligent, careless, reckless, grossly negligent and outrageous conduct” of Jeffrey Jastrzembski, 53, of Atlantic City, “killed an innocent woman,” her daughters claimed in the lawsuit filed Monday.

Norma Michaels

Norma Michaels, 79, suffered fatal injuries when the propeller of Jastrzembski’s boat struck her while she was swimming with another woman Aug. 12, 2023 off Albany Avenue.

Jastrzembski has been criminally charged with aggravated manslaughter in Michaels’ death. He was indicted in March.

He now faces a civil suit, attorney Robert Mongeluzzi of Saltz Mongeluzzi Bendesky announced Monday during a news conference.

The Philadelphia-based marketing director’s life “was senselessly snuffed out when a speeding 20-foot Robalo boat operated by an impaired and intoxicated…Jastrzembski ran her over while she was swimming within yards of her home’s dock in the Intracoastal Waterway in Atlantic City,” the suit states.

Alan Houser capture video and a photo of the boater after the crash.

“In the moments prior to running her over, defendant Jastrzembski sped the Robalo directly toward Norma as she was swimming in the water, before making a late, aggressive portside turn, causing the boat’s outboard propeller to directly strike Norma, delivering fatal injuries to her head, neck, torso, arms, and legs,” the lawsuit states.

Witnesses at the nearby Wonder Bar told BreakingAC the same thing shortly after the crash. The crash was captured by the bar’s surveillance camera.

The suit includes several unnamed John Does who represent the not-yet-known individuals or entities who “negligently entrusted, permitted, and/or allowed (the defendant) to possess the Robalo prior to causing the death of Norma Michaels.”

At the time of the crash, Jastremski was listed as the registered agent for the All Marine Center of Atlantic City, LLC, a boat storage facility and repair shop located at 1501 Albany Ave., BreakingAC reported at the time.

Jastrzembski’s blood-alcohol content was .195, nearly 2½ times the legal limit, according to information released at his detention hearing in January.

He was released from jail after that hearing, with the judge agreeing with the defense that his lack of criminal history made release with conditions possible.

Michaels’ daughters brought the suit not only to obtain justice for their mother and hold Jastrzembski accountable, but also “to promote public awareness of the lethal danger of drinking and boating,” said Mongeluzzi, who has represented numerous victims of maritime negligence nationwide.

Categories: Downbeach

Nanette LoBiondo Galloway

Award winning journalist covering news, events and people of Atlantic County for more than 20 years.