OceanGate CEO Faced Lawsuit From Florida Couple Over Lack of Refund From Delayed Titanic Expedition

Marc and Sharon Hagle
Marc (left) and Sharon HagleGeorge Skene/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Marc and Sharon Hagle filed a lawsuit against Stockton Rush after requesting a refund after the launch date of their submersible expedition was repeatedly rescheduled.

The CEO of OceanGate, the company that owns the submersible that is believed to have imploded while making a dive to the Titanic, was sued by a couple for fraud related to their Titanic expedition.

Marc and Sharon Hagle filed a lawsuit against the presumed dead CEO Stockton Rush in February.

In 2016, Rush announced the submersible expeditions to the Titanic wreckage. The Hagles both signed contracts and made a $10,000 deposit each to claim their spots on the Titan, previously known as Cyclops 2, according to the complaint

After the launch date of their submersible expedition was repeatedly rescheduled, the Florida couple considered requesting a refund, the court document stated.

In 2017, Rush had a meeting at the Hagle home in an attempt to keep them invested in the expedition, assuming that if the adventurous couple pulled out, others might as well, according to the complaint.

During the meeting, Rush tried to reassure the couple by giving a detailed explanation of the various aspects of the dive and the vessel and assured the couple that if they had any concerns about its integrity or scheduling, they could request and receive a full refund, the lawsuit stated.

In 2018, the couple received new contracts that replaced the previously agreed payment plan with a requirement that the couple pays for the expedition in one lump sum. After the meeting with Rush, the couple felt reassured and paid the remainder of the cost to OceanGate, according to the complaint.

After a few more scheduling changes, the Hagles decided to request a full refund, which totaled $210,258, or $105,129 per person, the lawsuit stated. 

Despite telling the Hagles they could receive a full refund, OceanGate responded to the couple "demanding that Plaintiffs participate in a July 2021 Expedition, and stating that if Plaintiffs failed to participate in the 2021 Expedition they would not be entitled to a refund or credit,", the complaint alleged.

Since they were allegedly refused a refund, the couple filed a lawsuit against Rush, which is currently still pending. No response from Rush is listed, according to court records.

After the most recent Titan expedition went missing, Sharon reassured people on Facebook that she and her husband were not aboard, saying “Thank you for your inquiries. Marc and I are not on the OceanGate Mission. Thank you for your friendship and concern. Our thoughts and prayers are with our friends/crew members. We are hoping for a miracle.”

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