Attorney Loses Kidneys in Boating Accident on Flathead

By Beacon Staff

KALISPELL (AP) – A Kalispell attorney apparently fell asleep while boating on Flathead Lake and ran the boat aground, causing extensive damage to his kidneys, which had to be removed.

Stephen J. Nardi, 56, had been diagnosed with kidney disease nine years ago and Friday’s crash caused internal bleeding. Doctors had to remove his kidneys to stop the bleeding, said Darlene Nardi, Stephen’s wife.

Nardi was piloting his 20-foot cabin cruiser on Flathead Lake at about 8 p.m. Friday when a combination of his kidney disease and his medicine apparently caused him to fall asleep, Darlene Nardi said.

The boat ran aground between two rock ledges, plowing its way mostly out of the water. If the boat hadn’t crashed where it did, it most likely would have sunk, said Lake County Sheriff’s Lt. Mike Sargeant.

Nardi regained consciousness when the boat crashed and called 911 from his cell phone.

He was taken to Kalispell Regional Medical Center, where he was listed in stable condition on Monday.

Darlene Nardi said her husband was recently added to the list of people waiting for a kidney transplant. Now, he faces dialysis three times a week until a donor organ can be found, she said.

Nardi has practiced law in Kalispell since 1974, according to a biography on his Web site.

Nardi is a personal injury and criminal defense attorney. Among the clients he has represented are Steve Howe, the former New York Yankees pitcher charged with cocaine possession; and Irene Wyman, who was acquitted on a charge of murdering her boyfriend based on the “battered woman syndrome” defense.