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Skydiving Company Sued for Skydiver’s Death

July 1, 2011
Colson Hicks Eidson

A failed safety device on a parachute cost a 24-year-old Illinois man his life last October, and now his family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Archway Skydiving Center in federal court.

The victim had skydived on nine prior occasions before the day of his death. When the victim jumped from the airplane, witnesses said he began spinning uncontrollably when his main parachute did not deploy.  According to the county coroner, an improperly assembled reserve parachute also failed to deploy. Testimony at a coroner’s inquest revealed that a device designed to detect barometric pressure, speed and altitude did not release.

There are regulations requiring that a certified master parachute rigger pack the reserve chutes. Archway had one master rigger working that day, but he invoked his right against self-incrimination and did not testify at the coroner’s inquest.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is conducting an ongoing investigation of the fatal accident. The state’s attorney has not decided if he will pursue criminal charges against the defendant.

A Florida injury lawyer has the experience in handling complex cases involving serious injury and death. Recreational activities can go wrong when companies fail to take the proper safety precautions. A Florida attorney can help you protect your legal rights.