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Is There Legal Recourse After A Skydiving Accident?

The tragic death of a NYC correction officer on Wednesday has brought the issue of skydiving safety to the forefront. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating the fatal Long Island accident while the victim’s family anxiously awaits answers.

The accident occurred during a tandem jump, where the correction officer was attached to an expert guide. Purportedly, the parachute failed to deploy correctly and the two men had a near freefall to the ground. The guide survived but remains in critical condition.

Does the family have legal recourse against the company, Long Island Skydive, or the parachute manufacturer?

Much will hinge on the FAA investigation, but the fact that the young man died in a tandem jump is important. A tandem jump allows an untrained person to skydive after receiving only basic instruction, because the expert is attached to the beginner and assumes control throughout the jump.

The failed parachute deployment may have been caused by the expert skydiver’s negligence or even a defect in the workmanship. If a wrongful death lawsuit arises, these issues will be focused on heavily.

Source: NY Daily News, “NYC Correction Officer Dead, Instructor Critically Injured In Long Island Skydiving Accident,” Sasha Goldstein, July 31, 2014

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