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Columbia Personal Injury Lawyer > Blog > Premises Liability > Is Skydive Carolina Liable For Death Of Experienced Skydiver?

Is Skydive Carolina Liable For Death Of Experienced Skydiver?


Recreational facilities often ask customers to sign a waiver before engaging in the recreational activity, certifying that they will hold the company that owns and operates the facility harmless and will not file a premises liability lawsuit if the customer gets injured.  You may have signed such waivers or seen “play at your own risk” signs at bowling alleys, skating rinks, trampoline parks, swimming pools, indoor playgrounds, go cart tracks, gyms, or anywhere else where people go for physical activity, which by nature carries a risk of bodily injury.  Personal injury lawyers often characterize these signs and waivers as “wishful thinking.”  Legally, the owners of these facilities have a duty of care toward customers.  This means that they have a legal responsibility to protect customers from preventable injuries; failure to do so is negligence.  For example, they must repair dangerous conditions on the premises before someone gets hurt, they must make hazardous areas inaccessible to customers.  There is more of a gray area when it comes to ensuring that customers are healthy enough to participate in the activity; many facilities post warning signs such as “do not ride this attraction if you have a heart condition” or “this ride is for able-bodied guests only.”  If you were injured at a sports or recreation facility, contact a South Carolina premises liability lawyer.

First Responders Pronounce Septuagenarian Dead at the Scene, but His Parachute Deployed Normally

Carl Henry Smith completed more than 17,000 parachute jumps in his 73 years of life.  His last jump was at Skydive Carolina in Chester County.  In September 2021, Smith participated in a solo jump, and according to witnesses, his freefall was unremarkable, and his parachute deployed normally.  Skydive Carolina personnel on the ground became concerned, however, since after Smith’s parachute opened, he appeared not to make any effort to guide its direction by moving his arms and legs.  In fact, he seemed to be hanging limp in the parachute harness.  He landed outside the expected landing area, and when first responders arrived at the scene, they pronounced Smith dead.

News outlets have not released any details about what went wrong, as an investigation is ongoing.  Did Smith’s harness malfunction after he deployed the parachute?  Did he die from a heart attack or stroke resulting from a pre-existing health condition?  The results of the investigation will determine whether Skydive Carolina has any legal liability for Smith’s death.  Skydiving is generally a safe form of recreation; in the past ten years, there have been fewer than four fatalities per every million jumps.  Skydive Carolina, however, has witnessed an uptick in accidents in the past two years.  A young man from Florida died after his parachute crash landed, and another person was injured when their parachute landed in a tree.

Contact Us Today for Help

A Columbia premises liability lawyer can help you recover damages if you were injured in an accident while skydiving or engaging in another extreme, but safe and legal, sport.  Contact The Stanley Law Group in Columbia, South Carolina or call (803)799-4700 for a free initial consultation.



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