Skydiving accident. Claimant injured in heavy landing
The claimant booked a tandem sky-dive for her and her partner as part of her partner’s birthday gift. The Claimant was strapped to her instructor and did the skydive, but they landed very heavily. She injured her back. She sued the skydive company on the basis that they did not take proper care to look after her. The Court approached the issue of liability on the basis of “what went wrong”. The claimant said that the instructor had failed to land into the wind and failed to control their landing. The Skydive company said that the heavy landing was caused by a sudden unexpected downdraft. Interestingly the Claimant had paid for a video of her jump and that video played a significant part in how the Court made its decision. The Court studied the film of the landing and found that whether or not the instructor landed into the wind affected the groundspeed, but groundspeed was not what caused the accident: the accident was caused by a sudden and unexplained drop. As such it was more likely that the instructor was faced with a sudden downdraft and that that was not something that he could have reasonably done anything about. The Claimant’s claim failed.
This case is a salient reminder that to succeed in your claim that you work out exactly what caused your accident, and what exactly the Defendant could have done about it. You should talk to your lawyer about this to ensure the best outcome for your case.
Marks v Skydive Holdings Pty Ltd  VSC 21, 1 February 2021