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cypres manufacturers sued

 

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mrbiceps  (D License)

Sep 1, 2010, 1:07 PM
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cypres manufacturers sued Can't Post

My appologies if this is a repost.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (CN) - A mother claims a "fail-safe" parachute failed to open, sending her daughter hurtling to her death. The mother seeks damages from Airtec, the German company that made the Expert Cypres 2 device, and from the companies that supplied and sold it.
Jude Lipps says her 33-year-old daughter, Brooke Baum, of Newport Beach, fell to her death at Perris Valley Airport the day after Christmas last year when her main chute malfunctioned and the backup device, the Expert Cypres 2, failed to deploy the reserve parachute.
"(T)he Expert Cypres 2 promises that it will act independently of any act by the skydiver to cut the cord of the reserve container closing loop (which is all that is required to deploy the reserve chute) at a height approximately 750 feet above ground as long as the sky diver is falling at a rate of descent greater than 78 mph," the complaint states. (Parentheses in complaint.)
"It promises to do so within a split second. The Expert Cypres 2 has no purpose other than to deploy the skydiver's reserve chute under these extremely dangerous conditions, and for Brooke Baum the Expert Cypres 2 spectacularly and calamitously failed in its single sole raison d'tre."
Lipps also sued Square Parachutes, the California-based company that sold the Cypres 2 to her daughter; and Ohio-based SSK Industries, which supplied the device to Square Parachutes.
Lipps claims the device failed because "it contains only a single sensor and single processor, with no backup sensor or processor for foreseeable failures."
She adds that the device can give inaccurate readings "under certain climate and terrain conditions ... which will make it appear to Cypres 2 that the jumper is higher than he/she actually is ..."
The mother claims that on the morning of Dec. 26, 2009, her daughter's device did not kick in until Baum, an experienced skydiver, was 200 feet above ground.
"This allowed enough time for the reserve chute to deploy and attain line stretch, but not enough time for the reserve chute to fill with air or slow her descent before impact on the ground," the complaint states. "Brooke Baum hit the ground at over 100 mph and was instantly killed."
The mom seeks damages for product liability, negligence, and breach of express and implied warranty. She is represented in Riverside Superior Court by W. Douglas Easton of Costa Mesa.


Premier NWFlyer  (D 29960)

Sep 1, 2010, 1:22 PM
Post #2 of 95 (5122 views)
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Re: [mrbiceps] cypres manufacturers sued [In reply to] Can't Post

Incident thread: http://www.dropzone.com/...rum.cgi?post=3437901


Skybear

Sep 1, 2010, 1:28 PM
Post #3 of 95 (5105 views)
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Re: [mrbiceps] cypres manufacturers sued [In reply to] Can't Post

Code:
The Expert Cypres 2 has no purpose other than to deploy the skydiver's reserve chute

No to that one. The purpose is to cut the loop of the reserve container. What happens thereafter is related to many other factors.

Do we have an incident report available here? This posting leaves some open questions to me:

-was the Cypres switched on at the dropzone, not somewhere else?
-was the Cypres serviced within the last four years?
-was the reserve packed properly, and was the reserve pilot chute in good working order?
-which kind of rig was used?

Quote:
from the Incidents forum: Was talking to a friend that had been a packer for Brooke on a few occasions and he said that her canopy was way too big for her container and that it was an extremely tight fit.


(This post was edited by Skybear on Sep 1, 2010, 1:34 PM)


skydiverek  (C 952)

Sep 1, 2010, 1:39 PM
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In reply to:
Quote:
from the Incidents forum: Was talking to a friend that had been a packer for Brooke on a few occasions and he said that her canopy was way too big for her container and that it was an extremely tight fit.

Is the packer talking about a main or a reserve?


(This post was edited by skydiverek on Sep 1, 2010, 1:40 PM)


Premier likestojump  (D License)

Sep 1, 2010, 1:40 PM
Post #5 of 95 (5076 views)
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Re: [Skybear] cypres manufacturers sued [In reply to] Can't Post

I would also add :

how old were the Cypres batteries and how many jumps have been done on them since the last replacement ?

But overall - it's AAD, not AOD (not anymore) - for the exact reason that reserve DEPLOYMENTS cannot be guaranteed by the AAD.


JohnRich  (D License)

Sep 1, 2010, 2:42 PM
Post #6 of 95 (5010 views)
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In reply to:
he mother seeks damages from Airtec, the German company that made the Cypres...
...also sued Square Parachutes, the California-based company that sold the Cypres 2...
...and Ohio-based SSK Industries, which supplied the device to Square Parachutes...

She forgot the glove manufacturer, and the store that sold her the gloves, and the farmer who raised the cotton from which the glove was made.


Zenister  (A 42)

Sep 1, 2010, 2:57 PM
Post #7 of 95 (4979 views)
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Someone needs to be bitchslapped.. moneygrubbing idiot it wont bring your daughter back. She knew the risk whenshe stepped out of the plane.


RiggerLee

Sep 1, 2010, 3:26 PM
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Re: [Zenister] cypres manufacturers sued [In reply to] Can't Post

 
I can't beleave that any one would be surprised by this. I mean we've been heading in this direction for years. Their a victem of their own success. I'm curious, how many law suits have they weathered so far? Surely this can't be the first. They've probbable been named in half the fatalities in the last twenty years but oddly I can't recall such a suit directly against them before. Any one do a better job of following such things?

were would they stand on something like this? I mean they have warning lables all over every thing for what ever that's worth. I'm not a dealer and I've never purchesed one my self. Is there any thing signed and returned on the sell of a new cypres? Have any dealers thought about doing such a thing along with their gear sales? We talked about haveing a ticket printed up for rigs being dropped off in the loft but never got around to it. Could some thing like that include a "waver" for lack of a better word?

Lee


Premier faulknerwn  (D 17441)
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Sep 1, 2010, 3:27 PM
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Re: [NWFlyer] cypres manufacturers sued [In reply to] Can't Post

Something to remember too - while it may be really easy to reassure worried family members that you have this magic gadget which will save your life if you are still in freefall at 750 ft, they might truly believe you. And that could backfire on what you might wish to happen if you did die.

All it does is cut a loop. What happens from there is anyone's guess. Family members should understand that it just gives you one last shot if all else fails but is not some sort of magic gizmo guaranteed to save your life..


Premier skybytch  (D License)

Sep 1, 2010, 3:29 PM
Post #10 of 95 (4925 views)
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In reply to:
W. Douglas Easton of Costa Mesa.

http://www.eastonlawoffices.com/

Just in case any SoCal jumpers need a good lawyer... might not want to use this one.


zen_mtn_climber  (B 35734)

Sep 1, 2010, 3:31 PM
Post #11 of 95 (4919 views)
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Quote:
wont bring your daughter back. She knew the risk when she stepped out of the plane

+1

So few people can accept that shit happens sometimes and so many people feel the need to assign blame and responsibility (and therefore liability)

Unsure


MakeItHappen

Sep 1, 2010, 3:49 PM
Post #12 of 95 (4891 views)
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In reply to:
My appologies if this is a repost.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (CN) - A mother claims a "fail-safe" parachute failed to open, sending her daughter hurtling to her death. The mother seeks damages from Airtec, the German company that made the Expert Cypres 2 device, and from the companies that supplied and sold it.
Jude Lipps says her 33-year-old daughter, Brooke Baum, of Newport Beach, fell to her death at Perris Valley Airport the day after Christmas last year when her main chute malfunctioned and the backup device, the Expert Cypres 2, failed to deploy the reserve parachute.
"(T)he Expert Cypres 2 promises that it will act independently of any act by the skydiver to cut the cord of the reserve container closing loop (which is all that is required to deploy the reserve chute) at a height approximately 750 feet above ground as long as the sky diver is falling at a rate of descent greater than 78 mph," the complaint states. (Parentheses in complaint.)
"It promises to do so within a split second. The Expert Cypres 2 has no purpose other than to deploy the skydiver's reserve chute under these extremely dangerous conditions, and for Brooke Baum the Expert Cypres 2 spectacularly and calamitously failed in its single sole raison d'tre."
Lipps also sued Square Parachutes, the California-based company that sold the Cypres 2 to her daughter; and Ohio-based SSK Industries, which supplied the device to Square Parachutes.
Lipps claims the device failed because "it contains only a single sensor and single processor, with no backup sensor or processor for foreseeable failures."
She adds that the device can give inaccurate readings "under certain climate and terrain conditions ... which will make it appear to Cypres 2 that the jumper is higher than he/she actually is ..."
The mother claims that on the morning of Dec. 26, 2009, her daughter's device did not kick in until Baum, an experienced skydiver, was 200 feet above ground.
"This allowed enough time for the reserve chute to deploy and attain line stretch, but not enough time for the reserve chute to fill with air or slow her descent before impact on the ground," the complaint states. "Brooke Baum hit the ground at over 100 mph and was instantly killed."
The mom seeks damages for product liability, negligence, and breach of express and implied warranty. She is represented in Riverside Superior Court by W. Douglas Easton of Costa Mesa.

http://www.courthousenews.com/2010/07/16/28888.htm

.


Southern_Man  (C License)

Sep 1, 2010, 6:20 PM
Post #13 of 95 (4735 views)
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Re: [RiggerLee] cypres manufacturers sued [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Is there any thing signed and returned on the sell of a new cypres? Have any dealers thought about doing such a thing along with their gear sales? We talked about haveing a ticket printed up for rigs being dropped off in the loft but never got around to it. Could some thing like that include a "waver" for lack of a better word?

Lee

It doesn't matter. They can sign a million waivers and it doesn't prevent anybody from suing. It may prevent the suit from being successful, but the defendant is generally still out legal costs.


brettski74  (C 3197)

Sep 1, 2010, 6:27 PM
Post #14 of 95 (4727 views)
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Quote:
Lipps also sued Square Parachutes

Should that be "Square 1 Parachutes"?

The incident thread doesn't seem to contain any authoritative information. It's all second and third hand information or speculation. Was there ever any official incident report produced by anyone or did SSK/Airtec download and analyze the device data?

Quote:
the Expert Cypres 2 spectacularly and calamitously failed in its single sole raison d'tre.

Not sure what information she may be going by. Does she have the device data? Does it show a lot CYPRES fire? I wonder what else it might show, such as was there a reason for the low firing. There was some suggestion in the complaint that a lack of redundant sensors or processors may be significant.

I'd also note that the manual that comes with my AAD mentions the limitations of the device with respect to air pressure measurements and how the deduced altitude therefrom can be out by a couple hundred feet plus or minus. I never saw anything in there that I interpreted as anything more than the device will do it's best according to its design to deploy the parachute at around 750' AGL, but that's all.

In any case, this is exactly the kind of lawsuit I would hope to never be made in my name. I've actually left instructions to that effect with my will. I know the risks. I know I can die. I also know that my AAD is a backup device only, is subject to failure and that there is nothing that can guarantee that I will not die skydiving. If I die skydiving, it is my fault for freely engaging in this sport and/or for the choices I make on that fateful day. I never knew Brooke, so I can't know how she felt about that, but I seem to recall a thread on here some time back that gave me the impression that this is not uncommon among skydivers all over the place.


Hvance

Sep 1, 2010, 6:52 PM
Post #15 of 95 (4697 views)
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Re: [brettski74] cypres manufacturers sued [In reply to] Can't Post

On the legal side, a few thoughts...

She can only succeed under strict products liability if she can prove that there was a design/manufacturing defect in the AAD. If she can convince a court of this, she may be able to collect under SPL.

There's the defense of "assumption of risk" which effectively voids any claim of tortious behavior. If the jumper was aware of the risks and still acted in a dangerous manner, the defendant is off the hook. It could be complicated in this issue. But if the defense can demonstrate that the jumper was fully aware of the possible risks (through warnings/etc), the defense may apply. Additionally, if the batteries were out of date or service hadn't been performed, the defense would likely apply.

Basically, the plaintiff needs to show that either the AAD is designed in an unsafe way, or that this particular one was improperly manufactured. Negligence is probably out of the question here.

It will be interesting to see how this case plays out.

For what it's worth, I do sympathize with the mother. If she was under the impression that an AAD made death virtually impossible, then I can understand her reaction. Her daughter assumed the risks, but perhaps she didn't. A bit of empathy applies here, even if I disagree with her case.


millertime24  (C 38793)

Sep 1, 2010, 7:38 PM
Post #16 of 95 (4653 views)
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Quote:
if she can prove that there was a design/manufacturing defect in the AAD. If she can convince a court of this, she may be able to collect under SPL.

Shouldn't matter. In the book I recieved from Vigil it CLEARLY states that the device CAN fail resulting in death, dismemburment et al.

Nothing is fool proof period. My Left hand is the MOST reliable method of getting my reserve out(Ive seen me do it). Also, I would like to see the results of Airtec's investigation on this one. How do we know she didn't tur on the device a couple hundred feet lower than the dz? There's nothing (in anything Ive read so far) that states the cutter didn't fire at or around 750'. Until this data is made public Ill be on the fence as to if the aad worked properly. BTW, the AAD is not designed to deploy the reserve. It is only made to CUT the closing loop (which it did in this case).


Hvance

Sep 1, 2010, 7:41 PM
Post #17 of 95 (4647 views)
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In reply to:
Quote:
if she can prove that there was a design/manufacturing defect in the AAD. If she can convince a court of this, she may be able to collect under SPL.

Shouldn't matter. In the book I recieved from Vigil it CLEARLY states that the device CAN fail resulting in death, dismemburment et al.

Nothing is fool proof period. My Left hand is the MOST reliable method of getting my reserve out(Ive seen me do it). Also, I would like to see the results of Airtec's investigation on this one. How do we know she didn't tur on the device a couple hundred feet lower than the dz? There's nothing (in anything Ive read so far) that states the cutter didn't fire at or around 750'. Until this data is made public Ill be on the fence as to if the aad worked properly. BTW, the AAD is not designed to deploy the reserve. It is only made to CUT the closing loop (which it did in this case).
You're right with respect to what the AAD is intended to do. But it does matter if the court determines that the design is inherently defective or that the unit was manufactured improperly. If the defense can show that there is, by the nature of the mechanics, a margin of error and the user was aware, that's one thing. But it is highly relevant with respect to the legal concepts.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Sep 1, 2010, 7:56 PM
Post #18 of 95 (4628 views)
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Quote:
"(T)he Expert Cypres 2 promises that it will act independently of any act by the skydiver to cut the cord of the reserve container closing loop (which is all that is required to deploy the reserve chute

That assumption right there is the end of the lawsuit. Their suit is based on the false premise that the cutting the loop is 'all' that's required to deploy the reserve.

We are all quite aware that the PC, freebag, and reserve itself must all operate properly to effect a 'reserve deployment'.

Even if the Cypres itself did malfunction, and not fire until 200ft, the Cypres manual and every FJC course reminds us that the AAD is a back-up device, and not to be relied upon. If the victim bought her Cypres new, and recieved the related paperwork, she would have been aware of this. If not, they could certainly consult her logbook, and locate the DZ where she made her fisrt (non-tandem) jump. The FJC sylabus will surely contain the information that the AAD and RSL are not to be counted on, and proper execution of EPs at the proper altitude is essential for survival.

The real kicker is the 'assumption of risk'. You would not purchase, install, and maintain an AAD if did not realize that being in freefall below 750ft was a possibility in your future. For example, my mom does not own an AAD, because there is no chance she'll ever be in freefall. My buddy Ryan, on the other hand, does own an AAD, becasue he is a jumper and realizes the possibility. He knows there is a risk, he knows that's a dangerous place to be and with that in mind he bought an AAD.

She celarly knew the risk, or she would not have purchased an AAD. She also knew the AAD was a back-up device, and not to be counted on. This lawsuit is nothing more than a money making ploy by the plantiffs attorney. If any close friends of the victim are in contact with her family, I urge them to make sure the family understands the 'real' facts of AAD use and ownership, and not to proceed unless the attorney is acting 100% pro-bono. If that is not the case, they can expect the attorney to beat this dead horse as long as the client's savings can hold out, and the family risks losing their savings as well as their daughter.


millertime24  (C 38793)

Sep 1, 2010, 8:00 PM
Post #19 of 95 (4622 views)
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In reply to:
In reply to:
Quote:
if she can prove that there was a design/manufacturing defect in the AAD. If she can convince a court of this, she may be able to collect under SPL.

Shouldn't matter. In the book I recieved from Vigil it CLEARLY states that the device CAN fail resulting in death, dismemburment et al.

Nothing is fool proof period. My Left hand is the MOST reliable method of getting my reserve out(Ive seen me do it). Also, I would like to see the results of Airtec's investigation on this one. How do we know she didn't tur on the device a couple hundred feet lower than the dz? There's nothing (in anything Ive read so far) that states the cutter didn't fire at or around 750'. Until this data is made public Ill be on the fence as to if the aad worked properly. BTW, the AAD is not designed to deploy the reserve. It is only made to CUT the closing loop (which it did in this case).
You're right with respect to what the AAD is intended to do. But it does matter if the court determines that the design is inherently defective or that the unit was manufactured improperly. If the defense can show that there is, by the nature of the mechanics, a margin of error and the user was aware, that's one thing. But it is highly relevant with respect to the legal concepts.

That's exactly why I would like to see Airtec's findings on the result of the aad responding as designed. Even if it DID but the user turned it on 500' lower than the dz how would you know?

My biggest concern is that a frivolous lawsuit will put someone, who's only desire is to keep people in our sport safe, out of buisness. My personal belief? I think that a money grubbing parent is trying to get as much as she can because her daugter didn't leave her anything but sadness. Call me crazy, but people have done dumber shit for money.


lawrocket  (Student)

Sep 1, 2010, 9:04 PM
Post #20 of 95 (4583 views)
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Re: [skybytch] cypres manufacturers sued [In reply to] Can't Post

I knew I recalled the name Doug Easton. He was doing med mal when I was doing it down there.


yoink

Sep 1, 2010, 9:17 PM
Post #21 of 95 (4575 views)
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Re: [lawrocket] cypres manufacturers sued [In reply to] Can't Post

Maybe a lesson to be learnt here is one for us.

As skydivers maybe we need to be honest with the people we love rather than shielding them with the 'I've got a reserve parachute. I've got an AAD. I'm always super careful...' line of BS.


They need to know that yes, we can die doing this. That we take every precaution that we feel is appropiate but in the end we know and understand the risks and accept the consequences and that it would upset us to see lawsuits brought against the sport for anything other than gross negligence.

I'd expect experienced skydivers to already have had this discussion with their family - that's the only bit that surprises me about this lawsuit. If you haven't had this talk with your family yet, maybe this is an excuse to do so...


(This post was edited by yoink on Sep 1, 2010, 9:21 PM)


koppel  (F License)

Sep 1, 2010, 9:35 PM
Post #22 of 95 (4560 views)
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The interesting thing here is that with almost as little information as we have here on the Cypres the Australian Parachute Federation restricted the use of the Argus AAD to B Certificate and higher, ie not for Students or Novices this year 12 months after the Polish incident.

I guess now they will have to do the same with Cypres and only allow them to be used with B certificate and higher as there has been 'speculation' that the AAD has not done its job....... Crazy


pchapman  (D 1014)

Sep 1, 2010, 9:35 PM
Post #23 of 95 (4558 views)
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Sarcasm: Maybe the mom or her lawyer have an idea how to build an AAD for the same price, with multiple redundant sensors and processors, and the appropriate software logic to handle it all.


(This post was edited by pchapman on Sep 1, 2010, 9:36 PM)


stayhigh  (F 111)

Sep 1, 2010, 9:40 PM
Post #24 of 95 (4541 views)
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I find lots of people from newport to be naggers
And they like to use their lawyer friened's services to get what they want.


JohnRich  (D License)

Sep 2, 2010, 7:46 AM
Post #25 of 95 (4351 views)
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In reply to:
My biggest concern is that a frivolous lawsuit will put someone, who's only desire is to keep people in our sport safe, out of business.

Correct. And if Cypres is taken off the market because of lawsuits, then many more skydivers will die, by not having them.

Another question: What skydivers are going to step forward and testify against Cypres?


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