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Skydiver sues after jump leaves him a quadriplegic

By adminon - Read 1151 times

A Grande Prairie man is suing the operators of the Edmonton Skydive Centre for $5.4 million over a jump that went wrong and left him a quadriplegic.

In a lawsuit filed with the Court of Queen's Bench, John Minue says he took parachuting lessons through the centre in September 1999 which included basic training in jumping from an airplane and landing.

His instructor told him that to land safely he had to "flare," a procedure that controls the speed of the parachute as it approaches the ground, according to the statement of claim.

The instructor was supposed to let him know over a one-way radio when to flare, the lawsuit says.

It alleges that once Minue jumped, he was directed away from the landing zone to a field, but communication ceased before he was told to flare.

Minue claims he landed at high speed and out of control, making him tumble forward when he hit the ground.

This caused serious injuries, including spinal-cord damage that resulted in quadriplegia, fractured neck vertebrae, a broken thigh and a dislocated shoulder, the lawsuit says.

The document says that as a result of his injuries, he will need care and supervision from an attendant for the rest of his life.

It doesn't state what his current state of health is, however.

Minue contends his instructor and Para Aerosvc Inc., which operates the centre, were negligent for not telling him he might need to flare on his own if radio communication failed.

They also breached their agreement to provide adequate training for a beginner to learn to skydive safely, the lawsuit says.

Among other problems, he claims he wasn't properly instructed in landing procedures and shouldn't have been directed to an area where it was harder to land.

Statements of claim contain allegations which haven't been proven in court.

No statement of defence has been filed in the case.

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