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SoCalJumper

Gerardo Flores, just filed the lawsuit in Monterey County Superior Court.

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Edjglass920

if it was a bad rig than they are in the wrong.



Actually based on most waivers I've read a jumper signs a waiver and accepts the negligence of others, and or faulty equipment as an acceptable risk.

I haven't been in the rental market for rigs in a long time.

I've seen rigs I simply would not jump and others do. From what I understand IMO he was jumping a shit rig I would never jump but he signed his waiver and accepted the risk.

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Edjglass920

Good point, sort of remembering a video where he says even if it's our fault, you can not sue us.



Just to further clarify that isnt exactly true. A waiver in most states will protect a business from normal negligence (what would a prudent professional do in these circumstances), ie accidents.
It wont protect a business from:
gross negligence- what would even a careless person do
reckless conduct- generally criminal conduct
willful or wanton conduct- intentional or utter disregard for others safety
intentional acts- purposefully created with goal of causing harm

There are only four states Im aware of that will uphold a waiver for gross negligence (FL, NC, IL and my own KY) and two for reckless or intentional acts (PA, WV). And IL isnt a sure fire thing as the 2012 case with Archway showed.

Businesses can add the language to the waiver (you even agree not to sue for Gross Negligence), but its not enforceable in court.

Edit- In my industry I attended this conference for years, and while its geared more toward outdoor recreation it would probably prove useful for many in skydiving instruction or business. The educational opportunities are stellar.
http://www.nols.edu/wrmc/

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RiggerLee

Opening at 13,000 is normal on CRW dives. 18,000 is a little high but I've jumped from that high with out oxygen. I've even done CRW from that high. So there really is no reason that a premature opening at 13,000 feet should lead to hypoxia or unconsciousness.

The canopy seemed to be flying reasonable well. It looks like it should have been controllable. I don't see why he would have had to cut it away I think it could have been flown to the ground.

I'm still trying to get my head around the idea that some one would tie lines back to gather. I wonder what the trim actually was? If the "repair" was below the cascade it might have less effect as it appears to have been more or less stable. Could this have been a rig that was in the process of being repaired which was mistakenly returned to service before the lines had been replaced?

Lee



His canopy opens about 17 seconds after exit on the video. That would be more like 15k or so.

The gentlemen looks a little heavy and recently there was a thread about people passing out from circulation being cut off in the groin area.

Originally he posted the video, and then removed it after many criticized him. On the video, he is talking, gives a little moan, and drops his camera hand. I wish I would have saved the original video before he removed it.
Instructor quote, “What's weird is that you're older than my dad!”

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Edjglass920

If I pulled up to said drop zone and they handed me gear my job is to check out whether the gear is safe and that I feel comfortable jumping that gear, if not walk away. I rented gear recently and as I turned on the aad, after the countdown it flashed 7-14, I had read about the aad I was jumping and knew it was a service date. I still brought it to the riggers attention. Why didn't Gerardo bring up the missing seal? Maybe like someone said that gear was do for a repack and he grabbed it not knowing. Without a proper gear check he wouldn't have caught the seal.
I am not siding with the dz, if it was a bad rig than they are in the wrong. What if his crash did cause the riggers seal to be torn off and scuff the Velcro. If the main flap was Velcro and it malfunctioned he would have had a horseshoe. Clearly the first thing out was the pilot chute.
My point of my first post was he was clearly distracted from taking action cause he wanted to talk into the camera! Which whether or not the rig was bad could have cost him his life. My point was are you going to sit there and cry into a camera or take the action necessary to save your ass! Speculate all you want on the gear, tell us in the same situation what would you have done




Just to give the people in this thread some clarity. Everybody who rents from that DZ is told DO NOT freefly/ backfly in rental/student gear. IF I recall correctly from conversations I had with people that were there that day, Flores had chatted about his recent backflying in the tunnel.

The rig in question is an eclipse with "walrus teeth" for the main flap. The velcro that was worn, was the holdover from when it was converted from a leg throw out to BOC. The velcro itself is covered (meaning there is a strip of hook on top of the strip of pile or vice versa). That rig is also equipped with a cypress 1.

The FAA "official" that examined the rig, used incorrect terminology throughout his report. Personally I question a report written by somebody that does not even know the difference between "strings" and "suspension lines" on a subject matter he is "supposedly" an authority on.

As for the thoughts of hypoxia. It is possible, that plane flies a lot of 18k loads. However the pilot is always on Oxygen and oxygen is available to all others on the plane. Almost nobody uses it, usually due to the plane reaching 18k in 10 minutes you really don't feel any affects usually.

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Jt although I didn't mention it I read in the other thread that it was converted, and was just pointing out that if it was the main flap that malfunctioned it would have been a horseshoe. To the first part I mentioned that in my first post about rules at dzs. To whoever asked for the vid here it is in it's entirety. Which posses the question with all the grabbing and cutting , would you expect to find a riggers seal? Can someone save the vid?
http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/video/8352090-raw-video-complete-recording-of-skydive-mishap/

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Its just my perception that a lot of posters on this forum always protect the DZO or any business involved in an incident and always throw the jumper under the bus no matter the situation. I like looking at a situation fairly from both sides, especially since Im a newer jumper and still rent rigs.




If you haven't figured it out already this sport unlike most in ALL about personal responsibility. There is no nanny in freefall.

It's not a joke when we say "the only guarantee in skydiving is that you WILL land".

Wake up to that or get out of my sport.
----------------------------------------------
You're not as good as you think you are. Seriously.

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Just info, no opinion stated or implied.

From Flores's lawyer's website:


Quote

Verdicts & Settlements


Cases
•Confidential Minor v. Norfolk & Western, $1,500,000 involving a poorly designed railroad crossing
•Summers v. Dr. Brian Russell - $490,000 settlement in a medical malpractice claim.
•Trent v. Ford, $900,000 settlement for products liability and negligence claims.
•Confidential Medical Malpractice Settlement - $360,000 for the failure to perform an emergent c-section resulting in wrongful death.
•Industrial failure - $250,000
•Baughman v. Waste Management - $250,000 for a products liability claim involving a cardboard bailing machine.
•Confidential v. Durbin - $250,000 settlement for the negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
•Schneider v. Booth, Hackleman $130,000 judgment for tortuous conduct.
•Ivan Nelson v. Dealer, $250,000 settlement in a products liability action involving a faulty gas line burning the plaintiff's arm.
•Confidential Motorcycle crash $500,000 settlement.
•Faw v. Cook, $350,000 settlement in a car accident claim.
•Fresch v. Santa Fe Southern Railway, $100,000 for injuries resulting from the incorrect positioning of the locomotive resulting in the inability to clearly see in its direction of travel.
•Howard v. American Family Insurance, $204,000 against the injured parties' insurance company in a hit and run where the insurer denied coverage due to the so called 'no-contact' provision in many under-insured motorist coverage provisions.
•Confidential v. OUSD, $135,000 settlement for negligent supervision of minor's.
•Confidential v. Kelly, $100,000 policy limits settlement for wrongful death.
•Daniels v. Barrett, $50,000 judgment for negligent entrustment of an automobile to a minor.
•Stear v. Lingenfelter, $77,500 for whiplash injuries in rear accident.
•Owens v. Hart, Lourash, $80,000 for injuries incurred while escaping an approaching dog.
•Howard v. Air Land Transport, $150,000 for injuries from a trucking accident.

Published Appellate Cases
•Sallenger v. City of Springfield, 473 F.3d 731 (7th Cir. 2007)
•In re Thornton, 373 Ill.App.3d 200 (3rd Dist. 2006)



From CA BAR website:


Quote

David Alexander Kleczek - #244045


Current Status: Active

This member is active and may practice law in California.

See below for more details.


Profile Information

The following information is from the official records of The State Bar of California.



Bar Number:

244045

Address:

Kleczek Law Office
825 Washington St Ste 301
Oakland, CA 94607
Map it

Phone Number:

(510) 663-7100



Fax Number:

(510) 663-7102

County:

Alameda


Undergraduate School:

Univ of Illinois; Urbana Champaign IL



District:

District 1

Sections:

None

Law School:

John Marshall Law School; Chicago IL



Status History



Effective Date

Status Change



Present

Active



9/15/2006

Admitted to The State Bar of California


Explanation of member status


Actions Affecting Eligibility to Practice Law

Disciplinary and Related Actions

Overview of the attorney discipline system.

This member has no public record of discipline.

Administrative Actions


This member has no public record of administrative actions.



From YELP

Quote

From the business


Specialties

Kleczek Law Office aggressively pursues your legal claims right out of the gate to maximize your recovery as quickly as possible. David Kleczek is an experience trial attorney with the specialized knowledge necessary to handle your auto, motorcycle, or truck accident claim. From premises liability to industrial claims, we guide our clients through the legal maze to maximize their recovery, and give hope for a better future.

David Kleczek represents injured victims of auto accidents, truck accidents, defective products, medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, premises liability, and motorcycle and bicycle accidents.

History

Established in 2002.

David Kleczek began representing people injured from auto accidents and truck accidents in 2002. Licensed in both California and Illinois, David Kleczek has tried dozens of cases to verdict. David Kleczek now focuses his practice on serious injury claims due to corporate and individual neglect or malfeasance.

Meet the Business Owner

David A.Business Owner

David A. Kleczek handles catastrophic personal injury claims, consumer fraud and deception class actions, and employment disputes. Mr. Kleczek has tried dozens of cases to verdict, and handled several high profile and important cases. Mr. Kleczek's high profile cases include matters involving Home Depot, Payless Shoe Source individual players for the San Francisco 49er's and the City of Springfield, Illinois. Mr. Kleczek graduated from the University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana with a degree in economics. He attended The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, and served as a member of the Moot Court Executive Board. After practicing personal injury law in Illinois since 2002, Mr. Kleczek opened an office in Oakland 2008, and quickly became recognized as an advocate with a penchant for fighting for his clients and obtaining the best possible result.


2018 marks half a century as a skydiver. Trained by the late Perry Stevens D-51 in 1968.

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diablopilot

Quote

Its just my perception that a lot of posters on this forum always protect the DZO or any business involved in an incident and always throw the jumper under the bus no matter the situation. I like looking at a situation fairly from both sides, especially since Im a newer jumper and still rent rigs.




If you haven't figured it out already this sport unlike most in ALL about personal responsibility. There is no nanny in freefall.

It's not a joke when we say "the only guarantee in skydiving is that you WILL land".

Wake up to that or get out of my sport.



So in your opinion a student should show up on day one knowing how to inspect a rig for damage and/or serviceability, or anything that happens is their fault?

Somehow I dont think you really believe that. :S
And if you do then I pray to God you dont own a DZ.

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Doug_Davis

***

Quote

Its just my perception that a lot of posters on this forum always protect the DZO or any business involved in an incident and always throw the jumper under the bus no matter the situation. I like looking at a situation fairly from both sides, especially since Im a newer jumper and still rent rigs.




If you haven't figured it out already this sport unlike most in ALL about personal responsibility. There is no nanny in freefall.

It's not a joke when we say "the only guarantee in skydiving is that you WILL land".

Wake up to that or get out of my sport.



So in your opinion a student should show up on day one knowing how to inspect a rig for damage and/or serviceability, or anything that happens is their fault?

Somehow I dont think you really believe that. :S
And if you do then I pray to God you dont own a DZO.

Flores was not a student, he was cleared to self jump master. This is an adult sport. If you don't know something or have a question about the equipment be an adult and ask for help.

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If you don't know something or have a question about the equipment be an adult and ask for help.



This is true... One of the things I learned on the day of my FJC (and to this day) was to show a little humility and for god's sake don't be afraid to ask and make sure you understand the answer.

This is kind of a dead horse, isn't it? We've already determined that Flores is a work of art that had no business in the sky.

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377


Just info, no opinion stated or implied.

From Flores's lawyer's website:



I've got no opinion, either.
Every fight is a food fight if you're a cannibal

Goodness is something to be chosen. When a man cannot choose, he ceases to be a man. - Anthony Burgess

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My $0.02:

The rig was fine. The "FAA report" about it being "not serviceable" looked like a lawyer-bought hack job and shouldn't be taken as unbiased or even credible. For those that have never been in an accident that ended up in a lawsuit (I was unfortunate enough to be passenger in a back seat of a Taxi that got hit by a van that ran a red light), whatever evidence gets presented by two experts - one from one side that claimed that I am irreparably damaged with massive modifications to my lifestyle stemming from the accident, and the other that claimed that I didn't have a single scrape on me. The same is likely true in this case.

So let me call it like I see it:
1. The equipment was fine. Premature openings happen. Yes, he was wearing well used student equipment, but (given my highly limited expertise) there was nothing in that FAA report of the wear that I saw that could cause specifically a premature opening.
2. Barrel rolls are fine. I had to do a few during AFF as a requirement to get an A license somewhere around jump #6. Using student gear. If I'm supposed to do it during AFF, I see no reason why someone with an A license should not be allowed to perform the maneuver using student gear after they have their A license, if they are current (which does not appear to be an issue in this case as this does not appear to be a currency jump). So the DZO claiming that Flores wasn't cleared to do barrel rolls goes in the bucket of stereotypical legal propaganda as that FAA report.
3. The GoPro is incidental. Yeah, people do stupid crap on camera. But from that video it seems that this wasn't the issue. This isn't the incident you're looking for to demonize GoPro use by novice skydivers. I'm sure there are much better ones out there, and by screaming "GOPRO" at this one I feel you are doing your cause a disservice. Novices will look at the lot of you, look at the video, see that it wasn't an issue, and dismiss your further, more logical arguments.
4. Flores is a nut. He had a panic attack, undid only one brake line and fainted. His own damn fault as far as I'm concerned. Even if skydiving wasn't a "everything is your own damn fault" sport, it would still be his own damn fault.
5. I find it hard to believe that his nuttiness was unapparent in his prior 30 jumps. Whoever the DZO is needs to vet the people he lets jump a lot better. It's not his fault that the guy fainted mid-air, but it is his fault for letting him jump at his DZ. Crappy that this happened to him, but I do field questions from friends and co-workers with regards to this incident and wish the DZO did more to prevent the individual in question from going up on that load.

Feel free to crucify.

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Doug_Davis


You do know it didnt have a reserve seal and thread on it when found right? Did it pop off on landing? Did an EMT miraculously cut it off?



I've had that happen to me before while putting a student rig on... not unreasonable that it would come off from a hard landing.

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Doug_Davis

***

Quote

Its just my perception that a lot of posters on this forum always protect the DZO or any business involved in an incident and always throw the jumper under the bus no matter the situation. I like looking at a situation fairly from both sides, especially since Im a newer jumper and still rent rigs.




If you haven't figured it out already this sport unlike most in ALL about personal responsibility. There is no nanny in freefall.

It's not a joke when we say "the only guarantee in skydiving is that you WILL land".

Wake up to that or get out of my sport.



So in your opinion a student should show up on day one knowing how to inspect a rig for damage and/or serviceability, or anything that happens is their fault?

Somehow I dont think you really believe that. :S
And if you do then I pray to God you dont own a DZ.

Have you read the waiver that you signed?

Really read it?
"There are NO situations which do not call for a French Maid outfit." Lucky McSwervy

"~ya don't GET old by being weak & stupid!" - Airtwardo

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Doug_Davis


So in your opinion a student should show up on day one knowing how to inspect a rig for damage and/or serviceability, or anything that happens is their fault?

Somehow I dont think you really believe that. :S
And if you do then I pray to God you dont own a DZ.



The only prayer that should be answered is that you either smarten up or slowly fade from the sport.

He wasn't a first jump student, he had been trained numerous times in the past about gear checks, and emergency procedures.

Students ARE shown how to do a gear check from their very first jump if they are making a SL IAD or AFF jump.

Their instructors also have the responsibility to do their own check of the students gear, because they are students.

As a solo jumper, 1 jump or 1000 you have the ultimately responsibility to pull your own chute, and execute your own emergency procedures.

If you can't do that you are effectively dead, and should consider yourself born again when an instructor or AAD comes in to save your ass.

You also have the ultimate responsibility to ensure that you understand the life saving device you are wearing, how it works, and how to check it. It is in the ground school, it is part of all the subsequent training. If you want to delegate your own safety and life to someone else, that is your own choice, and a stupid one at that!

This is a pretty asinine back and forth, Mr. Flores injuries were 100% the direct result of failure to follow established, taught, and trained emergency procedures.

Any real jumper understands that is their ultimate responsibility, and this blame game you are playing paints a true picture of you. I am sure you would be running to a lawyer yourself, instead of accepting that you fucked up.
"The restraining order says you're only allowed to touch me in freefall"
=P

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So in your opinion a student should show up on day one knowing how to inspect a rig for damage and/or serviceability, or anything that happens is their fault?



Any student I've put in the air on their own (student) equipment does know how to do that before they board the aircraft. All 2500 of them. Period.
----------------------------------------------
You're not as good as you think you are. Seriously.

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Doug_Davis


So in your opinion a student should show up on day one knowing how to inspect a rig for damage and/or serviceability, or anything that happens is their fault?

Somehow I dont think you really believe that. :S
And if you do then I pray to God you dont own a DZ.



Where did you take your FJC? Because in ours...and every other FJC I have ever witnessed gear identification and inspection is one of the first things you are taught.
Fiend

I am about to take my last voyage, a great leap in the dark. - Thomas Hobbes.

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I agree the report is uncredible due to the lack of detail. The examiner found "at least two broken suspension lines". That is ridiculously vague. Given the limited number of suspension lines, he should have been able to indicate exactly how many were broken. It raises more questions than it answers. It is very damning and I hope some other report exists, or the rig with the suspension lines in the condition of the incident still exist. Otherwise, the DZ is in trouble.

Just my opinion.
For the same reason I jump off a perfectly good diving board.

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Perhaps I missed something here, but what did a missing RESERVE seal have to do with anything? The reserve was not even in the equation. The problem here is primarily with the jumper being under-qualified and doing something that he was not supposed to, and in fact had been told NOT to, do. It is obvious from the video that he was fixated on doing the selfie and disregarded his flight and canopy descent. Hopefully the case will be thrown out or at least won by the DZ.
If you know how many guns you have - you don't have enough!

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lyosha

My $0.02:

The rig was fine. The "FAA report" about it being "not serviceable" looked like a lawyer-bought hack job and shouldn't be taken as unbiased or even credible.



You dont know anything about the professional reputation of the Master Rigger involved in the inspection of that rig.
http://www.silverparachutes.com/about-us/
You might want to educate yourself.

Quote

So the DZO claiming that Flores wasn't cleared to do barrel rolls goes in the bucket of stereotypical legal propaganda as that FAA report.


Agreed.

Quote

Whoever the DZO is needs to vet the people he lets jump a lot better. It's not his fault that the guy fainted mid-air, but it is his fault for letting him jump at his DZ.


100% agreed. Thats what people refuse to acknowledge. Skydiving is a business. And sometimes business owner's cut corners on aircraft maintenance or rig maintenance to save a few pennies. Sometimes they let questionable students keep jumping to get those dollars. And then when it catches up with them everyone blames the jumper or student instead of the DZO.
I even seen posters on here defend DZO's when they werent following FAA regulations on aircraft serviceability inspections or mandatory parts replacement! Things that could kill a lot of people. :S



diablopilot

Quote

So in your opinion a student should show up on day one knowing how to inspect a rig for damage and/or serviceability, or anything that happens is their fault?



Any student I've put in the air on their own (student) equipment does know how to do that before they board the aircraft. All 2500 of them. Period.



Good for you. Seriously. Unfortunately not every DZ is using brand new properly inspected and maintenanced equipment. And they arent about to tell their students, "Hey this rig is 20 years old and has a few broken suspension lines due to age, and its due for a reserve repack but you should be fine." They want to get paid.
There are DZ's out there putting up students on F-111 chutes with way more than 500+ jumps on them. This seems to amaze some people, but it happens.


This post from NickD sums up my feelings. Everyone is always so quick to completely blast the newbie or the student.
http://www.dropzone.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?post=2986032#2986032
Otherwise feel to keep blasting at me, but Im done talking about this. Ive said my piece.

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377

From Flores's lawyer's website:

Quote

Verdicts & Settlements
Cases
•Confidential Minor v. Norfolk & Western, $1,500,000 involving a poorly designed railroad crossing
•Summers v. Dr. Brian Russell - $490,000 settlement in a medical malpractice claim.
...



Yeah, but how many of those big judgements were against a defendant that has no insurance and few assets?

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