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Tue, Sep 26, 2017

California Skydiving Bill Becomes Law

Holds Companies Liable If They Use Uncertified Tandem Instructors

California Governor Jerry Brown (pictured) has signed a bill which passed unanimously in both houses of the state legislature that will hold skydiving companies liable for injuries or deaths if they use uncertified instructors to lead tandem jumps.

The Sacramento Bee reports that the legislation was proposed by Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman after an accident at the Lodi Skydiving Center in August of last year in which an 18-year-old student and a 25-year-old instructor were both fatally injured when their parachute failed to open. The instruction, Yong Kwon, was not certified by the USPA, according to a review of the accident.

The bill allows those injured, or their families or estates if they are fatally injured, to sue skydiving companies if their instructions or employees who pack parachutes do not meet federal standards.

The USPA was opposed to the measure, but did not press their case very vigorously. They said that the law was "duplicative of federal law and potentially unenforcible. The bill gives the California Department of Transportation authority to levy penalties in skydiving accidents.

The FAA did not sanction Lodi Parachute Center for the accident because Kwon had represented himself as being certified when he applied for the job. Discrepancies in his paperwork were later discovered.

(Image from file)

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