Parasailing company sued before accident

A parasail is seen in the parking lot of a Panama City Beach, Fla. condominium on Monday, July 1, 2013. (AP Photo/The News Herald/Panama City, Fla. Heather Leiphart)
A parasail is seen in the parking lot of a Panama City Beach, Fla. condominium on Monday, July 1, 2013. (AP Photo/The News Herald/Panama City, Fla. Heather Leiphart)

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WANE)  The company involved in Monday’s parasailing accident that left two area teens in critical condition is currently involved in a lawsuit over a very similar incident.

According to WJHG in Panama City Beach, Aquatic Adventures has been involved in several negligence cases and the details of one current cases is very similar to the what Sidney Good and Alexis Fairchild experienced.

Related | Parasailing teens remain in critical condition

WJHG reports that in a previous incident in 2009, two other teens were injured in a parasailing accident. Those two teens also happened to be from Indiana.

The lawyer handling this case, Wes Pittman, told WJHG that weather and wind caused the parasail to detach from the boat and resulted in the parachute collapsing and hurting people.

The major difference between the two cases is, in 2009, the teenagers ended up in the water after the rope snapped.

In Monday’s accident, the two 17-year-old were parasailing in high winds when the rope apparently broke from the boat, sending the girls flying out of control. Cell phone video shows the two hitting a balcony on a condo and careening over another building before crashing into an SUV in a parking lot.

In another incident, WJHG said the company paid a $650,000 settlement in 2010 to close a case with a victim that claimed to have been run over by a jet-ski.

The State of Florida doesn’t regulate the parasail industry, but has tried. Earlier this year, Florida lawmakers tried to pass a bill that would’ve banned parasailing when the National Weather Service forecasts winds of more than 20 miles an hour. It also would’ve required boats carrying parasailers to stay at least 18-hundred feet from the shore.
That bill ended up failing in committee, which led to it not passing.
Governor Mike Pence was in Roanoke Wednesday. He made a comment on how they’re improving.

“We got a good report tonight and I am so encouraged to hear the progress those young ladies are making after that accident, that’s great,” Gov. Pence said.

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