Assumption of the Risk? Bungee Cord Snaps Sending Australian Woman Plunging Into Crocodile-Infested Waters

Next time you think that torts exams are too fanciful, consider the potential case of Australian tourist Erin Langworthy, 22, in Zimbabwe. Langworthy arranged to jump off the Victoria Falls bridge, but received a bit of a nasty surprise when the bungee cord snapped and there was not back up cord. Oh, and I forgot to mention, she was bungeeing above crocodile-infested waters.

Langworthy hit the crocodile-infested waters with her feet tied together. She had to swim with her feet tied but was not serious injured.

Clearly, there is a powerful assumption of risk defense here as well as a likely signed waiver. However, there is an impressive level of negligence here. First there is the bungee. Second the absence of a back up cord and, third, the location of the jumps over crocodile-infested waters. The only think missing is a gun ranger shooting from both sides of the gorge. Should assumption of the risk be a complete defense in such a case? Even if this is treated as an ultra-hazardous activity, assumption remains a defense. Of course, any assumption of the risk involved a likely assumption that the bungee cord was in reasonable shape. The assumption should apply to those foreseeable aspects of bungee jumping from the plunge and bounce. Can a defendant claim that a broken bungee is also foreseeable — and by extension swimming with really ticked off crocodiles?

In this country, we have seen high liability award in broken cord cases involving bungees or zip lines. One case involved Chinese bungee cords that are allegedly prone to failures. These cords are used in an assortment of recreational settings, as shown in this video.

Source: Daily Mail

68 thoughts on “Assumption of the Risk? Bungee Cord Snaps Sending Australian Woman Plunging Into Crocodile-Infested Waters”

  1. anon, thanks for catching that news item. I just did a quick search and Jeb Corliss is in surgery at last report. No word on possible internal injuries at this time. Hope he makes a decent recovery.


    Jeb Corliss is an extreme sports legend, but even the best on the planet sometimes make mistakes. In Corliss’ sport, the slightest error can often be fatal.

    Corliss was filming his second jump off of Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa for HBO when things went horribly wrong, reports Aislinn Laing at The Telegraph.

    He plummeted more than 200 feet in his wingsuit, hitting the rocks below. A Table Mountain spokesperson tells The Telegraph that Corliss would have likely died if he didn’t get his chute off on the way down.

    He broke both of his legs on the rocks, and was taken by air ambulance to a private hospital, where he was admitted to the intensive care unit. It’s unclear exactly what went wrong on the jump — strong winds, a miscalculation, or something else.

  3. On January 16th (today) 2012, a video was posted on liveleak titled, “Wingsuit Crash”, purporting to show Jeff Corliss in a black wingsuit hitting Table Mountain in Colorado after a jump:

    Google is not showing anything yet.

    I hope whoever is in that crash is okay. Some comments at FARK say he suffered two broken legs.

  4. “That’s the price you pay for having magical powers.”

    That sure explains the smell when I watch a Harry Potter movie then.

  5. But I repeat myself. Thanks, Gene. That’s the price you pay for having magical powers.

  6. “I notice it posts frustrations only, but not opinions.”

    It seems to prefer short posts, posts that say, Askimet is a CIA/Stanford BlackOps program filled with former duck rapists designed to frustrate Americans so they support enhanced interrogation techniques on speeders.

  7. I did it again, but that’s the last time tonight I’m digging through the spam filter.

    I’m starting to smell like gelatin and mechanically separated pork product. 😀

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