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