A man who became a quadriplegic after a terrifying skydiving accident is suing the Edmonton Skydive Centre and its owner for $5.5 million. According to a lawsuit filed, John Minue, 53, claims he was seriously injured after a bad skydiving landing on Sept. 26, 1999.
Minue alleges the skydive center provided him with basic training for jumping from an airplane and landing and required him to complete a written test on the same day of the jump. As part of the training program, Minue was told in order to land safely he would have to carry out a procedure called flaring, which controls the speed of the parachute as it approaches the ground, according to the lawsuit. Minue was allegedly told by skydiving center owner that the instruction to flare would be communicated to him over a one-way radio, according to the statement of claim. After jumping from the plane, Minue got radio instructions from the owner regarding his descent and where to land, but, for unknown reasons, Minue was allegedly directed away from the designated landing zone and into a field, according to the statement of claim. “Minue claims he never received directions from Payne to flare and, therefore, hit the ground at a high rate of speed and out of control, which caused Minue to tumble forwards when he hit the ground,” says the lawsuit.
The statement of claim alleges that as a result of Minue’s improper landing he fractured his third and fourth cervical vertebrae, broke his right leg, dislocated his left shoulder and suffered multiple bruises and abrasions to his face, shoulders and hands. An injury to Minue’s spinal cord resulted in him becoming a quadriplegic, says the statement of claim.
The lawsuit alleges the Edmonton Skydive Centre and the owner are negligent for failing to properly monitor Minue’s jump, failing to warn him when to flare and for failing to teach him appropriately or at all. Minue has already incurred $275,000 in special damages and costs due to loss of income and medical costs, according to the statement of claim, which also says he will require care and supervision for the rest of his life. The lawsuit is also seeking $5 million in general damages and $200,000 from the province for health-care costs.