Zipline Accident Settlement

Stein & Shulman has obtained a $500,000 settlement for a 50-year-old woman that sustained an open left pilon fracture in a zipline accident.  The plaintiff was visiting a farm in downstate Illinois that had a zipline system installed that lacked several important safety features.   Through the testimony of a zipline safety expert, plaintiff demonstrated that the zipline system lacked the following safety features:

  • The system did not have any fall protection or harness to protect the safety of the rider.  
  • Our client was not provided with any gloves (or a helmet) which were critical if the zipline owner chose to force a rider to hold onto a rope as opposed to a handlebar.  
  • The zipline lacked an active or passive braking system.
  • The zipline lacked an emergency arrest device.
  • The system lacked a rider-orientation constraint.
  • The system lacked a proper anchor system.  
  • The system lacked an anchorage connector.  
  • The two elevated platforms did not have a proper landing area for arrest and dismount. 
  • The system lacked any kind of handlebar – rather the rider was expected to hold onto a rope.
  • The system lacked the proper lanyards, carabiners, pulleys, and trolleys.

It was also stressed that the zipline system was not a store purchased kit, but rather a homemade system.   Equally problematic was the fact that the homemade system was installed between two elevated platforms in trees that were not specifically designed to be landing areas for a zipline system.  

Through an investigation that included the retention of safety experts and surveillance footage, the firm established that the system was unsafe.  The insurance carrier for the property owner tendered the limits of the insurance coverage to resolve this matter.