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Defense attorneys try to limit liability in parasailing tragedy


Friday brought new information in an parasailing accident that killed two women in Ocean Isle Beach.

Attorneys defending the parasailing company have filed a motion in federal court to essentially limit liability in the case.

Ocean Isle Beach Watersports says its liability should be the same amount as the value of the boat the two women were on when they died.

These are likely the last documents Cynthia Woodcock and Lorrie Shoup signed before they were carried over rough seas and died from what medical examiners determined as blunt trauma. But like all extreme sports, the fine print has some risks attached to it.

“Having read the fine print, the operator of an inherently dangerous activity still has a duty, in my opinion, to give some proper instructions on what to do,” said attorney Duke Lineberry.

Lineberry is not connected to this case, but he explained “assumption of risk,” which typically applies to anyone choosing to take part in an extreme sport. Lineberry said because the deaths of happened in the water, it’s now a federal case; that means, state laws like assumption of risk, don’t apply.

“Skydiving, hang-gliding, parasailing, jet skis, skateboard park, the kinds of things where people know you can get injured doing those things, that’s the defense available to them, because the person engaging in and inherently dangerous activity should know or does know, that they could or would be injured,” He explained.

Ocean Isle Beach Watersports wants its liability in this case, to be set as the amount of money it believe its boat is worth.

An attorney representing the families of the women killed, says $100,000 does not cover the death of two people, plus a significant amount of emotional stress for their survivors.

A request for this liability limit can be refused in federal court, if there is proof that the parasailing company knew about the risks that ultimately caused the death of these two women.

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videoFriday brought new information in an parasailing accident that killed two women in Ocean Isle Beach.

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