Eric Hill is a former Citrus Heights resident and rose to fame as a contestant on the new television series "The Bachelorette." Mr. Hill died recently of injuries sustained in a paragliding accident in Utah, according to official sources.
Hill, 32, was a 2000 graduate of Del Campo High School and had recently finished taping the last season of the show. He was to be a contestant on the upcoming season, as well. He had been in a coma since his parachute collapsed during a paragliding incident near Point of the Mountain, a community close to Salt Lake City. His family was at his side when he passed away without regaining consciousness.
Hill was an extreme sports enthusiast and wanted to travel to every country in the world in less than 1,200 days. He dubbed this adventure the "Global Odyssey." He was a Boy Scout and took on all sorts of challenges, according to his family and friends.
Hill was paragliding when his chute collapsed about 20 feet above the ground, sending him into the side of a mountain and causing serious injuries. He was unconscious but breathing when rescue teams found him and was airlifted to a hospital.
Do those who participate in extreme sports have the right to collect damages if they are injured? After all, it is fairly clear that extreme sports often means extreme danger. Do victims take upon themselves the inherent risks of any sport in which they willingly participate?
These questions have been proposed for many years to the greatest courts and legal minds in the nation. The answer is a consensus of wisdom that points to one vague conclusion: it depends on the circumstances.
It is hard to make any definitive statement about extreme sports liability since the circumstances are so crucial to understanding whether someone else may be liable for the damages. As a very general rule of thumb, if the participants have a genuine expectation that a piece of equipment will function properly, and that equipment malfunctions due to human error, the victims may be entitled to damages even though the sport itself is inherently dangerous.
In Eric Hill's case, it is possible that the family may have a claim for the malfunctioning parachute. In order to determine if that is the case, a personal injury attorney would need to examine the facts.
Amerio Law Group in Roseville is ready to help you if you have been the victim of a sports accident.