The family of a South Australian tourist who plunged to his death from a zipline in the Daintree in 2019 has launched a multimillion-dollar lawsuit.
The wife and son of a South Australian tourist who plunged to his death from a zipline in the Daintree forest in 2019 have launched a $2.4 million lawsuit against the in-liquidation operator and the engineering company who designed and installed part of the course.
Dean Sanderson, a father-of-three from Adelaide, was killed on October 22, 2019 when the Jungle Surfing Canopy Tours zipline he was travelling on at Cape Tribulation failed and he and his wife Shannon fell approximately 30m to the ground.
Mrs Sanderson and her son Bailey have filed a claim in the Cairns Supreme Court against the now in-liquidation company and engineering company EDMS Pty Ltd.
They are seeking $1.8 million for Mr Sanderson’s death and $624,000 for Mrs Sanderson’s personal injuries.
Mrs Sanderson is claiming Jungle Surfing Canopy Tours owed her a duty to take reasonable care as the owner and operator of the business, and that EDMS owed her a duty to take reasonable care in providing advice to Jungle Surfing Canopy Tours in the design, manufacture and registration of the facility.
The zipline course ran between a series of five towers, including tower three, a purpose built metal structure known as the grandstand installed by EDMS, the claim said.
The claim states that on the date of the incident, the zipline from the grandstand to tower four was built such that it terminated at the grandstand using wire rope grips, a use that was not recommended under Australian standards save for “temporary non lifting installations”.
Mrs Sanderson is claiming the incident was caused or contributed to by Jungle Surfing Canopy Tours’ negligence by installing the zipline with wire rope grips at the termination point at the grandstand, failing to ensure the wire rope grips were adequately torqued, and failing to use wedge type sockets at the termination points of the zipline at the grandstand, among other factors.
She is also claiming the incident was caused or contributed to by EDMS’ negligence by failing to advise Jungle Surfing Canopy Tours that wire rope grips were not adequate to use at termination points on the zipline at the grandstand, among other issues.
On October 22, 2019, Mr and Mrs Sanderson were on a tandem ride between the grandstand and tower four when the zipline failed, the claim said.
“The zipline failed because it slipped through the wire rope grips at the connection point of the zipline to the Grandstand,” the claim said.
Jungle Surfing Canopy Tours and EDMS are yet to file a defence.