A Spanish bungee inspector’s mispronunciation of the word ‘no’ literally cost a teen her life, an appeals court ruled earlier this month. The case stems from a bungee jumping accident in 2015, in which Vera Mol, 17, died after jumping from a bridge in Spain without a secured cord.
According to the court’s documents obtained by the New York Times, Mol’s instructor was Spanish with a very poor pronunciation of the English language. Judges believe the inspector told Vera ‘No Jump’ but she heard ‘Now Jump’ instead.
The man’s attorneys said he specifically said to the teen “No jump, it’s important, no jump.” The Spanish court ruled that the teen likely heard ‘now jump’ because of her instructor’s poor use of English.
Judges said that he should have said “Don’t jump,” instead of “No Jump” to avoid the fatal accident. The Daily Mail noted that the protocol obliged him to do just that. After the ruling, the instructor could be put behind bars for accidental homicide if prosecution decides to bring criminal charges against him.
The Company Could Be Brought to Justice As Well
British newspaper The Telegraph learned that the company that hired the instructor could face charges of homicide through negligence. The court found the company was behind multiple violations that led to the Dutch teen’s death.
First, it hired an instructor with a poor understanding of English to train foreigners in a hazardous activity. Second, the teen’s cord was not attached to a safety line, and despite that she was allowed to stay on the ledge. There was also no parental consent from Mol’s parents as she wasn’t an adult. Moreover, the firm lacked proper permits to perform training in bungee jumping from the 130-foot-high bridge.
In a separate negligence lawsuit, a U.S. court ordered the former owner of a skydive training company to pay a Texas teen $760,000 after she was given a malfunctioning parachute and survived a fall of 3,500 feet.
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