Court boosts compensation for parachuting death

Court boosts compensation for parachuting death

Investigators determined that a defective chute attachment was responsible for the trainees' parachutes not opening. Inset, the family of one of the dead trainees at the spot where his body landed. (Photos military pool, FB/NAKON45)
Investigators determined that a defective chute attachment was responsible for the trainees' parachutes not opening. Inset, the family of one of the dead trainees at the spot where his body landed. (Photos military pool, FB/NAKON45)

The Appeal Court has ordered additional compensation and funeral costs be paid to the family of one of two police cadets who died during a parachuting exercise in Phetchaburi in March 2014.

The Civil Court earlier awarded 2.5 million baht in compensation and 270,000 baht for funeral costs to the family of police cadet Chayakorn Putthachaiyong, who was 19 when he died in the parachute jump. 

The Appeal Court decided that the funeral cost set by the lower court was too low, given the cadet's education background and the ability he would have had to generate income after his graduation. The court increased the payment to 320,000 baht. 

The court also increased the required compensation for the family who, as a result of Chayakorn's death, was now deprived of a caretaker. It increased the compensation set by the lower court to a total of 4.5 million baht, with 7.5% interest backdated. 

Chayakorn and another police cadet, Nathawuth Tirasuwannasuk, then 21, were killed when the static line usd to open their chutes snapped during a jump from a plane above Naresuan camp in Cha-am district on March 31, 2014.

In Chayakorn's case, the Appeal Court ordered Thai Aviation Industries Co Ltd (TAI Thailand) and an aviation maintenance inspector named Watcharapong Wongsuban to pay the 4.82 million baht in compensation and funeral costs to Sathorn Putthachaiyong, Chayakorn's father. 

Mr Sathorn said the family appealed because the lower court stated in the ruling that his son did not try to help himself during the parachute failure. However, evidence showed that he did try to help himself, which convinced the Appeal Court to increase the compensation and funeral payments. 

In Nathawuth's case, the family agreed to a remedial settlement worth 5 million baht from TAI Thailand and did not pursue civil action against the firm.  

However, the family filed a complaint with the Civil Court against several other parties, including the national carrier, Thai Airways International. The lower court threw out the petition and the decision was upheld by the Appeal Court yesterday.  

Jaturong Tirasuwannasuk, Nathawuth's father, said THAI was involved in the inspection of the parachute equipment. If the company had spotted the fault and pointed it out, the tragedy would not have happened, he said. 

In May last year, the Administrative Court awarded more than 6.5 million baht in compensation to the families of both cadets.

The Administrative Court held the Royal Thai Police (RTP) responsible for negligence resulting in the deaths. The court ruled that RTP officials failed to make sure the maintenance of the parachute equipment was up to standard before it was used in the exercise.

Chayakorn’s family was awarded 2,365,000 baht with annual interest of 7.5%, starting from Jan 21, 2016, the day after the suit was filed.

Nathawuth's family was allotted 2,367,000 baht plus annual interest of 7.5%. The payment must be made within 60 days of the ruling.



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