Staff Sgt. Brycen Erdody and his wife filed a lawsuit against several parachute manufacturers and suppliers after Erdody suffered severe injuries when his reserve parachute malfunctioned during a military exercise in May 2022. The lawsuit alleges that the parachute systems were defectively designed and inadequately tested, resulting in Erdody’s injuries, which included a traumatic brain injury and a loss of use in his arm. The defendants have mostly denied the allegations or claimed insufficient information.
- Incident and Injuries: Staff Sgt. Brycen Erdody was injured when his reserve parachute opened unexpectedly inside an aircraft, causing him to fall and sustain multiple injuries, including a traumatic brain injury and loss of arm function.
- Legal Allegations: The lawsuit claims that the MC-6 and T-11R parachute systems used by Erdody were defectively designed and inadequately tested, leading to his injuries. It is also alleged that these defects had been fatal in past incidents.
- Defendants’ Responses: The defendants, including Airborne Systems North America, Aerostar International LLC, and BAE Systems Inc., have mostly denied the allegations or claimed insufficient information. BAE Systems, in particular, stated that it did not design, manufacture, or sell the parachute system in question.
- Army Investigation Findings: An Army investigation concluded that Erdody’s injuries were not due to his or his team’s negligence.
- Legal Proceedings Timeline: The discovery phase of the lawsuit is scheduled to be completed by October 2024, with a trial set for March 2025. The discovery will focus on the design, testing, and procurement of the parachute and its components.