Compensation for broken back

The South Korean student who broke her back in 2013 when she jumped onto an inflatable cushion during the KEI week in 2013 will be compensated 15,000 euros for her treatments costs.
By Peter Keizer / Translation by Sarah van Steenderen

The decision followed a lawsuit she brought against Action Events, the inflatable cushion owner.

The student jumped onto the cushion from a height of seven metres. She was supposed to land on her behind, but she fell with her legs straight and broke her back. She has since undergone three operations, but she has had to pay for them herself because she had no Dutch insurance.


On Tuesday, the student, who has since moved back to South Korea, and Action Events appeared in court. The court ruled that under the circumstances, the student should have known to land on her buttocks rather than with her legs straight.

The South Korean woman was her own worst enemy during the session, says Johan Oosting who works at Schut Oosting, the personal injury specialists the student had hired. ‘She always maintained that she had not been told how to jump. But during the session, she stated repeatedly that it had been clear. That’s one way to lose’, according to Oosting.

According to attorney Gert Loman, the judge’s conclusion can be negotiated. ‘There was no explicit warning of the risks of not jumping in the correct manner. And these days, people have to take a practice jump from a lower height before they can take the bigger jump’, he says.

However, the judge disagreed and asked the parties to talk to each other before the court made a decision. During that talk, insurance company Achmea promised to meet the student halfway and pay out 15,000 euros.


Loman is not entirely satisfied with this outcome. ‘We would have rather had a judgement that held the owner accountable. Her medical expenses are higher than the 15,000 euros. And there’s no guarantee that the student’s symptoms won’t get worse in the future’, he says.

But following the student’s statements, the South Korean woman and her lawyer made the best of a bad situation and agreed to the settlement. ‘Her confirmation could not be taken back and would have caused trouble in any potential appeal. Additionally, the student does not want to come back again for the case. So we decided to accept it after all’, says Oosting.



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