On January 13, 2014, I was asked to be an expert witness for a personal injury case concerning a man who flipped a woman and grievously injured her. The lawyers found my aerial recap videos on YouTube, looked me up via my website, and emailed me. We talked that day and the next morning at 7am I sent them questions for their upcoming deposition.
Over the next 16 days, I spent 25+ hours on this project. I analyzed the written deposition, picking apart the defendant’s language; critiqued the video deposition where the defendant demonstrated how he performed the back-to-back aerial; videotaped the aerials using his technique and mine, comparing and contrasting the two through captured stills; and writing a best practices document along with my deposition analysis.
It was intense. We even discussed that they might need me and an aerial partner at the hearing to demonstrate. That was to happen the day I was supposed to fly to Grenoble. Fortunately, this case never went to trial. They settled out of court thanks mainly to my work.
Here are some takeaways from this case:
- If you’re inebriated, don’t do aerials. Don’t offer, don’t suggest, don’t accept.
- If you’ve never done aerials before with this person and you’re both sober, do preps before going over. Build trust.
- If the trust isn’t there and you’re compromised in some manner, do not fly and do not throw.
- If you’re wearing compromising clothing or footwear, do not fly or throw. This could be a tight shirt limiting arm movement or stiletto heels.
- If you successfully threw a gymnast for your first aerial, it’s totally them and not you. Same thing goes for tiny children. In the scheme of things, doing an aerial successfully with gymnasts and tiny children doesn’t count.
- As a base, you should always have a sense (visual or physical) where your flyer is. If you don’t, re-establish it quickly and get ready to become a landing pad.
- As a flyer when doing connected throws and landing, you should also have a physical sense where your base is. If you don’t, re-establish quickly or get your arms out quickly for a crash landing.