New lawsuit filed in Florida parasailing accident that killed Elk Grove Village woman

New lawsuit in deadly parasailing accident

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The husband of an Elk Grove Village woman who died while parasailing in the Florida Keys last year is speaking out for the first time about the deadly incident.

A new lawsuit also has been filed in the case against the resort, boat captain, and mate involved in the May 2022 death of Supraja Alaparthi, whose husband hopes it will send a message to companies about maximizing safety.

Alaparthi, 33, was parasailing with her son and her nephew near Pigeon Bay in the Florida Keys on May 30, 2022, when a strong gust of wind  "pegged" their parasail - meaning the wind took over control of the parasail from the boat below.

A subsequent report said this made for a situation so dangerous that the captain decided to cut the line tethered to the victims. They were dropped from an unknown height and dragged through the water by the floating parasail until it finally slammed into Old Seven Mile Bridge, the report said.

Alaparthi died instantly. Her 10-year-old son and 9-year-old nephew were both suffered minor injuries which the family said they're still recovering from a year after the incident.

Husband of Elk Grove Village woman killed in Florida parasailing accident speaks out

Thursday morning, lawyers for Alaparthi's family are calling for mandatory training in the parasailing industry.

"I cannot help but think that if the people we trusted from the parasailing company and the captain had done their jobs, my wife would still be with us today," said Srini Alaparthi, the widower of Supraja.

Srini Alaparthi held back tears talking about his late wife and her love for life and their children.

The family previously filed a lawsuit against the parasailing company after the accident. The new lawsuit announced today also targets the resort, boat captain, and mate.

"They made it seem like this was a company that was legitimate," said Pedro Echarte III, the family's attorney. "That this was a company that was going to care for its people, its customers and take care of them."

Echarte said the primary goal of the lawsuit was to seek justice for the family and "to make sure that never, ever happens again."

The boat captain, 49-year-old Daniel Gavin Couch, was arrested in September and charged with manslaughter for taking the family out on a windy day and cutting that cable connecting the parasail to his boat.

Prosecutors said that act was reckless, and not only violated commercial parasailing guidelines, but was criminal.

Family of Elk Grove Village woman killed in Florida parasailing accident file new lawsuit
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