LODI (CBS13) — A skydiving instructor is suing the U.S. Parachute Association, saying that he was unfairly blamed for the 2016 death of two skydivers in Lodi.
Yuri Garmashov claims he was out of the country when the accident happened at the Skydive Lodi Parachute Center.
The lawsuit alleges another instructor, Rob Pooley, forged his signature on the paperwork for the jump because his tandem examiner rating had been suspended. Pooley died in the accident that also took the life of another skydiver.
Federal regulators investigated the deadly tandem jump. Following that incident, several instructors were suspended and 140 were required to get additional training.
As many as 20 people have died on jumps with the center since it opened in the early 1980s. At least six of them died in the last four years. Also, in 2018, the FBI raided the facility.
In two separate cases, the FAA has proposed fines just under $1 million. In 2010, they alleged the facility conducted more than 2,000 flights in planes with unsafe parts.