Settlement reached in Florida brain injury case

All parties have reached a settlement in a lawsuit filed by the families of two teenage girls who suffered brain injuries after a parasailing accident at a Florida beach resort.

Alexis Fairchild and Sidney Good were both 17 and vacationing in Florida in 2013 when their parasail broke loose from a motorboat, causing them to drift through the air, striking a condominium building and dropping onto cars in a parking lot. The girls suffered severe brain injuries and have needed extensive rehabilitation.

Their families filed a lawsuit against the rental company, the parasailing company, the condominium where the families were staying, and the manufacturer and wholesaler of the tow rope. Attorneys for the families said that the amount of the settlement was confidential and was equal for both girls. They stressed that although the girls will be secure for the rest of their lives, the settlement was by no means a windfall. The funds will be needed to pay for medical treatment and basic needs. Due to their brain injuries, Good has ongoing vision problems and Fairchild has difficulties with communication.

The girls and their families also lobbied for changes to Florida law. Parasailing companies in the state now operate under high wind restrictions and must carry insurance.