Expert Witness

for zip line, challenge course & aerial adventure park cases

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adventure park and  zip line expert witness

Expert witness services including zip line and adventure park case review, discovery development, report writing, and testimony. Pre- and post-claim expert consulting services including compliance audits, accident investigations, and operation development.

The commercial aerial adventure course and zip line market in the U.S. has experienced double-digit growth for more than a decade.  With the rapid growth and increase in the number of annual riders has come an increasing number of accidents.  With more than two decades of experience in the design, development, installation, inspection, and operation of challenge courses, zip lines, and adventure parks, we have the experience necessary to assist companies pre- and post-claim to mitigate risk and losses and to assist counsel for the plaintiff or defense at each stage of litigation.

Expert Witness: Zip Line, Adventure Parks, Challenge Courses

Our expertise and services have been used by plaintiff and defense counsels on a variety of matters revolving around zip lines, adventure parks and challenge courses. Here are a few examples.

Zip Line, Adventure Park, and Challenge Course Accident Investigation

  • Zip line rider collision with an inanimate object
  • Zip line rider collision with another rider
  • Zip line rider impact with another patron
  • Zip line brake system failure / improper zip line brake design
  • Zip line brake system / failure of primary and EAD
  • Zip line brake system / failure to set brake system
  • Zip line rider injury / improper life safety system
  • Mobile zip line accident / failure to follow operating procedures
  • Mobile zip line accident / fall from heights
  • Adventure Park employee fall from heights
  • Adventure Park participant / rider fall from heights
  • Jump system / auto-belay failure
  • Participant fall from heights / product liability

Zip Line and Adventure Park Contract Disputes

  • Zip line tour business valuation
  • Breach of contract – rider cycle-time / throughput analysis
  • Breach of contract – documentation requirements
  • Breach of contract – course fails to meet specified standards
  • Course design / brake system failure / improper zip line design
  • Standards compliance on design/installation project
  • System component fails to meet design specs

With more than two decades of experience in design, development, installation, and operation of challenge courses, zip lines, and adventure parks, we can assist counsel with each stage of the litigation process.

  • Case review and discovery
  • Identify appropriate content for discovery requests
  • Assess early the merits of the case through our experience in the industry and with prevailing standards and accepted practices
  • Educate counsel on industry terminology, practices, applicable standards, jurisdictional requirements, and other pertinent facts
  • Accident investigation
  • Document review
  • Interpret and analyze the other side’s expert opinions
  • Opine on ASTM F2959 (and reference standards), ANSI/PRCA, and ANSI/ACCT standards compliance for design, installation, and operation as well as acceptable industry practices
  • In complex cases, advise on additional expert witnesses and expert consultants
  • Sponsor opinions, declarations, or expert reports
  • Testify at deposition
  • Testify at trial

In situations where claims are insurance-based and corrective actions have been identified, we can assist zip line and adventure park operators with post-claim improvements to bring their operations and structures into substantial compliance with applicable standards, jurisdictional requirements, and accepted industry practices.

Expert Witness: Next Steps

  • We encourage counsel to contact us as early as possible so that we might establish a professional relationship and layout time lines and the scope of the contract.  While the zip line/aerial adventure course market is growing rapidly, it is a relatively small market consisting of only a handful of insurance companies and a few dozen significant vendors.  It is important to role out possible conflicts of interest and to determine if our services are a good match for your needs. In situations where a conflict exists that cannot be cleared or where our expertise or availability is not suitable to your needs, we can help recommend other experts in the zip line, aerial adventure park, and amusement device market with whom we have worked or whose opinions we have reviewed.

Contact Us

Contact us by phone or e-mail to setup a meeting to discuss your business needs.


    vermont zip line canopy tour and adventure park - arbortrek canopy adventures

    Zip Line Expert Witness

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    Michael R. Smith, Adventure Park & Zip Line Expert


    Expert Witness


    Operation Reviewer


    Industry-leading business and operations consultant with more than 25 years of experience designing and developing award-winning aerial adventure parks and 29 years of experience delivering adventure-based tours and team and leadership development programming. Founder and president of AdventureSmith, Inc. and creator of ArborTrek Canopy Adventures.

    Challenge courses zip lines & aerial adventure parks: A historic primer and examination of current trends and statistics


    Challenge Courses, Zip Lines, and Aerial Adventure Parks: A Historic Primer and Examination of Current Trends and Statistics