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Death at the Coulee


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Originally posted by Retrosaurus:


Originally posted by Figger Eight:

IF carabiners are failing at loads less than their claimed kn limit...might there be a case?

And wouldn't
be great?


And if you fuck up... might you die?


It is obvious to me that multiple things went wrong in this accident.


Is the purpose of this "investigation" to determine cause, thereby increasing knowlege and safety, or to fix blame (as in building
a case


Some of the recent language suggests the latter. I hope not. Too much of the price of US-made products (and services) is already passed directly on to insurance companies and lawyers.


[big Drink]
Here's to all of us
[big Drink]

who carry on the seductive dance with Death that is

[big Drink]
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Mitch -

I agree with you that fears of liability raise the price of or maybe even slow the development of things like climbing equipment, but on the other hand I would have to say that if it turned out that some party was in some way hugely responsible for this death, I wouldn't be against holding them financially responsible to some degree.


For exampe, I have no idea what will turn out to be the facts of this case, but suppose that the rope was a static rope and that the manufacturers/distributors knowingly sold it to consumers in such a manner that it could be expected that the consumers would use it for climbing without being able to tell the difference between it (an unsafe rope) and a static one (safer). Suppose further, that the investigation revealed that the pro would not have failed had it not been for the use of a static rope. And suppose that the widow was now going to be completely unable to support herself. All of this is a longshot, and you may say a preposterous one, but in this case I bet Rodchester's "per se" bar would be overcome. Wouldn't it be reasonable to hold the manufacturer/distributor somewhat responsible in a case like this?


If you believe that our legal system should support public safety, you may believe in some restriction of "greedy trial lawyers" or some regulation of our tort system (lawsuits), but the only alternative way to encourage the manufacturer/distributor to be more careful would probably be greater government regulation, something that I bet you are equally against (yes, I'm putting words in your mouth).


Alternatively, one might say let the "fee market" takek care of it. I suppose that the word might spread that such-and-such a dealer has insufficient concern for public safety, but then they could address this by simply pulling the product and their sales would probably not be all that badly affected (suppose, for example, it was a well established supplier like REI).



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In reading through this thread as, it has evolved,it appears to me that Erden's concern is with thoroughly examining the conditions that existed at the time of the accident, What happenened, and what can be learned from it. All of his talk about legal issues or a 'legal case', I think, is a result of comments that have been made to him by others about his being on shaky legal grounds by persuing this matter on his own. I don't think that Erden's interest is in building a legal case. I think that he is just considering the legal implications of the matter as he continues to be as thorough as possible in getting to the bottom of it all. That's how I read it.

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