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telemarker

Uninsured Climbing

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quote:

Originally posted by mattp:

GregW

I believe Washington Basic Health has some kind of waiting list or something and there are varioius restrictions. I had a client who was terminated from the program because of a paperwork problem and they would not reinstate him. They made him go through the normal application process and I believe he had to wait over a year.

Yeah, I don't really know the in's and out's, per se, but knew the program existed. Here's some medecine for you, Matt [big Drink] . See you at the Eastside Pub Club on 10/15

 

[ 10-10-2002, 02:12 PM: Message edited by: Greg W ]

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You are certainly right to reiterate the risks that come along with climbing, Matt. My point was not to minimize those risks but to suggest that even if you are fortunte enough to go avoid any injury whatsoever while climbing, the odds are pretty low that you'll make it through the rest of your life without an accident, disease, etc. that'll make an investment in health insurance pay off in a big way.

 

In a related story, I had a friend who made his living as an independent architect, and was turned down by quite a number of companies offering health insurance policies on account of his interest in mountaineering. Although he eventually found a good policy that he could affort, ee made some more queries to find out what hobbies/past-times were acceptable. One that always appeared on the "acceptable" list was skydiving, as the insurers figured that if there was an accident, it would be the funeral insurer's problem, not theirs.

 

It'd be intersting to hear what D-Dog has to say about B.A.S.E. jumpers getting individual health/life/disability insurance.

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quote:

Originally posted by Greg W:

JayB; When we climb together next remind me to have you sign my boilerplate injury waiver
[big Grin]

Not until I fake an injury and sue for more meals and brew at your place for compensation. Might even work carrying all of my gear to the base of each and every crag and leading all of the hard pitches into the settlement if I can get the right lawyer on board.

 

On a sort of related topic - I did read about one recreational climer suing her "partner" a couple of years ago. From what I can recall what happened is this: some guy told this woman that he was an expert climber and took her out to the crags for their first date. He climbs the first route, sets a TR and raps down. His date climbs to the top on TR and begins to lower, then falls to the gound. Turns out that the yutz rigged the rope through bare webbing and as she lowered under tension the rope burned right through. She'd never seen a top-rope anchor before and had no idea. I think the story showed up in the news because she won and it was the first verdict of its kind (?). If anyone has has any energy left after reading the political thread it might be interesting to hear what other folks have to say about this one.

 

I personally don't like the precedent it set, although I sympathize with this dude's date.

 

[ 10-10-2002, 04:28 PM: Message edited by: JayB ]

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Story of the original lawsuit . Couldn't find news on the outcome. While I don't think a great many people have valid lawsuits--especially in re. to climbing--this woman certainly did against this loser of a guy. Hope she got at least what she deserved to cover her medical expenses and lost wages.

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Hey Pindude:

 

That's the one I recall. Thanks for looking it up and posting it here.

 

Here's the text from the link:

 

Novice Sues 'Veteran' Climber for Nasty Fall

April 29, 2001

 

COPYRIGHT 2001, THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE

 

Dangling from a rope on a rock formation in Big Cottonwood Canyon, Lindsey Enloe knew she was placing her life in her date's hands.

 

An athletic, outgoing 24-year-old, Enloe was a climbing novice. But Stephen Stinson had supplied all of the equipment, chosen the location for the climb and reassured her he was a 12-year veteran rock climber.

 

She never imagined the outing would end with her plummeting to the bottom of the rock in a heap.

 

Enloe, who suffered serious injuries in the April 19, 1997, fall, sued Stinson earlier this month in 3rd District Court. Her negligence claim adds rock climbing to a growing list of outdoor sports prompting lawsuits that ask Utah courts to decide who should bear responsibility when accidents occur.

 

And although clear precedent exists for accident victims to sue tour groups, resorts or national parks, litigation between people engaging in arguably high-risk outdoor recreation is unusual.

 

Enloe's Salt Lake City attorneys, Stuart Hinckley and David Burns, have not yet found a similar rock-climbing case in Utah, although they say the case is clear-cut: Stinson told Enloe he was an experienced climber and therefore had a duty to keep her reasonably safe.

 

Stinson secured nylon climbing webbing, similar to a flat rope, to the top of the rock, but improperly attached that webbing to the nylon rope holding Enloe, the suit alleges. The rope rubbed against the webbing, breaking it and sending Enloe to the ground, the suit said.

 

The fall left Enloe with a broken pelvis, foot and wrist and a concussion. Her right arm and wrist are permanently impaired and subject to uncontrollable spasms and pain. Enloe also suffered internal injuries and wonders at the age of 29 whether she can bear children.

 

To add insult to her injuries, Stinson did not tell her he was married at the time of the date, her attorneys said.

 

Attempts to reach Stinson at his Farmington, Mich., home for comment were unsuccessful.

 

Enloe met Stinson as he was setting up audio equipment for a charity event she was organizing. Part of his job involved hanging equipment using a harness and ropes, she said.

 

"When he told me he had been technically climbing for 12ish years, I had no reason to believe otherwise," Enloe said, adding she would not have attempted the climb alone.

 

But Enloe said she became angry when a friend looked at the equipment Stinson had used and told her it had been set up wrongly, in a mistake the friend said only a rank amateur would make.

 

At the time, Enloe was living in Salt Lake City but planning a move to Montreal. She has since returned to her hometown of Vernal to be near family and is teaching at a vocational school.

 

Enloe did not consider suing Stinson until she discussed the accident with another friend, who encouraged her to find out if it could help her pay for mounting medical bills.

 

University of Utah Law School professor John Flynn, who teaches tort law, said it is rare for one climber to sue another. If successful, the claim could spur others of its kind, pitting more outdoor adventurers against one another when something goes wrong, he said.

 

Chicago attorney Mitchell Orpett, who heads the American Bar Association's Torts and Insurance Practice Section, said the suit may succeed.

 

"If this guy is representing himself as an expert, it in essence is really like a suit against an organization supplying expertise," Orpett said. "As a defense lawyer, I would argue that the duty is one of reasonable care, not of perfection and absolute safety."

 

Utah courts have set high standards for proving negligence in cases related to at least one popular outdoor activity: skiing. Salt Lake attorney Jeffrey Eisenberg han- dled, and lost, a case in which one skier was suing another after an accident. He said the recent filing could face similar obstacles, with courts reluctant to assign blame for sporting mishaps.

 

The possibility of lawsuits is not a new concern for the all- volunteer Wasatch Mountain Club and similar groups in the West. The WMC requires members or potential members to sign legal waivers before participating in activities.

 

Legalities aside, Enloe's suit raises the question of how much responsibility a person should take when engaging in outdoor sports - - an issue Curtis Turner, co-director of the club's rock-climbing group, thinks about often.

 

"No one can ever tell you everything is totally safe," said Turner, 30. "You have to have some common sense and ask some questions. If someone says, 'I know where the trail is,' but he really doesn't and you get lost, should you have gone hiking unless you knew you could make it on your own out there?"

 

In the meantime, Enloe does not see herself as a victim. Uncomfortable at the thought of being labeled a "money-grubber" for filing the suit, she does not expect the apology she never got. But she does hope the suit could provide her financial restitution and restore her confidence in people.

 

"I was a very trusting person," Enloe said. "That's changed."

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Insurance is a good thing. Buy all that you can afford. [smile]

 

[ 10-26-2002, 11:11 AM: Message edited by: trask ]

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I am currently scheduled for ankle surgery at an HMO, because that is where my insurance is. Naturally I have some misgivings about having them work on me, as the Group Health surgeons may not be the best in the city.

 

If I go outside of network I have to pay 20%, but so far I have had no success with getting an estimate on the cost of the procedure. I really have no idea how much it might cost, and apparently no one else does either. I am working on this. I find it interesting in this day and age that you can't get at least a good estimate on something that you will be paying money for.

 

Numerous scenarios outside of this have been suggested to me, including changing jobs so that I might have PPO insurance and have access to better docs. In my line of work this is not practical. I do have a business license, but the business is as small as a gnat's ear, nonetheless it's been said that I could get some insurance because techically I am a business.

 

If I could get PPO insurance at a cost of say, $300 or less, I think it would be worth it for me to go this route for a few months until after the surgery and then of course I'd have my regular insurance for aftercare and whatnot.

 

Anyone know if this is possible? Where would I get it, what are the costs and limitations?

 

At this point I will probably keep researching until my surgery date.

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A couple vague points about insurance, no specifics- If you are a business, Allison, you need to find a biz related trade or proffessional organization to join that provides access to health care- you can buy a variety of health care plans this way.

 

Washington's Basic Plan SUCKS!-

It's not insurance, it's a leveraged effort to make insurers in this state offer health care- existing ins co's offer low incomers access to their plans, but like Mattp said, they've got a lot of hoops to keep people jumping thru in efforts to stop covering them- also, lots of the companies don't offer in LOTS of counties because they're already "at capacity"

 

It was a politically charged effort at neutralizing access to health care in WA state for uninsured by the insurance companies and a consession when ALL the ins companies said they were going to stop offering ind. policies-

now, they can still refuse many access to health care by offering this insurance "coverage" in WA Basic Health- but if you make more than poverty wages, you're not eligible anyway!

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quote:

Originally posted by Lambone:

While I was in Nepal an experienced guide on our team... He had been lifted off multiple peaks in the Hymalia...so I took his word for it.

Wow, sounds like a great guy to have along... [Confused]

 

Sounds like Muffy TWS has been, how you say? Screwed over? [Mad][Roll Eyes]

 

I know I pay for it in other ways, but it seems so much easier when it just comes off your _cheque_ each week. [Cool][smile][smile] [Note the _Canadjun_ spelling...]

 

[ 10-28-2002, 05:23 PM: Message edited by: snoboy ]

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if an insured climber and an uninsured climber fall and have the exact same (assuming HARD to treat) injuries, the uninsured climber is 5 times more likely to get the more appropriate care at Harborview medical center (being that the physicans there treat trauma more than the private practice guys) than the insured climber. How's that for ironic.

 

This is from a research paper written by one of our general surgeons.

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Just to note, AFLAC doesn't pay out it's share if you're using ropes. Apparently if you're just carrying them, it's okay, but not if you're actually strapped in. So if you fall, get that rope off!

 

w00p!

 

bigdrink.gif

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I just gave up my insurance for next year because it is getting way to ridiculous to pay so much and get so little. I hardly ever get sick, and in 19 years of climbing I have only been hurt bad enough to go the the doctors twice and both of them were minor. The protection systems work, so I am not worried about it.

 

Now falling off the trail as I walk there is a different worry. crazy.gif

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This is diffrent type of insurance but, by joining the AAC you get rescue insurance overall it isn't that much.

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