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By FrankPS
From Atascadero, CA
Oct 22, 2013
Jason Kim wrote:
Dude, reality check. I can't f'ing believe you're even entertaining the idea of suing your partner. WTF? That said, I do wish you a full recovery and am sorry to hear this happened.


I think the friendship and climbing-partnership is over. But if you've been climbing with this guy for a long time, you must know his belaying abilities? Even though his "I don't know what happened" excuse is lame, and I wouldn't want to climb with him again - don't sue. (take the half he offered, then don't climb with him again)

Edit: Was this the first fall of yours he ever caught?

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By Mike Belu
From Indianapolis, IN
Oct 22, 2013
Summit of Rainier.
I'm sorry to hear about the accident. If you remember the accident, do you mind providing some more info on it? 4 bolts clipped in a gym and missing the 5th, and having a groundfall seems like a lot of slack. A whole lot of slack. Was he belaying with an ATC and maybe wasn't paying attention, and didn't break? You said you were on a traverse, did you pendelum at all on the 4th bolt, or straight down to the ground?

I know it doesn't change the unfortunate outcome, just wondering.

To your question, I'd be happy with the fact he offered to pay 1/2. I wouldn't sue.

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By Animal Chin
Oct 22, 2013
dude offered to pay HALF your medical bills and you want more? maybe you did lose your spine...

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By wendy weiss
Oct 23, 2013
Climinbob, Your insurance company may make the decision whether to sue for you. Any time my husband or I have injured ourselves, we've gotten a letter from our health insurance company's subrogation department wanting to know if there was an accident and, basically, if there was someone else to blame whom the insurance company could sue. If you fill out the form as you describe here, it will be interesting to see what your insurer does.

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By marty funkhouser
Oct 23, 2013
wendy weiss wrote:
Climinbob, Your insurance company may make the decision whether to sue for you. Any time my husband or I have injured ourselves, we've gotten a letter from our health insurance company's subrogation department wanting to know if there was an accident and, basically, if there was someone else to blame whom the insurance company could sue. If you fill out the form as you describe here, it will be interesting to see what your insurer does.


Insurance companies use this documentation to deny claims, but not to 'sue people for you'.

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By wendy weiss
Oct 23, 2013
Actually, Jon, they use the information to sue people for themselves, to get reimbursed by the third party or the third party's insurer. That's what subrogation is all about.

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By Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
Oct 23, 2013
At the BRC
Just curious about what others might think.
I might climb with Bob's partner at this point but I'd never climb with Bob.

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By aren
Oct 23, 2013
The Cowardly Noob wrote:
You are correct, this isn't reliable legal advice. Personal Injury lawyers usually don't take $$$ up front, they take 33-50% of the winnings. If you lose, PI lawyers usually don't get paid. If he lawyers up and goes through all this BS, the claim is going to be for more than 3K. There will be damages asserted including pain and suffering, lose of enjoyment, other BS.


PI lawyers usually don't take a case this small. Low odds of winning and a small payoff, as he's suing an individual (unless Bob's ex-partner is rich).

His best bet is to take the offer of half (which seems a decent thing to do), and spend $100 of it on a grigri for his next partner. Or, at least, he should inform future belaying partners that he will consider suing them if they make a mistake.

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By marty funkhouser
Oct 23, 2013
wendy weiss wrote:
Actually, Jon, they use the information to sue people for themselves, to get reimbursed by the third party or the third party's insurer. That's what subrogation is all about.


I'm no lawyer, but its my understanding that subrogation means that an insurance company has a right to reimburse it's costs if one of it's insured wins a personal injury case. That's why everyone is commenting that if a lawsuit were filed, it wouldn't be for the $3000 deductible but for the entire cost of medical care (maybe approaching half a million?) because the insurance company is going to be paid first. I don't, however, think that the insurance company will sue a 3rd party on your behalf. They may prompt the injured party to sue by denying claims. Like I said, I'm no lawyer and have no intention of ever becoming one.

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By climbinbob
Oct 23, 2013
To everyone that has responded in one way or another. I am not a greedy man, nor do I want to sue anyone, or put anyone in the poor house. I just think that the bulk of responsibility falls on the shoulders' of the belayer. To drop someone 30' to the ground is a gross negligence of duty. It is the belayers responsibility to do every thing in his power to arrest a fall. When a climber is leading, he is focusing on his movements, and should not have to 2nd guess his belayer-especially having climbed numerous times as a team in the past. I've said my peace. Let's let this thread die. Thank you!

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By DSnider
Oct 23, 2013
Sorry Bob, it's very obvious your agro with your belayer and feel he should pony up some funds. As you know, climbing is dangerous. How many times have you had a lousy spotter while bouldering? Ever pull a piece while trad climbing? Things happen, people get hurt. Learn how to fall.

Best of luck and hope you recover fully.

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By plantmandan
From Brighton, Co
Oct 23, 2013
J Tree after blizzard
Best wishes for your recovery.

I agree with the earlier posts saying your partner is being generous if he is offering to pay 1/2. IMO, he should not have to pay anything. You are responsible for choosing him as your belayer.

You will be much better off if you channel your anger into getting well instead of starting a legal fight that will certainly be lengthy and expensive.

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By Robert Angell
Oct 24, 2013
Falling is an inherent risk of climbing. The law of gravity has not been repealed. If your belayer has offered to pay half of your expenses, that's probably as good as or better than you could do by litigating.

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By Eric G.
From Saratoga Springs, NY
Oct 24, 2013
DSnider wrote:
Learn how to fall.


If I were bob, I would track you down and poop on your lawn.

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By Taylor J
From new mexico, new england
Oct 24, 2013
My home project.... <br /> <br /><em>Eds. It may be called "The Compactor".</em>
If its a 40 ft route and you fell 30 feet you should have realized there was too much slack and asked to take? That's what I would of done, also you made the decision to allow this person to belay you, as far as I am concerned that's on you. This is a dangerous thing we do as we all know, whether human error or equipment failure its always on you, you choose to climb and you choose who you climb with.

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By Tom-onator
From This Galaxy
Oct 25, 2013
Tom-onator
climbinbob wrote:
...the bulk of responsibility falls on the shoulders' of the belayer. To drop someone 30' to the ground is a gross negligence of duty. It is the belayers responsibility to do every thing in his power to arrest a fall. When a climber is leading, he is focusing on his movements, and should not have to 2nd guess his belayer..

Obviously someone that understands what it means to be a belayer and not just someone who pays out rope.

Who the fuck is Pete Schoening and why is he turning in his grave?

Godspeed in your healing Bob.

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By Cultivating Mass
Oct 25, 2013
Leading on the only "fair means" rack.
Hooooolllleeeeeeeyyyyyyy shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.

Is this for real? Between this and people confusing joe kinder with a nazi war criminal over at supertopo, you clowns have further damaged my respect for anything with two legs and a harness.

This used to be about adventure, risk, camaraderie, exploration, FUN. I don't know what the rest of you are doing in gyms and with your lawyers and so on, but here's an opinion:

It's not rock climbing.

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By doug marbarger
Oct 25, 2013
I very rarely post anything on MP and really like just reading what you all have to say but I can't hold back on this one. First off I hope you heal up well and am glad the outcome is not worse. But really? Sue your partner of a long time? That certainly is not the answer. Good luck finding a partner in the future.

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By Tyler W
From Utah
Oct 25, 2013
Scooby Snacks
Anything below ten grand in damages is going to be hard to find an attorney to take your case (because most PI attorneys work on contingency). But I'd say there's totally a chance that you could have a case...him having a duty or something.

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By Syd
Oct 26, 2013
climbinbob wrote:
... Because of my belayers inattentiveness, I was dropped approx. 30' to the ground. ...


If you were climbing, how do you know he/she was "inattentive" ?
Have you climbed with him/her as a belayer before ?
Have you watched how he/she belays others ?
What type of belay device was he/she using ?

Even if your belayer was distracted, you should not have necessarily hit the deck. Bad belaying technique is endemic in some gyms that I have seen.

FLAG


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