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bolters being sued?
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By Jon Ruland
From Tucson, AZ
Mar 2, 2009
sending Hard Day at the Orifice

pfwein wrote:
Has anyone every heard of someone being sued for making a REALLY stupid post, and wasting everyone's time? Seems like it could happen with all the litigation going on these days. Since my time has already been wasted, maybe someone could enlighten me letting me know the days when there wasn't all this litigation going on? Unless we've got the world's oldest man/woman posting here, I doubt it was when any of us have been around.


nice.


OK, let's imagine another scenario. let's say someone develops an area, then spreads the word and hands out topos and encourages people to climb there. one day a climber takes a hard whipper and 2 bolts pop, and the climber dies. do you all think there might be some litigation to be had here?

BTW, i offer my thanks to the few of you who have responded to the original topic and have not let yourselves be drawn in by ben's obvious bolt-war troll.


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By pfwein
Mar 2, 2009

Jon Ruland wrote:
nice. OK, let's imagine another scenario. let's say someone develops an area, then spreads the word and hands out topos and encourages people to climb there. one day a climber takes a hard whipper and 2 bolts pop, and the climber dies. do you all think there might be some litigation to be had here? BTW, i offer my thanks to the few of you who have responded to the original topic and have not let yourselves be drawn in by ben's obvious bolt-war troll.

Jon: not that I have an informed opinion, but since you're asking legal questions on a climbing website, I assume that won't matter to you much. But yes, you can add facts to create a situation where an injured person probably does have a viable lawsuit. My guess is that a lawsuit following a "standard" scenario where no one in encouraging anyone to climb would not get to trial; if you start adding things like active encouragement by the bolter with apparent gross negligence on his part, than maybe there is a viable suit.
My initial response was based on the assumption in your post that litigation (as may relate to climbing) is somehow increasing: I don't think that is true, and would love to hear the grounds for your assumption if you have any. Fear of litigation may cause landowners to restrict access they would otherwise grant. While that fear may in some instances be rational (but I wouldn't assume anything there), I'd rather not fuel the flames with apparently baseless speculation.
Fat Dad's response seemed right on to me.


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By Jon Ruland
From Tucson, AZ
Mar 2, 2009
sending Hard Day at the Orifice

pfwein wrote:
Jon: not that I have an informed opinion, but since you're asking legal questions on a climbing website, I assume that won't matter to you much. But yes, you can add facts to create a situation where an injured person probably does have a viable lawsuit. My guess is that a lawsuit following a "standard" scenario where no one in encouraging anyone to climb would not get to trial; if you start adding things like active encouragement by the bolter with apparent gross negligence on his part, than maybe there is a viable suit. My initial response was based on the assumption in your post that litigation (as may relate to climbing) is somehow increasing: I don't think that is true, and would love to hear the grounds for your assumption if you have any. Fear of litigation may cause landowners to restrict access they would otherwise grant. While that fear may in some instances be rational (but I wouldn't assume anything there), I'd rather not fuel the flames with apparently baseless speculation. Fat Dad's response seemed right on to me.


i'm not speculating on anything and i don't care if there's more or less or the same amount of litigation going on these days compared to the past; i just want to know if anyone has heard of this happening. i think for the most part bolters are doing a service for the climbing community (though overbolting does obviously occur) and i wanted to know if they incur any legal risk for their contribution.


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By pfwein
Mar 2, 2009

Well, how often do you hear about climbers getting injured on a sport route due to fixed hardware failing? Don't think I've ever heard of that happening (in the US). Doesn't mean there won't be a suit if (when) hardware does fail. So I think your effort to gauge legal risk based on events that have not yet happened is misplaced. But good luck to you in your quasi-legal research project.


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By LeeAB
Administrator
From ABQ, NM
Mar 2, 2009
Once we landed we headed to Font to find a place to stay for the night before doing a day of wine tasting and heading to Buoux.

Does all of this have anything to do with the accident in Australia?

This is the incident that seems most likely to result in the "bolters" being held liable for anything, though there are lots of other issues at hand with this tragic incident.

1. the accident happened in AUS, no idea if they are as sue happy as we are in the US
2. the route equipers were from another country, can't remember which but it was eastern European.
3. the hardware used was made by a company that makes climbing bolts but the bolts used were not ones that were recommended for climbing use.
4. the route equipers had spoken to locals and were told not to use the bolts in question.
5. the route equipers posted notes admitting that the bolts seemed bad and would not tighten down on the inernet.
6. the route equipers apparently used the wrong size drill bit, too big, for the bolts that were not recommended for climbing and were told not to use by locals.



You can read more about this particular incident on Simon Carters website under the blog and news section, dated Feb 3, titled, Report Follow Up...

If something like this was to happen in the US, I have no idea what would happen but it does seem like there was "a bit" of negligence involved and it was definitely a case of the party being after an FA, specifically the goal was to put up a new route in X # of continents during a calendar year.


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By J C Wilks
From Loveland, CO
Mar 2, 2009

Jon Ruland wrote:
has anyone ever heard of someone being injured on a sport route (or any route for that matter) and then suing the FA?


No.

The only suit I've heard, with people I know, was not against the FA. It was between partners in the early 90s. They were not very open about it as it was an on going suit but what I could gather from others was this. An experienced lead climber encouraged a beginner lead climber to try a trad route the beginner wanted to do. Stating something like 'I think you can do it.' The beginner leads, falls and brakes his ankle, then sued his partner. He made really lame accusations like 'He didn't belay me right.' and 'He put me in over my head.' It was frivolous at best and didn't get far but he still had to shell out some bucks to defend himself.

I think you would have to have to prove a set of clearly malicious acts for an FA to be successfully sued. I don't think that's ever happened.


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By Chase Gee
From Wyoming/ Logan Utah
Mar 2, 2009
My Top Secret Yet to be named crag.

J. C. Wilks wrote:
I think you would have to have to prove a set of clearly malicious acts for an FA to be successfully sued. \
Watch out for that half-sawed through bolt, its a doozy.


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By sean connors
Mar 2, 2009
Head Like a Hole

johnL wrote:
I've come to realize that most bolters see trad as indian creek. If you can put a bomber piece of good sized gear absolutely anywhere you want on the whole route, they consider this trad and don't bolt it. If you have to be creative in your gear placement, make a move or two above your gear, use :gasp: microcams or :double gasp: RP's or :triple gasp: lowe balls, then clearly the route needs to be bolted. They also tend to believe that once the bolts are in that they should be left in no matter what, after all, the hole is already there. It's total bullshit and away from the internet, I'm VERY MUCH in the minority on this. They never listen either. Ever.


FUCKIN A John!


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By Joseph Stover
From Batesville, AR
Mar 2, 2009

Sounds like a perfectly valid question. I have never heard of it, and if it ever happened, it would have probably been big news in the climbing community.

So funny on how this thread turned into a bolting/ethics war!

Terminator 2: "it's in our nature to destroy ourselves..." I mean this referring to our arguing over unresolvable issues. There is no one right way, although there are many different ways. Not everyone wants to live in the same reality.

trad = good, bolts = good, free solo = good, boulder = good, beer = good. QED.


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By DICK HURTZ
Mar 2, 2009

hey traddies!
new routes being bolted is like having sex with kobe bryant: you can complain all you want, but its going to happen!


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By Trent Bradford
Mar 2, 2009
Swinging Bridge over the San Juan River

Jon, I doubt such a suit would go very far, but it's an interesting question. There are a lot of rock climbing lawsuits that arise out of climbing gyms or university climbing walls, but not so many outdoors.

There was a suit in 1996 where a guy died in a climbing class with the University of California. They were TRing outdoors, learning how to place pro, when the TR anchors failed and he fell over 90 feet to his death. His wife tried to sue, but the court held under the doctrine of primary assumption of risk that the regents were not liable for his death.

Regents of University of California v. Superior Court, 41 Cal.App.4th 1040, (Cal. 1996).

I assume that the primary assumption of risk would shield a well-meaning FA from liability in most jurisdictions.


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By Jon Ruland
From Tucson, AZ
Mar 3, 2009
sending Hard Day at the Orifice

thanks for the replies. i find it surprising--and encouraging--that so far rock climbing lawsuits apparently have not have not gone very far. it seems like a successful lawsuit would set a precedent that would cause FAs to not want to tell anyone about their routes to avoid the possibility of litigation.

also:

I-ZHEET M'DRUZ wrote:
hey traddies! new routes being bolted is like having sex with kobe bryant: you can complain all you want, but its going to happen!


i lol'd


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