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Momentum Climbing Accident - Utah
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By mmcfarland
From Millcreek ,Ut
Apr 8, 2013

Accidents are always possible. That's why it's so important to have strong mentors and partners to help develop good safety habits.

I certainly send my best to the accident victim , and hope for a full recovery. It's no doubt a trying expieriance dealing with the financial burdens on top of the physical.

After visiting the fundraising site, I still have some questions. I didn't find anything about a lawsuit against the gym and hope that's not really happening. As a long time member I can attest to their commitment to safety. In the end however the safety is in the hands of the patron. If you've been tested on your knots and belaying, signed the waiver and then get hurt, it's generally a matter of personnel responsibility. Unless some unmentioned circumstances exist, in regards to faulty equipment or the like. According to the fundraiser site "...She watched her rope slip through her harness and fall to the ground. Somehow, her rope knot had come untied during her climb to the top.". That sounds like an issue of personnel negligence unless I'm missing something.

Again, I'm truly sorry for your ordeal. Hopefully it's a good lesson on double checking our setups for everybody reading. It's easy to get complacent when we do something on a regular basis. Especially in an environment like the gym, where the padded floors and pre- hung draws make the danger level feel very benign.


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By zoso
Apr 8, 2013
avatar

It's technically heresay, but I heard:

It was hard to get a lawyer to take the case (well, duh), but they finally found one. The basis of their lawsuit will be that Momentum didn't supply an alternate safety mechanism in the event of a rope failure. There should have been another rope to hook onto, or a bolt on the wall. They have found an expert witness that is a consultant for military climbing gyms and that she would never allow anyone to climb a gym route without personally tying each and every knot herself.

There's MORE than plenty to pick apart in that paragraph there.

If this is NOT the case, by all means, the accident victim should speak up. I don't mean to be gossipy or cruel here, but I feel it should be known if this girl is asking for $.


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By Shane Neal
From Colorado Springs, CO.
Apr 8, 2013
Thunder

I truly hope you heal well

However, if you are indeed trying to sue, I pity you.

If you can't be accountable for your own actions, an adult you are not nor a climber should you be.

Instead of helping find you a lawyer your mom should be teaching you personal accountability and responsibility.

You cant afford your bills because you don't have insurance and yet you're going to waste money on a lawyer on a lawsuit that will not succeed.

This entire situation is exactly the kind of nonsense that makes climbing such a legal and access issue, inside or out, for us climbers who are responsible and accountable.


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By MJMobes
From The land of steady habits
Apr 8, 2013
modern man

CJC wrote:
really sorry this happened to you. and I wish you a speedy and complete recovery. I've been there and it's a long road back. but what's up with joining this community just to hold your hand out?


well, really she joined a month after the accident and a month ago but still her only contribution here is a picture and asking for money.

I'd consider helping with a few bucks if I knew there was NO lawyer scum involved. zoso has never been a shit talker.


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By Christian "crisco" Burrell
From PG, Utah
Apr 8, 2013
Our less than official sponsor!

zoso wrote:
It's technically heresay, but my wife was told by her mom that: It was hard to get a lawyer to take the case (well, duh), but they finally found one. The basis of their lawsuit will be that Momentum didn't supply an alternate safety mechanism in the event of a rope failure. There should have been another rope to hook onto, or a bolt on the wall. They have found an expert witness that is a consultant for military climbing gyms and that she would never allow anyone to climb a gym route without personally tying each and every knot herself. There's MORE than plenty to pick apart in that paragraph there. If this is NOT the case, by all means, the accident victim should speak up. I don't mean to be gossipy or cruel here, but I feel it should be known if this girl is asking for $.


What would she have supposedly "clipped" in with had there been a bolt or alternate rope? If she was at the top, I don't get why she didn't just pull over the top and straddle it.


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By M Sprague
Administrator
From New England
Apr 8, 2013
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lichen covered look from scrubbing a new route.

Amanda, if the suing story is true, 68k sounds pretty cheap to sell your character. When the shit hits the fan is the true test. Take personal responsibility for your own fuck-ups. If the financial issue is too much for you to take, and you can't make an arrangement for them to accept a smaller payment, then declare bankruptcy.

I would think the gym would be able to come up with a thousand expert witnesses who would debunk the Army consultants idea as having relevance to a civilian gym.


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By Eric G.
Apr 8, 2013

M Sprague wrote:
I would think the gym would be able to come up with a thousand expert witnesses who would debunk the Army consultants idea as having relevance to a civilian gym.


This is a crap lawsuit. Probably no breach of duty nor causation.

And trying to sue probably won't cost her a dime. In personal injury cases like this, the lawyer usually only gets paid if the plaintiff wins.


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By JCM
From Henderson, NV
Apr 9, 2013

Unfortunately, though, "crap" lawsuits like this have a huge impact on our sport and on American society in general. The threat of lawsuits like this, and the insurance payments associated therewith, are a huge drain on climbing gyms, which are generally small locally owned businesses.

If you are going to sue the gym, why not also try to contrive a way to sue the doctors that treated you as well? If you are going to litigate away your character, why not try to sue another set of honest people who were only providing you with a worthwhile service? Hey, you might get some extra money that way.

I have long thought that the tort system in this country needs a stringent system of reverse penalties, such that when the plaintiff loses is absurd cases such as this, the plaintiff must compensate the defendant fully for time and legal expenses. Would probably cut down on these frivolous lawsuits.


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By Christian "crisco" Burrell
From PG, Utah
Apr 9, 2013
Our less than official sponsor!

JCM wrote:
I have long thought that the tort system in this country needs a stringent system of reverse penalties, such that when the plaintiff loses is absurd cases such as this, the plaintiff must compensate the defendant fully for time and legal expenses. Would probably cut down on these frivolous lawsuits.


100% agree. Maybe include a rule that the lawyer will loose their license if they bring too many of these frivolous suits.


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By Allen Sanderson
From Oootah
Apr 9, 2013

JCM wrote:
I have long thought that the tort system in this country needs a stringent system of reverse penalties, such that when the plaintiff loses is absurd cases such as this, the plaintiff must compensate the defendant fully for time and legal expenses. Would probably cut down on these frivolous lawsuits.


Getting off topic but such reforms are already in place via frivolous lawsuit penalties. That said even with such penalties in place the defendants do not always recover all of their costs.


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By jspitzer
Apr 9, 2013

Either way, suing on of the best climbing gyms is a terrible idea!

Momentum is a very nice, clean, high-end gym that is incredibly crowd. I have notice since over the past month more of the employees are walking around and watching people belay. Which is a good thing.

However one of the employees was kind of an asshole to myself and fiancÚ a couple days ago. Most are friendly.


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By John M Ross
From Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Apr 9, 2013

i have had quite a few of the employees be complete assholes to me there, i wasn't doing anything wrong all i wanted to do was take a lead test( it took me over 5 visits there to finally find someone who had the whole 10 mins it took to give the test) and i ran across many times to where i try to say hello or have a conversation with the employees and have been treated as if i wasn't good enough to be graced with presences. its really unfortunate because i love momentum, the gym is amazing the people who go there are awesome, i just feel that in the past year or so in particular, some ego's have been formed.


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By MJMobes
From The land of steady habits
Apr 9, 2013
modern man

shit I went there after they first opened and had some kid 20 years my junior come over and start giving my buddy a firemans belay because my brake hand was turned the wrong way. I wouldnt call the kid an asshole but more like the power hungry patrol kid on the bus in elementary school.

whatever though, its his job. the gym is nice, a ton of $$$ went into that. even if it was for dirtbags that dont/cant pay into health insurance but can afford to go to the climbing gym...


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By David Sahalie
From on the road again
Apr 9, 2013

How dare someone sue a climbing gym. .. heresey!


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By NYClimber
From New York
Apr 9, 2013
Awesome slab climb right out of the water! Rogers Rock, Lake George, NY. Summer 2013.

I feel it's the responsibility of BOTH the climber AND their partner(s) to check each others rigs out before even starting to climb. My partners and I routinely ALWAYS check each others knots, harness buckles and such even before commencing. We feel that what good partners DO!


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By David Sahalie
From on the road again
Apr 9, 2013

One can sue mcDonalds over coffee in the this country and win, yet people are shocked and appalled that one would sue a climbing gym.


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By Daniel Winder
Apr 9, 2013

Not sure why everyone is up in arms about a lawsuit. Tort law exists for a reason. If the courts decide that momentum was not negligent then she won't get any money. If momentum was negligent, she should be compensated for damages.

Fall Guy wrote:
zoso has never been a shit talker.

Ha, he's always been a shit talker, but not a liar

David Sahalie wrote:
One can sue mcDonalds over coffee in the this country

McDonald's got what was coming to them


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By John D
Apr 9, 2013

Allen Sanderson wrote:
My comment was more of a general comment not specific to this case. As I wrote this incident was just one of many that have occurred over the past couple of years - not just with climbers but with others. The bottom line is that the activity was a recreational. I would not call it a freak accident. It was a fubar plain and simple. A freak accident is being stuck by lightening or being hit by rock fall. I took a bad fall when I first started climbing. It was not an accident, I fubar'ed. Fortunately, I walked away hamburger elbows. More over my parents knew I fubar'ed and made sure it did not reflect negatively on our climbing club.



"You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means"

(Fubar = F*cked up beyond all recognition"


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By Greg Maschi
From Phoenix ,Az
Apr 9, 2013

Rope knots do not magically untie , she tied her knot incorrectly and paid the penalty for that.Really quite silly, lets just hope this incident keeps more knuckleheads from bringing harm to themselves.


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By Greg Maschi
From Phoenix ,Az
Apr 9, 2013

Sweet! I can't help it, I was raised by a Rolls-Royce Speak and Spell. As regards Mr. Ted's argument, it does no favor to its persuasiveness to exemplify observations made under physical duress to bolster a screed about the essence of human fallibility. I concede that it is not a negation, rather just a weak point. And I will further concede that my presentation of criticism of Mr. Ted's post using debate formality as a cursory template was a poor attempt at satire of an on-line row about climbing that has clearly devolved into the absurd. Not my best work. Thank you for taking my post seriously enough to register and call me a douche under a devilishly clever phony name. Also, thank you for taking the time to peruse my library of overtly pretentious remarks. Welcome to Mountain Project! EDIT: Douche toolery is my speciality, and you should really conjure a more varied lexicon of insults to affront me with.

>
Matt you have far too much time on your hands lad, ever thought about a hobby?Maybe u should start climbing.


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By Christian
From Casa do Cacete
Apr 9, 2013
Ooops...

"If the courts decide that momentum was not negligent then she won't get any money." and the gym will have to pay a much higher liability insurance premium regardless of fault.

fixed that for you


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By Allen Sanderson
From Oootah
Apr 9, 2013

John D wrote:
"You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means" (Fubar = F*cked up beyond all recognition"



I do know what it means - it came out of WWII along with SNAFU, and few others. Further the "all recognition" can be substituted with "any reasoning", "all repair", or other variants. So incorrectly tying a knot, not checking it, and then cratering is fucked up beyond any reasoning.


Christian wrote:
"If the courts decide that momentum was not negligent then she won't get any money." and the gym will have to pay a much higher liability insurance premium regardless of fault. fixed that for you


Let me correct your correction:

"If the courts decide that momentum was not negligent then she won't get any money." and the gym will have to pay a much higher liability insurance premium regardless of fault. Which in turn will increase your membership cost while forcing you to pass a knot/belay competency test with each visit.


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By GhaMby
From Heaven
Apr 9, 2013
Are you Chicken, or fishy?

Does anyone know for certain that she is suing Momentum?

I would disagree with that decision, but from what I can tell there is ONLY hear-say about a lawsuit.

If she does take it to court I would not be surprised to hear that she wins, Judges are lawyers too, so it's all up to whomever can sway that individual, taking responsibility for personal actions are obviously not taken into consideration by our legal system/society.


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By Shiho
Apr 9, 2013

are we gonna have to climb with double ropes in the gym?? Awesome.


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By Paul Hunnicutt
From Boulder, CO
Apr 9, 2013
Half Dome

Maybe the reason behind the lawsuit is to hope that Momentum settles and she recoups some of her medical bills? Not saying I agree with it, but could be the tactic. Desperate times lead to desperate measures.

Does bankruptcy provide relief from medical bills?

I don't think Momemtum deserves to be sued in this case (from the events we have been presented), but at the same time the medical/insurance/hospital system is out to make money, not look after your well being. Doctors and nurses are concerned for your well being in general I believe...I'm not knocking them. They have a ton of schooling to go through and deserve high compensation. However, some portion of her $68k is going to an executives 4th vacation home and pimped out Porche. I would be bent about that.


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