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Would you sue?

Old 08-25-2005, 07:48 AM
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Sharpy01
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Default Would you sue?

Moral/ethical questions for you'all:

If you got hit in the head by a plane and suffered serious injuries , but in the end, no permanent damage............. would you sue MAAC?

Where is the moral/ethical line on this, knowing that your suit may sink the association? If the accident is the result of a true "accident", how much of the responsibility falls on you for not paying attention in any situation? Where does the line between "providing for your family in time of need" and "taking a grab for a cash cow get drawn"?

Hypothetical questions. Just interested to know what others think?
Old 08-25-2005, 07:51 AM
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MajorTomski
 
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Default RE: Would you sue?

Don't know about the law up in the Great White North but down here you'd have a little trouble linking the actions of the guy holding the transmiiter to the AMA. Other than being a memeber of a sporting organization, who's charter is to represent the country in international modeling events, how could you tag them for the bill?
Old 08-25-2005, 09:37 AM
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Default RE: Would you sue?

A Good Question!

In the event of a 'True Accident' where there was no criminal intent, and the pilot had excercised all 'Due Diligence' (I've seen way too many lawyer shows), personally I would not sue MAAC.

In my world; a legal action is initiated when someone has acted irresponsibly or in complete disregard for safety and then causes an accident or injury. At that time Legal action should be brought about against the individual.

MAAC would only be brought into the conversation if they knew that this person acted recklessly and did nothing about it.

Common sense should prevail, but if that happened regularly - we would have no need for lawyers.
Old 08-25-2005, 09:58 AM
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Sharpy01
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Default RE: Would you sue?

ORIGINAL: bbbair

Common sense should prevail, but if that happened regularly - we would have no need for lawyers.
....well Bruce, you likely know what my response is to that statent. It's the lawyers who have created our collective lack of common sense.

I agree with your general take on the main issue Bruce, but unfortunately, when a lawyer get's a sniff of an organization with potential deep pockets (insurance), fairness, common-sense become non-issues. You can almost hear the conversation ........ "we'll sue for 3 mil and their insurance company will settle out of court for around "XXX" to avoid the court costs. It seems that there is a quick departure from the issue of "right" or "wrong" and more of an emphasis on attrition and "how much can I get fast?"

Perhaps, a secondary question would be:

"What's the difference if you get hit in the head by an errant plane because you weren't paying attention or lopping of a couple of fingers trying to adjust the needle valuve through the prop?"

Knowing you are at a place where model airplanes fly and the potential danger is about as obvious as knowing that sticking your hand in a turning propeller is dangerours. Should you then sue the association for neglecting to warn you about these obvious dangers?

...........Personally, I could use a few thousand bucks to pay some bills.......and I don't really need my right ring finger....hmmmmm?



Old 08-25-2005, 10:04 AM
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kenair
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Default RE: Would you sue?

It may be out of your hands as an individual, if you got hit in the head with a flying model airplane then there has to be a cause out of the ordinary, such as mechanical failure or negligence on the pilot.

your employer may sue for lost wages,
your insurance may sue for lost wages.
your health provider may sue for costs.

MAAC is deeper than what they believe they are - for instance

1) has maac followed up and studies accidents with a cause and prevention stratgedy.
2) does MAAC have an active safety program
3) has MAAC set safety as their main priority
4) has MAAC studied new safety rules before implementing them to ensure the new rules do not cause more accidents that the new rules prevent.

A sharp lawyer will make mince meat out of MAAC ( and the clubs) on the safey issue if the need arises, just give the lawyer a 3D hovering video with the holder or pilot reaching out to touch the rudder.

IMHO - ken

Old 08-25-2005, 12:08 PM
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britbrat
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Default RE: Would you sue?

Would I sue MAAC? No --- unless their various rules & requirements were contributory to the accident, or to the severity of the accident.
Old 08-25-2005, 02:26 PM
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Jim_McIntyre
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Default RE: Would you sue?

Good answer britbrat, definitely frames the discussion.
Old 08-28-2005, 02:37 PM
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Randy Brown
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Default RE: Would you sue?

Marc Sharp as your a OPP Officer and a investicatoin going on by your Pears of the London OPP what is your purpose of pulling off this stunt and posting this?? I sure like to no

Randy

ORIGINAL: Sharpy01

Moral/ethical questions for you'all:

If you got hit in the head by a plane and suffered serious injuries , but in the end, no permanent damage............. would you sue MAAC?

Where is the moral/ethical line on this, knowing that your suit may sink the association? If the accident is the result of a true "accident", how much of the responsibility falls on you for not paying attention in any situation? Where does the line between "providing for your family in time of need" and "taking a grab for a cash cow get drawn"?

Hypothetical questions. Just interested to know what others think?
Old 08-29-2005, 06:27 AM
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Sharpy01
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Default RE: Would you sue?

ORIGINAL: Randy Brown

Marc Sharp as your a OPP Officer and a investicatoin going on by your Pears of the London OPP what is your purpose of pulling off this stunt and posting this?? I sure like to no

Randy
Randy.

What the he!! are you talking about? [&:]

Having an ethical discussion about a hypothetical situation has nothing to do with what I do for a living, any more than it has to do with you being in a wheelchair. Feel free to participate and offer an opinion, but save the stupid/politically correct nonsense for elsewhere. Besides, what does fruit have to do with ethics? I know a couple of bananas in London, but no "Pears"?
Old 08-29-2005, 02:08 PM
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Randy Brown
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Default RE: Would you sue?

No Marc you tell me whats your purpose to have posted this

Tell you your so far off base bud on your statement period

Randy
Old 08-29-2005, 02:48 PM
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britbrat
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Default RE: Would you sue?

What is going on here?? The question is relevant & rational.

Did I miss something?
Old 08-29-2005, 03:11 PM
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Jim_McIntyre
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Default RE: Would you sue?

I think the timing is a little suspect, and way too close to home & hearth for some of us.... can we let this one be for now?[]
Old 08-29-2005, 04:57 PM
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jhelps
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Default RE: Would you sue?

Jim

You know me, I'm pretty moderate and try and be sensitive however I fail to see why this is a touchy subject? If you are referring to the accient that happened last year, it is well over a year ago so I'm not certain how the timing is suspect ... if there is a new one we are not aware of then I apologize. If Randy is referring to the year ago accident then I would suggest any OPP investigation is long completed.

I cannot speak for Marc however I think this posting was in response to something raised on one of the others re: rising insurance rates and we better be careful cause if we have another accidnt like the last one our rates will go up.

My problem with this is that here is what we recieve:

"Rates are going up, we must enact rules because we don't want another accident like the last one so be careful" and "one more like the last one and we will not be able to get insurance". SO the logical question is "what happened last time?" "Can't tell you but be careful cause if we have another like the last one we will ..."

Do you see the frustration?

FYI many years ago most MAAC insurance claims were for model to model damage, something the board stopped paying. It may indeed be appropriate to ask whether we examine an injury waiver if you agree to participate in model aviation (I don't think so , but I think the question is valid ... try getting life insurance if you skydive!!!)


JH

Old 08-29-2005, 09:31 PM
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kenair
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Default RE: Would you sue?

the problem with r/c aircraft is that a 10 cent battery connector can bring the plane down (aka unguided air to surface object) yet so many rcers fly with the notion, "it can't happen to me"

a few more of these, we will not have to worry about suing or insurance, next time you want to fly at an airport or real airshow

read this news from Aero News [link]http://www.aero-news.net/index.cfm?ContentBlockID=7851ae57-c62c-412f-ad3e-f764a707889c&[/link]
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Aero-Views: RC Plane Falls Close To Spectators at SMX Air Show!'
Mon, 29 Aug '05

Almost Hits Corsair!
by ANN Associate Editor Rob Finfrock
C'Mon, Guys...

When your day begins with watching an absolutely gorgeous red-and-yellow Decathlon as its pilot practices touch-and-goes on a calm, coolish (well, for Dallas -- 75 degree) morning, you know there are still at least a few things right with the world. Flying funk? What flying funk?

And then you read the news.

This morning, still buzzed from the spectacle of short approaches and perfect three-point landings, I came across an item written by Mark Baylis, staff writer for the Santa Maria (CA) Times. The headline: "Plane crash almost strikes spectators."

Like it or not, plane crashes are news -- especially this month. (Never mind what Green Day says, wake me up when August ends.) Anyway, I clicked on the link, hoping to read of tragedy averted, due to the last-minute heroics of a pilot who is still in one piece.

"The Thunder Over the Valley air show had a scary start Saturday when a radio-controlled plane lost its radio frequency, veered into the spectator area and crashed, nearly striking bystanders."

Um, okay. Further reading reveals that the plane in question wasn't a real -- full-sized, pilot-sits-in-it -- airplane, but rather a radio-controlled Piper Cub that looks from the photograph to have been about 1/10 scale.

I read on. According to the article, the accident plane belonged to a member of the Tri-Valley R/C Modelers club, an organization that has had a booth at the air show for 10 years. This was the first year the club performed -- and sadly, will likely be the last.

"Larry Schlagel, president of the Santa Maria-based RC club and pilot of the errant plane, said the plane lost its radio frequency, causing the free fall. The plane crashed in the spectator area - missing several heads by less than six feet - and crashed beside a vintage plane that was on display."

Of course this is a tragedy -- at least for the unfortunate Schlagel, who no doubt watched helplessly from the ground as the aircraft he was flying, and probably built himself, dropped from the sky and crashed into several pieces against the sun-baked concrete tarmac of the Santa Maria (SMX) airport.

I also sympathize with those spectators, some of whom where likely sufficiently scared into never attending an air show ever again. Seeing an aircraft falling from the sky would certainly be a frightening event, radio-controlled or not -- even more so if said airplane is heading right towards you.

(In fact, I'd be running with all my might, just as I did the time I saw an airplane directly overhead, in a spin, when I was twelve. Scary -- and while that airplane recovered in plenty of time and flew out of the spin well above 1500 ft AGL, you couldn't convince me at the time that I hadn't just witnessed a near cataclysmic event. I even still wonder, a little.)

Back to the article. "The accident ended the RC portion of the event Saturday and organizers canceled the RC slot schedule for [Sunday] as a safety precaution until they could figure out what happened."

Certainly understandable. In fact, so far I was mentally giving kudos to Baylis for his fairly restrained tone... until it all went wrong.

And not because of Baylis.

"Safety is number one," [air show director Mike] Geddry said. "That thing is flying fast as a bullet and someone is going to get hurt."

There were several things wrong with this, and I'm a guy who appreciates some well-thrown hyperbole. "Someone is going to get hurt," sounds too much like we're to assume one day, somewhere, a person IS going to get hit by an errant airplane. Just pray that it isn't you, or someone you care about! This from the director of an AIR SHOW?

Besides, show me a Cub anywhere, model or otherwise, that can fly as fast as a well-thrown baseball, never mind a bullet. Granted, the baseball hurts when it hits you, and that's without a spinning propeller attached to it, but still -- didn't the article just say that the airplane was in "free fall?"

But that's okay... next up Baylis quoted an actual pilot, in fact the owner of the vintage Corsair that almost got hit by the errant (one-tenth scale, remember, radio-controlled) Cub. Surely he'd set the record straight... right?

"Chuck Wentworth, who flew the vintage Corsair plane that was nearly struck by the smaller plane, said there wasn't enough oversight for the RC flyers."

"This is a $1.8 million airplane," Wentworth said of the Corsair. "It's going to put a real damper on the show. I can't risk my airplane." Wentworth noted that the plane's owner probably wouldn't enter it next year because of the accident."

So according to this, the owner of the Corsair (not Wentworth, apparently, although he clearly considers it at least partly his) won't enter his airplane in next year's show, all because of an R/C model that ALMOST hit his airplane?

I'll be the first to admit that I will probably never have $1.8 million dollars to spend on anything, much less an airplane. I salute, admire, and envy the heck out of anyone who does, and can.

But Chuck, really, what was the greater risk: having your plane hit by a marauding model airplane (especially of it happening ever again) or having you -- or anyone -- fly the darn thing to the show in the first place?

It's one thing for "the media" to spin something like this in a way that may very well discourage someone from ever attending an air show -- one of the single most accessible ways for people to participate in the joys of flying. It even gets to the point when you start to expect it.

But when pilots (and those who put on air shows) start doing the same thing, we're done!

Yeah, it wasn't "my" plane that was almost hit, Chuck, okay. And Mike, I'd be ticked too if something like this happened at my show, scaring people and potentially tanking tomorrow's attendance figures in the process.

But please, couldn't you both have been just a little more pragmatic about all this? No one was hurt, no property (other than the Cub) was damaged.

And each and every person who saw that accident yesterday was at much greater risk the moment they got in their cars to drive home, than they ever were or will be watching an air show.

Why didn't one of you say that?

FMI: www.trivalleyrcmodelers.com/



Old 08-29-2005, 10:30 PM
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Jim_McIntyre
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Default RE: Would you sue?

ORIGINAL: kenair

the problem with r/c aircraft is that a 10 cent battery connector can bring the plane down (aka unguided air to surface object) yet so many rcers fly with the notion, "it can't happen to me"
Kenair gets my vote for MAAC public relations director....[:@]

I read that quote elsewhere on this site, I also read that the FAA is considering becoming involved with "line of site UAV" which, when elaborated on sounds very much like RC aircraft.

As much as I hate to admit it though, Ken, with his uncanny politically damaging vernacular, has a point.

Switches have been an all too common point of failure. That's why I refuse to scrimp on these, and have them highest on my list of safety checks to be performed before every outing.

I also refuse to fly anything larger than a park flyer without a fail safe device, and setting that makes me reasonably sure my aircraft will not make it to a no fly zone.

Due diligence is what is require ... due diligence and education, not scare mongering and legislation.[]
Old 08-29-2005, 10:44 PM
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Sharpy01
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Default RE: Would you sue?

The timing is NOT "suspect".

Jeff, thanks for putting my question in the proper context. The current lawsuit of that year old incident, that I assume has Randy's shorts in a knot, means diddly to us right now. That accident has happened, it's already sent our rates up, but it's the next one that will likely finnish us. ..........................thus the question.

Randy, I'm not "off base" on anything. THe question is clearly stated as hypothetical and is as non-specific as one could possibly make it. If you can't handle a simple discussion without getting personal and dragging idiodic notions that my career has some bearing on the discussion, then feel free to use the left button on your mouse.

moving on.............

Interesting article Ken. Is there more risks flying RC at a full scale airshow? Not sure, but there is certainly is potential for more PR damage than at an RC event with the increase in media attention a full-scale event gets.

Jeff brings up an interesting question;

Should our insurance include a waiver of liability for participating members who accept the risk? I believe the primary reason we want the insurance is to help aquire and keep our flying sites by covering property owners. Do we need to be covered when we get hurt? I'm not sure where I stand on this one.





Old 08-29-2005, 11:57 PM
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Morison
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Default RE: Would you sue?

To be clear here, are we talking about suing MAAC for not providing adequite safety controls or guidelines or are we simply talking about filing an insurance claim for bodily injury and the resulting damages.

If I were at a field, doing everything I could to ensure my own safety, and I suffered a serious injury that was not of my doing ... should I just accept the fact that I have incurred medical expenses, lost wages (maybe even lost a job), and perhaps had the quality of my life changed forever ... when I did nothing wrong?

There seems to be some assumption that modelers have a realisation of the damage their planes can inflict ... I disagree, generally speaking. I have seen MANY modellers flying in a way that could lead to serious property damage or personal injury given one small glitch in the radio. The 'couldn't happen to me' mindset is all too prevalent in our hobby.

The unfortunate thing is that when MAAC decides to not impliment safety guidelines that it understands to be safer, instead opting for 'common sense' rules ... it does open itself to liability SEPERATE FROM the injury claim by not enforcing a 'safer' guideline. Similarly, when MAAC adds a safety rule that is flawed and actually creates a dangerous situation ... it also opens itself up lo liability.

The reality is that MAAC should be investigating and implimenting safety precautions that have been proven rather than just dealing with what comes from the floors of the AZMs

Mark, is your question "If I were severly injured as a result of a guideline or rule implimented by the association would I sue ... " or "if I were severly injured at a field becaus my buddy lost control, would I file an insurance claim?"

The protection for these two are actually under two different policies I beleive. Directors and Officers coverage would cover the first and the member's insurance the second.
Old 08-30-2005, 07:32 AM
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Default RE: Would you sue?

ORIGINAL: britbrat
Would I sue MAAC? No --- unless their various rules & requirements were contributory to the accident, or to the severity of the accident.
I thought britbrat's post was on point. I think MAAC should be very cautious when introducing new rules & requirements, and periodically review their current list.

Safety is a practice, not a collection of rules. For example; I hand prop my aircraft without a glove ... why?
Because I've seen gloves get caught on power equipment and pull a hand in, I am very cautious about any article of clothingnear any powered device. I think my practice is safe, many others do not. It's my safety at risk, I make my own decisions, take my own risks and accept the consequences. If I'm injured as a result, I will not sue and, would have no grounds on which to sue (maybe if I lived in the states I could sue the engine or propeller manufacturer ). Should MAAC force me to wear a glove? If it does, and I'm injured as a result, will I sue?
D*mn straight![sm=punching.gif]

I think MAAC chooses not to enforce too many rules for this very reason. I think this is wise.

I do think MAAC should invest more in safety education. I see far too many unsafe practices. Should there be a thousand rules about common causes of accidents like reaching over the prop to remove a glow driver? No, too many rules and no one will read them. Should we educate people about safely removing it from behind? Yes. Do we all educate newbies to this practice ... unfortunately not, and that is an issue. Neckstraps ... another issue....
Old 08-30-2005, 07:38 AM
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Sharpy01
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Default RE: Would you sue?


ORIGINAL: Morison

To be clear here, are we talking about suing MAAC for not providing adequite safety controls or guidelines or are we simply talking about filing an insurance claim for bodily injury and the resulting damages.

Mark, is your question "If I were severly injured as a result of a guideline or rule implimented by the association would I sue ... " or "if I were severly injured at a field becaus my buddy lost control, would I file an insurance claim?"

The protection for these two are actually under two different policies I beleive. Directors and Officers coverage would cover the first and the member's insurance the second.
Originally, my interest was a claim for bodily injury/damages. I was interested in the moral decision one would have to make if you were injured. Would you consider the "fate" of MAAC when making a decision to file a suit...............or would you listen to the lawyer who tells you that some kind of a "payday" is down the road regardless of the circumstances.

I wasn't considering whether or not MAAC had put adequite rules in place......but I'm game to explore all areas.






Old 08-30-2005, 09:38 AM
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Morison
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Default RE: Would you sue?


ORIGINAL: Sharpy01

Originally, my interest was a claim for bodily injury/damages. I was interested in the moral decision one would have to make if you were injured. Would you consider the "fate" of MAAC when making a decision to file a suit...............or would you listen to the lawyer who tells you that some kind of a "payday" is down the road regardless of the circumstances.
Mark,
I hate to sound like I moved to the SW zone, but you have a bit of spin going on here.
Filing an insurance claim for injuries is not about a 'payday' at the end of the road, it is about recovering actual and projected REAL losses as well as compensation for a change in lifestyle subsequent to the injuries. Yes, the lawyer gets a payday at the end of the road, but the injured person rarely is properly compensated.

Expecting anyone to not file a claim for significant, non self inflicted injuries at the field is simply bizzare. Having them sign a personal injury waiver would be usless as the waivers are ultimately invalid on their face ... once negligence is proven, the waiver is void. From what I have seen in practice, negligence would be very easy to prove. (did you do a range check that day? did you confirm the battery strength and health? did you confirm the model was airworthy? Was the pilot/student/instructor properly qualified? Did you make sufficient effort to inform the injured of the severity of the risk he was taking and signing the waiver for?)

Suing the association because you think their rules are wrong ... that takes guts.
In Jim's example ... could it be that MAAC has weighed the options and feels that Risks vs. protection offered by a properly fitted glove outweighs the damage potential of a kicking back composite prop offers? We are really not talking about which is safer, really, we are talking about which is less dangerous. (I have seen a lot of 'bites' from a engine kicking back, but have never seen a glove get caught in the prop ... which presents the more common danger?)
In areas that are inconclusive, such as the above, the association should inform and allow people to use their INFORMED judgement.

Old 08-30-2005, 10:16 AM
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Sharpy01
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Default RE: Would you sue?


ORIGINAL: Morison


Mark,
I hate to sound like I moved to the SW zone, but you have a bit of spin going on here.
Filing an insurance claim for injuries is not about a 'payday' at the end of the road, it is about recovering actual and projected REAL losses as well as compensation for a change in lifestyle subsequent to the injuries. Yes, the lawyer gets a payday at the end of the road, but the injured person rarely is properly compensated.
What spin? I'm not expecting anything. Would you consider the association's continued existence before proceeding with any lawsuit? I've yet to take a position on this. I don't know. If I'm truely looking at permanent disability or financial disaster as a result, then MAAC likely doesn't enter the equation for me.

Your kidding me on the belief that Lawsuits are always "about recovering actual and projected REAL losses as well as compensation for a change in lifestyle subsequent to the injuries" .....right? I appreciate your idealism, but I'm afraid I'm on a "cup half empty" side when assuming legal proceedings are about "truth" and "fairness" anymore, but that's a whole other topic.



Old 08-30-2005, 10:37 AM
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Jim_McIntyre
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Default RE: Would you sue?

ORIGINAL: Morison
In areas that are inconclusive, such as the above, the association should inform and allow people to use their INFORMED judgement.
Exactly.

Professionals in safety industries appear to be fond of stateing "Safety is a practice, not a policy". I think more could be done in educating people on safe practices and would be more effective than more rules.

BTW, I did use a glove once, on a Moki ... luckily it wasn't a well fitted glove as it snagged on the spinner cutout around the prop, pulled it off my hand and ate it.[X(] It reminded me of a high school shop accident I witnessed that didn't turn out as well. []
Old 08-30-2005, 11:04 AM
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Morison
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Default RE: Would you sue?

Jim, Perhaps if it were a well fitted glove it wouldn't have snagged in the first place.

Mark, your spin comes from presenting two vastly different scenarios as well as referring to making an insurance claim as 'Suing' the association. The wording of questions has a LOT to do with the answers you get - referendum or not.
Old 08-30-2005, 11:47 AM
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Jim_McIntyre
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Default RE: Would you sue?

ORIGINAL: Morison
Jim, Perhaps if it were a well fitted glove it wouldn't have snagged in the first place.
Or it wouldn't have slipped off my hand....

My technique (for gassers) is basically an adaptation of the full scale method ... gloves definitely not an asset there....
Old 08-30-2005, 01:27 PM
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Sharpy01
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Default RE: Would you sue?


ORIGINAL: Jim_McIntyre

I think more could be done in educating people on safe practices and would be more effective than more rules.
Agreed.

Morison
Mark, your spin comes from presenting two vastly different scenarios as well as referring to making an insurance claim as 'Suing' the association. The wording of questions has a LOT to do with the answers you get - referendum or not.
........man, we are so Canadian. What's Roy Romano up to these days? Maybe we can get him to strike a committee and tour the country in order to properly frame the question to ensure accuracy, and fairness........not to mention politically correctness. I'd try for Bob Rae, but he's busy with his committee studying whether or not we need another "Royal Commission" study into what went wrong with the Air India investigation.

Let's keep it simple then and I'll try to keep any of my bias out of the framework.

Would you consider the well-being of the association prior to any legal action related to our hobby?






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