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-   -   Teak Surfing Lawsuit (http://www.wakeworld.com/forum/showthread.php?t=75294)

jro 07-18-2003 1:38 PM

<a href="http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2003/07/18/MN128646.DTL" target="_blank">http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2003/07/18/MN128646.DTL</a> <BR> <BR>Interesting article about the family in Folsom whos son died while teak surfing. They are suing (Shocking) the boat manufacturer even though the boy wasn't wearing a lifevest.

gotpwr 07-18-2003 2:05 PM

Now we know why Nautiques have so many warning stickers on them. I must've got three warning stickers in the mail from Correct Craft with letters telling me of the dangers of teak surfing, and where to put the stickers on the boat.

rocketman 07-18-2003 2:34 PM

A few quotes from the article, with comments in CAPS- <BR> <BR>But Farr THE VICTIM'S FATHER believes the placement of that platform, out of reach of the propeller, lulled him into thinking there was no danger in letting his son bodysurf just a few feet behind the boat. <BR> <BR>SURE THE PROPELLER IS A LITTLE UNDERNEATH THE HULL AND FORWARD OF THE PROPELLER, BUT THAT SHARP ROTATING PROPELLER IS STILL PRETTY CLOSE TO THE TEAK SURFER'S THAT I'M COMFORTABLE WITH. <BR> <BR>"Honestly, I thought it was the safest thing I've done in my boat," said Sean McKune, 29, Farr's neighbor and the owner of the ski boat. "We had easily done this 200 to 300 times with nobody getting hurt." <BR> <BR>YEAH, IT'S MUCH SAFER THAN SKIING OR WAKEBOARDING. ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU DO IT WITHOUT A LIFE VEST. <BR> <BR> <BR>McKune said it never occurred to him or Farr that carbon monoxide was bubbling up in the wake, where calm conditions allowed a poisonous cloud to engulf Anthony Farr. <BR> <BR>YEAH, THEY'VE HAD NON-EMISSION BOATS FOR THE PAST FORTY YEARS!! <BR> <BR>"You're moving. You don't smell it. It's open air," said McKune, who was driving when the five adults let three children teak surf -- Anthony, a second 11-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl. Only the girl was wearing a life vest. <BR> <BR>"We had no clue of any danger, no warning," said McKune, who says he was horrified by the drowning. "He (Anthony) was laughing one second, and less than 30 seconds later he was sinking." <BR> <BR>Farr admits his son might be alive today had he been wearing a vest, as required by California law in most circumstances. But he didn't think it necessary because his son was a good swimmer, and the gear would have interfered with the teak surfing. <BR> <BR>HE ADMITS TO BREAKING THE LAW, BUT STILL WANTS TO BLAME SOMEBODY ELSE. I SEE A RICKI LAKE SHOW IN THE MAKING. <BR> <BR>"Now that I've read everything you read (about outdoor CO poisoning), I feel stupid," Farr said. <BR> <BR>GOOD, BECAUSE YOU ARE!!}

lchamaschuk 07-18-2003 2:52 PM

It amazes me how some people have no clue. They will blame everyone else but themselves. <BR> <BR>A couple of years ago, a teenager here in Vancouver went skiing up at Whistler on a school trip. He had been out maybe 5 times before, and decided to follow his friend down a 4.5 metre jump in the terrain park. He fell on his head and is a quadriplegic. He sued the school and Whistler. The judge just awarded 70% blame to Whistler, 15% to the school, and 15% to the student. He was amazed that he was found 15% responsible. A seventeen year old is old enough to know that there is some danger in going off a 4.5 metre (15 feet) jump !

salmon_tacos 07-18-2003 3:16 PM

Try to get the word out. <BR>Try to warn other people. <BR>Ask the boat manufacturers to put warnings. <BR>Try to get someone to pay for your own stupidity? <BR> <BR>Come on. <BR> <BR>"I didn't know that I shouldn't back over my son. I think Mastercraft should buy him a new arm." Argh. <img src="http://www.wakeworld.com/MB/Discus/clipart/angry.gif" border=0>

salmon_tacos 07-18-2003 3:18 PM

Lucky Charms, <BR> <BR>Normally, I wouldn't hit someone in a wheelchair but that kid deserves a good kick in the head for raising lift prices!

nohalfboats 07-18-2003 11:20 PM

Hopefully he loses.Of course he wants to put the blame on others rather than live the rest of his life knowing his own stupidity killed his kid.

kirk 07-19-2003 7:43 AM

The label on my} Crown board says it best... <BR> <BR>" We had to put this ugly label on our good looking board for all those stupid people who hurt themselves and try to blame somebody else..."

lugwrench 07-19-2003 8:17 AM

On our malibu there are 2 warning stickers that say something to the like of do not be on swim deck while engine is running. But I guess hanging on to it while the engine is running must be safe. <BR> <BR>/personal responsibility surrenders

bazel 07-19-2003 8:30 AM

This is so stupid, the problem is he is not taking responsibility for his actions!! <BR> <BR>I do feel bad for anyone who loses a son but comeone, who's fault was this?? Why is he not being charged, for his son not wearing a life vest. "He begged me so I let him go", who is the parent?? <BR> <BR>The comment about whether he was swimming or being pulled is BS. If the boat was being used to propell him, regardless of holding on to the platform or not, is BEING PULLED!! <BR> <BR>Some one should file suit against him for not taking care of his son or having a brian. Maybe a petition to the Los Angeles County Superior Court to have him charged would be a good thing. Maybe that would show that we boaters and boarders care about our sport and waterways and not willing to let an idiot ruin it for everyone!! <BR> <BR>I hate dumb people!!!

bazel 07-19-2003 8:39 AM

The other problem is that "Teak Surfing" is not the intended use of the boats!! <BR> <BR>If I hung of the front of the boat while it was moving and sliped and got hit by the prop, could I or my family sue because, MC or CC didn't put a sign warning me not to do it??

h20jnky 07-19-2003 9:38 AM

i hate greed........

xtigeman 07-19-2003 10:20 AM

If I was defending this case, I would not pay any money. I wouldn't file the case either. A jury would say the same things you guys are saying, at least in my jurisdiction. The life vest issue in my opinion is key, but there are a lot of attornies out there scared to take cases to trial. <BR> <BR>The problem with teak surfing being the intended use though is not the legal standard. Courts/juries may look to see whether the use was a forseeable misuse. The issue then becomes a balancing test to determine whether the cost/burden on the manufacturer to warn of or prevent the misuse outweighs the gravity of the harm.

jdreiser 07-19-2003 1:48 PM

Even though I normally do the suing for people like this, I would never entertain the idea of filing suit for people too ignorant to put an 11 year old child behind a moving boat without a life jacket on. Unfortunately, there are those in my profession that see only the dollar signs and publicity involved in a suit like this and help foster this nation's mindset of never taking responsibility for its own actions. This guy claims to have skied and been around boats all his life, yet he brings his child within the danger zone of a boat (its dangerous without knowledge of the CO).

mitchm 07-19-2003 5:44 PM

Saw it on the news 3 or 4 weeks ago. It's a class action against all IB manf. Addt'l info/links below. Saw the interview w/ dad too. Feel bad for him, but he's not too bright. <BR> <BR> <BR>Carbon Monoxide Poisoning On Boats <BR> <BR> The class action suit filed in California Superior Court in Los Angeles County names <BR> Mastercraft Boat Company; Mailbu Boats West,Inc; Fineline Industries, dba <BR> SkiCenturion; Tige Boats,Inc; Skier's Choice,Inc; Supreme Industries,Inc.dba Ski <BR> Supreme Boats; Gekko; Calabria; Genesis Boats; Sanger Boats, Inc; and MBSports <BR> Tournament Towboats. <BR> <BR> For more information on carbon monoxide on boats go to: <BR> <BR> safetynet.smis.doi.gov/COhouseboats.htm <BR> <BR> <a href="http://www.uscg.mil/news/headquarters/teaksurfing.htm" target="_blank">www.uscg.mil/news/headquarters/teaksurfing.htm</a> <BR> <BR> <a href="http://www.discoverboating.com/articles/articles.asp?id=182" target="_blank">www.discoverboating.com/articles/articles.asp?id=182</a>

texastbird 07-20-2003 8:13 AM

This reminds me of the sticker I had on a lawn mower I bought several years ago, instructing me not to hold the mower by the edges to and lift it up to trim the top of my hedges. Or the lady that sued McDonalds for burning her with hot coffee. It is a crying shame that nobody takes responsibility anymore. <BR> <BR>I was out yesterday and saw a wally putting out of the no wake zone at the marina with his young daughter sitting on the bow, with her feet hanging off either side. Who's fault is it when she falls off and kisses the prop? <BR> <BR>I am all for idiots being culled from the gene pool, but not at the expense of people who have a lick of common sense, and not when their stupidy begins to infringe upon my right to have a good, safe, time in my boat or in any other aspect of my life.

viabaja 07-20-2003 9:25 AM

It is most regrettable that the man lost his son and will have to carry that burden the rest of his life. <BR> <BR>However, as stated earlier, these irresponsible people cause actions that infringe on the rest of us. More regulations come into play, boat prices go up to pay for unneeded lawsuits &amp; such. What next - electric powered boats. Take responsibity for one's actions. <BR> <BR>I hope that the suit gets thrown out as that man has no one to blame but himself.

krbaugh 07-20-2003 11:48 AM

The only legal papers that should have been submitted are charges of child endangerment by the district attorney <BR>

fuel 07-20-2003 12:15 PM

What's screwed up is that they are suing the inboard manufacturers. Come on, inboards are hands down the safest boats made. <BR> <BR>If they really and truly wanted to make boating safer, they would change the laws so that all boat drivers must go through a driver's education course/boat safety course and have an on-the-water check out which includes backing in the trailer, unloading/loading the boat, and proper docking procedures. Also, they need more enforcement of the current laws. I see too many people being totally unsafe and not to mention, uncourteous with no one around to give them a ticket. Where are the po-po when you need them? I'm all for a boat driver course because I could pass it easily and it would really cut down on all the idiots on the water. <BR> <BR>The thing is though, it isn't about safety. It's about $$$.

tre 07-20-2003 2:04 PM

Interesting - I have a sticker on the back of my 99 Supra warning about the danger of being on the platform with the engine running. Seems they did not research this issue before suing everybody. The manufacturers are all going to have to spend money defending against this stupid case. Guess who will pay for that defense in the end?

ralph 07-20-2003 4:32 PM

Yup, this type of action makes the cost of all inboards goes up. At least CC's lawyers will have somethings else to do besides design stickers and sue tower manf's now.

timmy 07-20-2003 10:20 PM

my question is, if so many people realize how people are not taking responsibility to get some dough, why do we let it happen? is there something we can do to get that to stop hapening?

monstertower 07-20-2003 10:34 PM

The sad thing is an 11 year old boy died. I'm the father of three boys 4, 7 and 10 and they become the most important thing in your life as a parent. The older two wakeboard and kneeboard and the youngest kneeboards. <BR> <BR>We wakesurf, but not behind my boat becuase it's an outboard and that would be VERY stupid, too much risk to get into the prop. No problem with a 20' rope but not anywhere near the boat like we do behind a friends SANTE. If I was to allow them to try it near the outboard, and one got caught in the prop and killed, I hope I would not look for the financial gain and sue all outboard motor companies. <BR> <BR>If my kids need to take a piss they know darn well they better have thier vests on before they jump in the water or they know I'll go ballistic. I do the same to set the example. I can't imagine letting a kid in water that is deep and dark without a vest, especially 8 feet behind a V8 Motor exhaust system. <BR> <BR>I feel for the parents and hope they have a strong faith or something else that will support them through the incredible grief I can only imagine they are under but I disagree with the financial gain they are trying to obtain at the cost of boat manufacturers. The father made bad decisions that unfortunately resulted in a terribly loss for their family. <BR> <BR>My $0.02 <BR> <BR>Bill <BR> <BR>

rocketman 07-21-2003 12:31 AM

I like Kevin Baugh's idea. John Dreiser, you're the attorney- please tell us if there is anything we can do as a Wakeworld community. It would be nice to show him that he is going to have to take responsibility and not try to make money off of it.}

hockeyruss 07-21-2003 7:07 AM

I cannot believe someone would put their kid back there without a life jacket. I think this lawsuit is stupid, you the consumer did something that was totally unsafe, and your child paid for it with his life. Very tragic, but to hold the boat manufacturer is crazy. That is like I put 10 kids in the back of my pick up truck and went down the highway. I got into an accident and 3 kids were thrown out and killed. (this is made up)..... should I sue Chevrolet? Is it their fault?

bad_boy 07-21-2003 5:32 PM

It looks like everyone agrees that the blame for young Farr’s death only lies with the adults in that boat. The other major problems with this travesty is the ambulance chasing Layers looking to make a buck, but worst of all, is the one-sided bleeding heart liberal media that reports on this stuff. They make it out like the boating industry has been hiding this so-called “dirty little secret”. Boats have been manufactured this way since before Chris was a Craft. This is just irresponsible reporting that generates more unfounded lawsuits that we all pay for in the long run. Maybe the boating industry should file a counter suit for defamation of character and lose of income.

whitechocolate 07-21-2003 5:35 PM

We should all Hammer the parents with our e-mails of how stupid we think there are so that they know where the real Blame lie's. And the same with the Layers Some one find out this info so you can post it

barry 07-21-2003 6:14 PM

Grant, I think it's a good idea to e-mail the parent(s) and lawyer letting them know profiting from their childs death is selfish.. I'm not sure telling them they are stupid is a good idea. <BR>I have to assume that the parents didn't realize the dangers of teak-surfing. As a parent, I can't imagine deliberatly allowing my child to participate in an activity that, with enough time, death is certain. Still, it's their fault! <BR>I can't honestly say that I was aware of the dangers of teak-surfing before frequenting this board(actually, I wasn't even aware of teak-surfing) and I don't consider myself stupid. If I had tried teak surfing it wouldn't take but a few seconds to realize the danger. <BR>My point is, while I agree that the parents are being selfish and I agree that they are responsible, some dangers(CO poisonings)are not self evident. <BR> <BR>I think warning decals are a good idea in this case. If I were them and I truly wasn't aware of the dangers, I would push for warnings to save other children/adults rather then seeking financial gain. <BR> <BR>B-

whitechocolate 07-21-2003 7:40 PM

Barry Your right I don't think the parents knowingly did this, The only way I found out about Teak surfing is from the letter and stickers CC sent me and asked me to place on my boat "Yea Right" And also here on this board. <BR>BUT ignorance is no defence, They had done it over 200 times? You can't tell me they never heard of the dangers BULL Shizzle I think they had heard of it I can't believe they knew nothing of it. I think they thought that they were doing it safely. There was a earlyer thread on Teak surfing Good/Bad And I was suprised to learn how many people do it here on this board, And they know the dangers! They clame there is a Safe way to do it??????'I think these people had done it over and over and on this day they were un lucky Now you and I are going to pay for it. Welcome to America

barry 07-21-2003 8:56 PM

Welcome to America is right. I can't believe all the frivolous filings there are either in or waiting to clog up our system. <BR> <BR><a href="http://www.calahouston.org/perkins.html" target="_blank">http://www.calahouston.org/perkins.html</a> <BR>I didn't read the whole thing, just something I saw browsing. <BR> <BR>These people are the Howard Stern of the legal system. It appears as though they're trying to see how far they can cross the line- and make a bit of cash to boot. <BR>To be honest, talking about things like this gets my blood boiling. This type of thing is why I have to pay so much for so little. <BR>I better stop now. <BR> <BR>B-

paulsmith 07-21-2003 9:29 PM

I would love to see how you all would react if you lost your son to a danger you were unaware of and you found out the manufacturer of your boat knew of the problem and intentionally withheld the information in order to save money. <BR> <BR>I am not saying those are the facts of this case, but they could be. Then again, a rush to judgment is so much easier, and what better past-time than lawyer bashing.

mconly 07-21-2003 10:08 PM

MasterCraft is not the type of company to withhold anything, whether it be quality, content or anything. Besides what do they have to gain from not putting on a 2 cent warning label.

paulsmith 07-21-2003 10:30 PM

I believe the individual lawsuit seeking damages is against Calabria, not MasterCraft. The class action lawsuit against MasterCraft and other boat owners appears to only seek injunctive relief mandating boat companies to warn existing owners of the dangers involved with teak surfing. <BR> <BR>If MasterCraft already does this adequately, they should have little problem getting out of the lawsuit, assuming they have effective counsel.

ltw235 07-21-2003 10:56 PM

I agree with Doug, the lifejacket issue is what a jury will focus on. Completely inexcusable for the parent to not insist on a life jacket for the son. It seems to be an absolute slam dunk defense case. <BR> <BR>However, I must submit something relation to the numerous comments directed toward the now infamous "McDonald's coffee verdict" I want to add a little context for you folks. The coffee was 190 degrees farenheit (200 degrees is boiling). The lady suffered 3rd degree burns to her inner thighs. She was in the hospital for, at least, two weeks. The CEO of McDonalds told the trial jury that (paraphrase) "no matter what this jury does, we are not going to change the temperature of our coffee." There were numerous complaints documented about the temperature of McDonalds coffee. The jury, hearing that McDonalds earns 1 million dollars per day on coffee profits, assessed two days worth of coffee profits as punitive damages at the conclusion of the testimony. The plaintiff saw, at best, a third of those damages because most punitives go to a State's general fund anyway. Also, if memory serves, the punitives were whacked down to $500k by an appellate court. <BR> <BR>Not justifying the result folks, however, I hoped to add some context for you. Bad defense trial tactics + sympathetic plaintiff + arrogant CEO on the stand = 2 million punitive damage verdict.

wakescene 07-21-2003 11:19 PM

If you teak surf in NJ you can get a ticket. <BR>If you sit on the gunnel in NJ while the boat is under way, you can get a ticket. <BR>If you sit on the sundeck while under way you can get a ticket. <BR>If you are not fully seated in one of the intended seats of the boat, you can get a ticket. <BR>If you are towing a skiier, their line must be a minimum of 60 feet off the stern of the boat but not more than 75feet, or you could get a ticket. <BR>While we may look at a few of these laws and say they are stupid, or, they don't hand out tickets for stuff like that, it does not take away from the fact that they are laws and have been in effect for a number of years in NJ. <BR> <BR>I am sure there are similar laws in other states, CA especially, you guys are law happy there!!! (NJ is insurance premium happy) <BR> <BR>KG <BR> <BR>Oh and one more thing, The only warning I know of on a Bic lighter is: Keep Away from Children!!! <BR>

wakescene 07-21-2003 11:41 PM

I must comment some more... <BR> <BR>I am sorta with Grant here, call them stupid. What do we have to lose? We know of the dangers! Most of us here are experienced boaters. I pride myself for wanting to become a better boater at the age of 13 and taking the <BR>CG course, and passing with a 89 average. We have a situation here where we can fully call someone out and flat out blame them, with info to back it. <BR> <BR>On the flip side, it is a HUGE tradgedy and a loss for that family, I could not and hope I never know how they are feeling, that loss is to great to comprehend, but there were a number of critical decisions that were poorly made. This is not the fault of the manufacturer, the boating industry, or the creator of "Teak-Surfing"... <BR> <BR>Lastly, <BR>In response to Todd Wilson. <BR>That is good information, and I do remember some of that now, which I had forgotten. The gripe over the McD's case was not the money, or the fact that the lady was to stupid to realze that any freshly brewed HOT coffee could cause her harm, or the fact that the between her legs while driving is not a better place than the cup holder in her vehicle...BUT the sheer precedent that the case made. <BR> <BR>It was the stage-builder for a slew of other cases to come along, which are now cursing this country with greedy ppl, lawyers, and cases like the Farr's! <BR> <BR>It sux' I should know, I pay HUGE AMOUNTS of car insurance for the wife and I, because ppl in NJ will sue you if you were just a witness to the accident, and they thought (or there Lawyer did) they could get money out of you! <BR> <BR>KG

rocketman 07-22-2003 12:23 AM

Grant, <BR> <BR>I'm with you. They've got to realize some danger there. Exhaust gases have to go somewhere. I don't think the father would allow their son to rollerskate hanging onto a five foot rope tied to a car right behind the exhaust pipe. But behind a boat is OK? Also, I think it very foolish to allow anybody do even wakeboarding or waterskiing without a life vest, let alone teak surfing. If the kid would have had a life vest, he would have gone unconscious, would have drifted away from the boat, but at least have been floating. They could have got him some fresh air, and then he probably would have come around. The father even admits that his son would probably be alive if he had the vest on. Can the lawyer quote that in court? Another point- even if it were an electric boat, if a freak accident happened and the kid moved faster than the boat, then his foot, or even more body parts could get wrapped up in the propeller. I think this teak surfing business is very dangerous, and the people who engage in it know it.

chvywkbrdrmc205 07-22-2003 12:09 PM

liberal litigation has really brought America down. its a tragedy that someone had to die, but my blood rises every time i hear about another BS lawsuit. we were talking about it at the lake this past week, a friend of my dads used to be an avid sailor. I guess Hobie got sued over their Hobie 16 boat because people would drive under low power lines and the mast would catch the lines and electrocute people. Hobie was forced to change the design which killed performance and drove up the price by 3 fold. as a wakeboarding and boating community, i think we need to stick up for our manufacturers because this kind of suit is just gonna stir up problems for all of us. how many lawyers do we have on the boardS?

paulsmith 07-22-2003 12:15 PM

Damn liberals. Always trying to keep people from getting electrocuted.

wakeguru 07-22-2003 1:02 PM

I'm sure Calabria has a warning regarding CO2 on the back of their boats and that it's in the manual, but that's not good enough in today's society where people sue for anything and the courts seem to allow it. <BR> <BR>HOWEVER, we could solve all these problems with one simple warning label for all products: <BR> <BR>Warning: Risk is not healthy (Risk involves danger. Danger is risky. "not healthy" means it can be bad for your health. Health is your general state of well being. Well being is essential for living a long life. A long life is what you'll never have if you're reading this far so do us all a favor and hold your breath until you pass out) <BR> <BR>Warning: this statement has not been evaluated by anyone at all. <BR>

barry 07-22-2003 1:08 PM

<a href="mailto:LOL@Andre">LOL@Andre</a>! <BR> <BR>

whitechocolate 07-22-2003 1:29 PM

S, Mullaney and David and Keven are all correct we have to stand up for manufactures, And things that are just plain wrong. In and out of the Industry. I know I’m not going to stand on some street corner with a sigh saying "Bull Crap this law suite is a Joke" But maybe I should. Maybe we all should! That's how this crap becomes acceptable. It Normal people like You and me that don't stand up and say Bull, your A Idiot and you get noting for being stupid! It's the people with jobs and things to do that don’t have the time to protest and rise up against shizzle" like this; I blame myself for letting stuff like thing become common practice. I’ve never protested against anything! While Layer's prosecute company's and get law makers to Pass laws while you and I are sleeping and or at work we get F'd "This is a Joke" In the Cobie Bryant thread in the Non wakening discussion some one posted a photo and the Name and address and Phone #of the accuser (the Girl) "WTF" that's <font color="ff0000">•</font><font color="ff0000">•</font><font color="ff0000">•</font><font color="ff0000">•</font><font color="ff0000">•</font><font color="ff0000">•</font><font color="ff0000">•</font> ridiculous. How about the E-mail of the people with this Law suite I guess This death will never reach the status of some other "Who cares" Tabloid BS that that does. I would like to e-mail them this. Hey parents, I’m Sorry for your loss. But you are the reason you son is gone. If you want to make a difference and make manufactures of Boat's place warning labels and info I understand and I am with you. But don’t you need to Sue the pants off of the manufactures to get this done. How about using your energy to start an education of the dangers of CO poisoning to prevent future losses, I believe there is already a movement that you can join. "Fact" if you would have been an educated boater would already know the dangers of CO and more. If you want to place blame for the loss of you son you start with yourself.

bazel 07-22-2003 6:35 PM

New Label for all boats <BR> <BR>Warning: This watercraft could be harmful if you are an F'ing retard!! Don't be a moron and use common sense you Jackass!! <BR> <BR>I like the idea of letting the courts know what we boarders and the boating community feels about this. Would a petition do any good to be sent to the court where this has been filed?? What would happen if someone in the area filed suit against the family?? I am not a lawyer so I do not know, if this is even possible!! <BR> <BR>

h20jnky 07-22-2003 6:57 PM

i agree, <BR> <BR>maybe the manufacturers should sue this guy for irresponsibly using their product and taking the life of a child........ <BR> <BR>"vehicular manslaughter" ring any bells????? <BR> <BR>(Message edited by h20jnky on July 22, 2003)

flydoc 07-23-2003 11:30 AM

Not to change the subject but does any of this affect your desire to wake surf. I know you are further back but how much risk does it pose? I'm with you all on the i hope that this does not effect the price we pay at the dealer for our new boats. I'd like to stand behind the manufactures cause they do a great job at giving us a good product.

wakeguru 07-23-2003 11:48 AM

Good point Joel. <BR>It wouldn't affect my desire because at that distance I don't see the possibility of endangering anyone. <BR>However, it's pretty obvious to me that this whole teak surf thing could easily translate into a case against wake surfing as well.

tommyadrian5 07-23-2003 12:21 PM

Wakesurfing is safer for 2 reasons. 1) You are farther back from the boat, your head is up in the air(CO gas dissipates rapidly in open air, so as long as you aren't getting a direct shot like teak surfing it isn't as big a deal). 2) There is no reason not to wear a life preserver like teak surfing. If you were to pass out from CO wakesurfing (which is unlikely due to the smaller content of CO away from the boat), and had a life preserver on, as long as you got some fresh air you have a pretty good chance of being alright, albeit minus a few brain cells, but with no bad damage. Another problem with teak surfing is that the CO that bubbles up from behind the boat at slow speed is absolutely pure and hydrogenated(same as smoking out of a bong, it is not better for you it is worse as moisturized air is absorbed into the lungs faster).

ssjrmk 07-23-2003 5:49 PM

If this guy wins the case and gets a big settlement (which i hope he does not) I hope when he buys his million dollar house he steps back and asks himself Was this house worth killing my son for?

paulsmith 07-23-2003 9:48 PM

I have a feeling I'm wasting my time, but... <BR> <BR>There are two lawsuits. The lawsuit seeking damages and involving the boy who drowned and did not have his lifejacket on obviously is problematic. <BR> <BR>However, I support the other lawsuit seeking a Court order requiring manufacturers to (a) warn future purchasers of boats and (b) contact former purchasers with a warning. Correct Craft already took this step, and thus is not a defendant in this lawsuit. Well done, Correct Craft. <BR> <BR>I have emailed back and forth with the lead attorney for these cases, who is a wakeboard/waterski enthusiast and well-versed in the industry. I truly believe he is trying to prevent more deaths than have already occurred. <BR> <BR>Here is the opening paragraph from his motion for a preliminary injunction that seeks the warnings mentioned above: <BR> <BR>"Sixteen people, mostly children, have died from carbon monoxide exposure while on or near the swim step of a ski boat in the last eight years according to a joint study by the United States Coast Guard and National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety. The most recent victim was an eleven-year-old boy killed four weeks ago on Lake Folsom, outside of Sacramento California. These, however, are only the known incidents. The head of boating safety for the Coast Guard estimates that up to 15% of all boating-related drownings may, in fact, be caused by CO exposure. These 16 deaths account for 67% of all carbon monoxide deaths on pleasure craft, excluding, even though ski boats comprise only approximately 7% of all power boats currently in service. Most disturbing is that these cases are on the rise with 11 of the 16 deaths occurring since the year 2000."

bazel 07-24-2003 5:40 AM

Correct me if I am wrong but don't the user manuals say this for Mastercraft, Malibu, etc. Also I thought I saw that warning label on some on those boats as well. <BR> <BR>A warning label is only affective if the user will A: read it, B: following the instructions!! <BR> <BR>Andre, <BR> <BR>Just out of curiosity, One day back at college we grabed some lunch trays and was pulled around the parking lot behind my buddies car. No one died but my friend did hurt his wrist, and we did suck back alot of exhaust fumes. GM never warned us about the dangers of this. Could we have sued for my friends hurt arm, or if someone had died or was seriously harmed, would our families have had a case?? <BR> <BR>I personally am tired of this BS, everything has to have a huge warning on it that it not followed, and then the company get sued again b/c it was not in the right place or worded correctly.

tlb 07-24-2003 9:42 AM


ltw235 07-24-2003 10:21 AM

The difference in your cafeteria lunch tray example and teak surfing is forseeability. I doubt "lunch tray skimming" (for lack of a better term) is something many manufacturers consider as a risk when designing their product. However, teak surfing is something that most of us had heard of and something that manufacturers could more aptly warn about due to the forseeability of the conduct occurring with their product. Hell, I probably would have tried teak surfing at some point had I not learned of the dangers from reading this board (I still would have worn my life jacket though). <BR> <BR>Also, mark my words, I predict the father suing the boat manufacturer is not going to get ANY settlement, much less a multi-million dollar one. The case will most likely be tossed at summary judgment.

wakeguru 07-24-2003 10:32 AM

In Florida there was a special session of the legislature to discuss mal-practice suits. From what I understand the two sides are between a $250K and $500K limit on such suits. They couldn't come to an agreement this time and are meeting again in a couple months. Good doctors are leaving the state due to the cost of mal-practice insurance which has doubled to tripled in the last couple of years. <BR>I find it very interesting that every time I turn on the TV or radio that I hear a commercial for a personal injury or mal-practice attorney. <BR>I find it even more interesting that one of these attorneys in these commercials is a former medical doctor who pursues mal-practice cases and another is a former County Sherrif who now pursues personal injury cases. I guess curing sick people and locking up criminals weren't rewarding enough careers. <BR>

fogey 07-24-2003 11:11 AM

I hope it doesn't make it waste of time if someone raises a question. Here it is: Where does the duty to warn of dangers stop? <BR> <BR>Injuries from the following matters all are foreseeable: <BR> <BR>- Riding on the gunnel <BR> <BR>- Kids(!) riding <i>on</i> the bow (it makes me shudder) <BR> <BR>- Diving into shallow water or where there is an underwater obstruction <BR> <BR>- Running out of gas near a spillway and becoming entrained in the flow (two local boaters died near here last week doing this) <BR> <BR>- Slips and falls on wet V-drive sunpads near the ski pylon (I know all about this one) <BR> <BR>- Running under a low bridge with a wakeboard tower <BR> <BR>- Highway towing with an unsecured wakeboard in the boat <BR> <BR>- Faulty installation of electrical accessories, resulting in bilge pump failure and sinking <BR> <BR>- Going too fast for conditions, hitting a dead head, and sinking <BR> <BR>Give me five minutes and I'll think of more examples. Should boat manufacturers be required to send out letters and install stickers everywhere to reduce the likelihood of these potential accidents? <BR> <BR>

paulsmith 07-24-2003 11:38 AM

Jeff, here is the law... <BR> <BR>Under California law, “[a] manufacturer has a duty to provide an adequate warning to the user on how to use the product if a reasonably foreseeable use of the product involves a substantial danger of which the manufacturer either is aware or should be aware, and that would not be readily recognized by the ordinary user.” BAJI 9.00.7 <BR> <BR>Apply the facts to the law, Jeff, and you will have your answer.

ltw235 07-24-2003 11:43 AM

Somehow this thread went from the topic of the teak surfing lawsuit to a condemnation of malpractice/personal injury attorneys. I'm used to it though. <BR> <BR>Well, I don't want to get too off-topic, however, the malpractice damage limits argument is a dangerous one. It seems like a good idea to the average joe until he/she is injured significantly by a doctor's error. In our society, doctors are justifiably afforded a great deal of respect. This respect affords them a great deal of discretion in the performance of their duties; malpractice cases are not easy to prove. Furthermore, attorneys do not invent malpractice, it does happen. How would you feel if you, or a loved one, was catastrophically injured by a doctor error and then only could receive $250k in damages for the rest of your/their life? <BR> <BR>Lastly, the forseeability analysis is relevant for dangers that may not be readily apparent to the average person. CO2 poisoning is not exactly the type of danger people contemplate when taking out their boat. Whether they should or not is up for debate, but the simple fact remains that many folks were getting injured while teak surfing while most apparently belived that the activity was safe. The other examples cited by Jeff, for the most part, are a bit more obvious types of injury from reckless conduct. Except he left out "running boat into bridge/shore/dock" <BR>"Forgetting to secure trailer to tow vehcile". <BR> <BR>

wakeguru 07-24-2003 12:46 PM

I was just making some observations that are related to the topic of this thread. No one is condemning mal-practice and personal injury attorneys. The damages/rewards many of them are seeking are ridiculous as are a lot of these lawsuits we are seeing. <BR>There's a warning on everything these days from a plastic bag to a five gallon bucket and people are sueing fast food companies and snack companies for millions blaming them for their obesity. I heard a class action against alcoholic beverage companies is already in the works. <BR>True mal-practice happens and you can't put a price tag on it, but no amount of money will amend the situation. <BR> <BR>(Message edited by wakeguru on July 24, 2003)

ltw235 07-24-2003 1:01 PM

David, I agree the McDonald's lawsuit with the family suing because their kid is obese is especially offensive.

chvywkbrdrmc205 07-24-2003 1:09 PM

i agree that boat makers should have warning stickers about the possible dangers on the swim deck, but is that all the suit is asking for? i know having to deal with a suit like that will cost them money, and yet again drive boat prices up. i know our 96 MC prostar has a bright yellow sticker right next to the throttle that says do not stand on or swim near swimdeck while engine is running, or something to that effect. it CLEARLY warns that it is a hazard. in my opinion sure it would be nice for the makers to put stickers everywhere for all the idiots out there, but they should not be forced to, i think the stickers are just a reminder to the common sense one SHOULD have. It's like building a fast production car, a foreseeable misuse of the car is street racing, can the automakers be sued for making a street car that has a very likely chance of being raced on the street? you dont see them putting a huge sticker on the steering wheel that says vehicle not intended for street racing etc etc.

wakeguru 07-24-2003 1:21 PM

Is that the one in NY that says he was forced to eat lunch there everyday because he didn't have any affordable alternatives?

ltw235 07-24-2003 1:24 PM

Oh god, I didnt hear that one. The one I read about deals with parents who sent their daughter to McD's for lunch every day during the school year. Now that she is weighs a deuce and a half and 13-14 years old, they are trying to sue McD's saying they did not know the food was THAT fattening.

nick360 07-24-2003 2:16 PM

Andre: <BR>"Under California law, “[a] manufacturer has a duty to provide an adequate warning to the user on how to use the product if a reasonably foreseeable use of the product involves a substantial danger of which the manufacturer either is aware or should be aware, and that would not be readily recognized by the ordinary user.” BAJI 9.00.7" <BR> <BR>My question is again, where does the manufacturers responsibility end? If a warning is in fact stated in the Owner's Manual and/or a warning sticker on the dash stating not to be on or near the swim platform while the motor is running, to what extent are the manufacturers still responsible? <BR> <BR>Todd: <BR>Asking your opinion here as I don't know personally, but are there not extensive costs involved for a doctor/hospital/insurance company in a malpractice suit outside of a judgement? Are their costs not also driven by legal fees &amp; research performed just from defending themselves from both legitimate and falsely filed suits? <BR> <BR>Btw, I do not have a negative bias towards lawyers as my dad is an attorney as well, although he has not been involved in malpractice/personal injury suits. <BR>

rocketman 07-24-2003 2:25 PM

Andre, <BR> <BR>I think the problem is defining the "ordinary user." I think ordinary users would have enough common sense to not allow their kids to be out in the water without a life vest, which even the father admitted that his son would be alive had the life vest been worn. <BR> <BR>I could see somebody that should know better do the majority of the things that Jeff mentioned, and then immediately turn around and sue the boat companies for not having proper warning. <BR> <BR>

rocketman 07-24-2003 2:32 PM

The article's website has a feedback button at the bottom. Put all of your feedback there!! <BR> <BR>I also noticed that it said that they might file charges against the father. Either they updated the article, or I missed it the first time I read it.

ltw235 07-24-2003 2:43 PM

Nick, <BR> <BR>Lawsuits are expensive endeavors, both for the plaintiff and defendant. Costs can get ugly for both sides. While some plaintiff's cases may lack merit, others will be defended or stalled unnecessarily in hopes of forcing the plaintiff to settle for less than they are entitled or to just give up altogether. Insurance defense attorneys are not stupid, they do not throw money at meritless cases. Just because insurance premiums are being raised doesn't necessarily mean that attorneys are to blame for it, insurance companies have something to do with it as well. My .02 cents.

wakeguru 07-24-2003 2:48 PM

What good would that do. <BR>I would however want to ask Tom why he considers a ski/wake boat a "speedboat". They aren't built for speed. Oh, I get it. Speed = danger, it adds to the effect of his article.

jdreiser 07-24-2003 3:05 PM

For all of those who believe that caps on medical malpractice suits are a good idea, god forbid, but wait until it happens to you or a loved one. If your child is born with defects b/c of some negligent act of the hospital/nurses/doctors, then I want to see anyone that will say $250,000.00 is fair compensation to the child for a lifetime of misery. Don't believe the media or reports that state frivolous lawsuits drive up premiums. Frivolous malpractice lawsuits do not result in multi-million verdicts, the meritous ones do. Frivolous lawsuits are dismissed or result in defense verdicts. CA, the state everyone wants to point to for malpractice reform, is a prime example of the truth. Malpractice insurance did not go down after caps were put into place, but only after serious insurance reform was instituted. The nightly news won't tell you that. Additionally, if you want to see why malpractice premiums have skyrocketed, look at the stock market during the period of time when premiums rose the most, not filings of lawsuits. Insurance companies have lost on investments and have had to recoup by upping premiums. Malpractice limits are unconstitutional and dangerous!

wakeguru 07-24-2003 3:26 PM

If your child was born with defects because of negligent acts that would be a tragedy and you can't put a price on it. So sue for $100 mill and that will make things better? <BR> <BR>Thousands of corporations, not just insurance companies, lost money from investing in the stock market during that same period I'm sure. How convienent is that excuse. <BR> <BR>Obviously, the insurance companies aren't going to lower their rates overnight after caps are put into place. <BR>

fogey 07-24-2003 4:58 PM

Okay, let's look at the facts. <BR> <BR>"<b> ! WARNING </b> Shut off the engine when people are on the platform or in the water near the platform." <BR> <BR>Supra owner's manual, p. 38. I think there is a bright yellow sticker on the transom that says the same thing. <BR> <BR>After applying the law, I have to ask why Skier's Choice is a defendant in this lawsuit? Is this an effort to protect those who haven't bothered to read? Those who read but don't heed? Those who don't read, don't heed, and violate the life vest law too? <BR> <BR>Oh, yeah; I forgot. It's not about compliance with the law. It's all about using legal threats to bully someone into doing it <i>your</i> way. <BR> <BR>My suspicion is that also may have something to do with bolstering the plaintiff's case against deep pockets when the next person dies while teak surfing. <BR> <BR>As for my previous examples, I can speak from the perspective of a fairly new boater. The potential dangers--both the likelihood and the severity of the consequences--are not nearly as apparent to Joe Blow with his new boat as they are to experienced boaters. They also are not nearly as obvious as the dangers we all face in more common daily activities. <BR> <BR>The fact is that experienced boaters, and boat companies, have a much greater appreciation of boating risks compared to new boaters (a/k/a Wallies). Hence, we may get to start seeing some really interesting stickers.

paulsmith 07-24-2003 5:07 PM

Jeff, did Skier's Choice make a reasonable attempt to notify boat owners who purchased their boats before the warnings began being issued with new boats? I know when I get something in the mail from Malibu, I read it. I bet most other boat owners do as well. It appears obvious to me that what is being asked of boat manufacturers is not much, while it may (probably will) save lives. I am frankly a little shocked you are against this and am VERY shocked you would make statements like, "It's all about using legal threats to bully someone into doing it YOUR way." Yeah, you've got it all figured out, Jeff. Its just not possible that someone is trying to prevent future tragic deaths with this lawsuit, is it. <BR> <BR>I know very well educated, experienced boaters (20+ years of experience) who admit to having teak surfed without giving it any thought that they may be killed by lethal amounts of CO. They must be part of the conspiracy, though, of idiots and plaintiff's lawyers just intentionally trying to raise boat prices. Riiiight.

whit 07-24-2003 5:23 PM

Checked the Mastercraft manual and it specifically states to have everyone inside the boat when under way and to have the engine off if the swim platform is in use. <BR> <BR>I like that the lawyer handling the case is supposedly a waterskiing/wakeboarding enthusiast. He either must make a fortune chasing ambulances or not own a boat. Boats are already too expensive. Who do you think pays for the boat companies to notify all current and future owners? WE PAY FOR IT!!! <BR> <BR>Maybe Andre's buddy could post his mail address and we could all just send him a $100. I’d much rather pay the $100, then have to pay $65K for an ’05 X-2. Liability attorneys--who says there is no free money. (I hope Doug's not a liability attorney...) <BR> <BR>I have always known about the dangerous of carbon monoxide. There are no stickers on cars telling you to avoid the exhaust pipe. Why would people not know to stay away from a boat's exhaust pipe?

swpmwinc 07-24-2003 5:27 PM

Andre- Once a Lawyer all ways a Lawyer <BR> What everybody is missing is an 11 year old died because his Dad is STUPID plain and simple. <BR>

fogey 07-24-2003 7:10 PM

Andre, those experienced friends who teak surfed already violated at least one warning, and probably at least one law. So yet another warning, after boat manufacturers have to incur legal costs despite already providing a warning that went unheeded, now is the best answer we can come up with? <BR> <BR>Skier's Choice has provided adequate warning. They tell people to turn the engine off whenever anyone is "in the water near the swim platform." What part of this is not clear? How is teak surfing not a violation of this warning? <BR> <BR>Or are they also supposed to list every possible injury that could occur if you ignore their warning? Do they have to update this list whenever a new potential danger is found? If they list some specific dangers but not others, are they liable when the new danger causes injury, because they failed to tell people of it? <BR> <BR>Yes, I am skeptical that the lawsuit was filed solely (or even primarily) to prevent future accidents. This is an assumption on my part, just as you are assuming the motives are pure. I guess YOU have it all figured out, huh? Your intuition is so much better than mine. <BR> <BR>Tell me, is the attorney who has filed the injunction law suit taking the case pro bono? If not, is he or she donating fees to the victims of this tragedy? To boating safey organizations? To anything other than his or her bank account? <BR> <BR>And even if the goal is pure, I find the means objectionable. The plaintiff is saying to industry, "You must protect people, and the only acceptable way to do is to do it <i>my</i> way." That's a bludgeon, pure and simple. <BR> <BR>I find it interesting that you are so offended when businessmen cavalierly use the law to their own advantage, but it's just fine when a plaintiff's attorney does the same thing.

mike_rennie 07-24-2003 8:26 PM

Teak surfing sounds just so dumb to Me I don't see how you couldn't see the danger involved, especially with no lifevest. It's just sad someone had to die for something to be done.....even worse a Child<img src="http://www.wakeworld.com/MB/Discus/clipart/sad.gif" border=0>

bazel 07-24-2003 8:56 PM

There has been some discusion of the "Motive" of the father and the lawsuit. If it truly is one of protecting other people, I am sure that the boat companies would gladly put another 50 cent sticker on the back of the boat over spending thousands of dollars in court just to be told they should put another warning on their watercraft and possibly pay a settlement. <BR> <BR>Andre, you seem to have a connection to the attorney in the case, do you think that they would drop the suit if the manufacturers agreed to do this. As a fellow advocate of the sport and boater, why don't you propose this to him??

phaeton 07-24-2003 9:08 PM

I know let's praise the father for breaking the LAW.

paulsmith 07-24-2003 9:51 PM

Jeff, amazing that your omniscience goes as far as to know my friends I am speaking of and know what warning stickers they were exposed to. <BR> <BR>AGAIN, Jeff, has Skier's Choice made an effort to contact its boat owners that purchased boats PRIOR to the date they began warning of the dangers of Carbon Monoxide poisoning? <BR> <BR>The difference between you and I is that I made an effort to investigate before drawing any conclusions whatsoever so that I truly understood the nature of the lawsuits. I contacted the attorney who filed the lawsuits, obtained a copy of the Complaint and Motion for a Preliminary Injunction, and then when I had a better understanding I formed some tentative conclusions. As I have stated already, I am very skeptical regarding the family's lawsuit. However, the other lawsuit is a different animal and I think it might save lives if the manufacturers simply send out a mailing to past owners warning of these dangers. Correct Craft did it, after all. <BR> <BR>So your theory regarding Plaintiffs' attorneys is that they should all work for free? I really don't understand this. You essentially expect Plaintiffs' attorneys to be unpaid consultants to corporate America? I'm at a loss on this one. <BR> <BR>Will, I don't have a "connection" other than contacting him so that I could better understand what he is trying to accomplish. He responded with a lengthy email and attached the Complaint and Motion for a Preliminary Injunction. I was appreciative of this and he appeared to be genuinely concerned that more lives are going to be lost if his suit is not successful. <BR> <BR>Make sure you differentiate between the two lawsuits here, Will. What you have stated is exactly what is being sought in the class action, which as I understand it is two things: warnings on current boats being sold if not already being done and warnings to past purchasers of boats if they bought the boats prior to any current warning system that is in place. <BR> <BR>This is separate from the family of the 11 year old boy who is only suing Calabria. I agree the lifejacket issue is going to make that suit go away very quickly. I know it is difficult to separate these two suits from each other, but they are very different actions seeking very different results.

whit 07-25-2003 12:55 AM

Bottom line is these types of lawsuits don't force the boat companies to hire more pro's and throw more events. These types of lawsuits force boat companies to hire law firms. The added cost is paid for by the consumer. I don't see how the contiuned increase in boat prices is good for wakeboarding. <BR> <BR>How do Californians get by with so many rules. The theme for west coast posts always seems to be lake rules, water cops, or lawsuits. <BR> <BR>WSR makes so much more sense--West Side Rules. Sure it isn't WSL? West Side Laws? Some stupid lawyer doing the right thing is why you guys have that cool orange flag you get to wave... <BR> <BR>Someone needs to ram a boat with a flag waver. Sue the flag waver for causing a distraction. Sue all the rider down flag making companies. See if you can't get a better looking flag color! <img src="http://www.wakeworld.com/MB/Discus/clipart/proud.gif" border=0> <BR> <BR>(Message edited by whit on July 24, 2003)

bazel 07-25-2003 6:11 AM

Will the boat comapnies have a responsibility to contact all the owners of inboard boats?? Is this a reasonable expectation to contact a 3rd or 4th owner of a MC or CC or any other manufacturer?? Or is this notification going to be limited to new purchases and 1st owners of the crafts??

wakeguru 07-25-2003 7:57 AM

These are all good arguments, but bottom line is common sense and accountability at the consumer level has been discounted in too many of these situations recently. Let's agree to disagree. <BR>Here's a product liability funny: <BR> <BR><img src="http://www.wakeworld.com/MB/Discus/messages/65921/76124.jpg" alt="">

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