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Old     (paulsmith)      Join Date: Mar 2002       07-25-2003, 8:33 AM Reply   
Whit, how much do you think sending a letter to former owners, applying a decal to a spot or two on the boat, and inserting a warning in the owner's manual costs per boat? If you think this is responsible for boats being $65,000 you are grossly misinformed. I am willing to pay $1/boat more if it means saving numerous lives. Aren't you? Are you willing to pay ANY amount per boat? If so, how much? Where does it become not worth saving lives?

As for the costs of the lawsuit hurting the bottom line at companies, that is the companies decision to fight the lawsuit rather than just warning people that are in danger of being killed. It is the manufacturers your irritation should be directed at, in my opinion, not the plaintiff's attorney.
Old     (fogey)      Join Date: Mar 2002       07-25-2003, 8:35 AM Reply   
Andre, I'm going to try to keep on point and not chase down non-sequitur arguments.

You mockingly challenged my skepticism about the motivation behind the lawsuit against the manufacuters and my suggestion that the law is being misused here.

When I want someone to do something, my first inclination is not to file a lawsuit. Instead, I see if I can develop a win-win solution and then ask them to take appropriate action -- action that also happens to be in their own best interests.

This situation is perfect for just such an approach. Assuming, as you assert, that the goal of the lawsuit is to save lives rather than to make money and gain a tactical advantage, which would be more effective: force companies to send out stickers and letters, or work with industry to develop a multi-faceted educational campaign?

The stickers may not even make it on the boat, and in any event they may be ignored (as the current stickers are, not to mention the law). The letters will go to a limited group of people, some of whom no longer even own the boat, and the group does not include subsequent owners.

On the other hand, a coordinated industry-wide campaign would reach a much wider audience and transmit the actual message in a much more compelling manner. Not only would this better serve the purpose of saving lives, but it also would be much more efficient because all the money spent would go to this purpose.

Since you know so much about this case, did the plaintiff's attorney contact the manufacturers with such a request? My guess is that he did not,and that his first resort was to go directly to court.

At least in part I believe this because I cannot fathom each and every manufacturer turning down such a suggestion. I would be shocked to learn otherwise, but I'm open to being proven wrong.

If I'm right, however, I think I have a very sound basis for skepticism about the alleged altruistic motives behind the lawsuit. It's either that or, at a minimum, we have an attorney who is not clever enough to think of a better way to achieve his client's purposes.

Old     (paulsmith)      Join Date: Mar 2002       07-25-2003, 8:52 AM Reply   
Jeff, according to the Plaintiffs' attorney, the Coast Guard put pressure on manufacturers to issue warnings and they resisted because "it might scare people" (as reported from a meeting between the USCG and manufacturers).

In other words, it seems the manufacturers were worried that warning the public that lethal amounts of CO formulate around the swim platform and that 16 known deaths have occurred from this, including 11 known deaths in the last three years, might result in decreased sales.

In short, efforts had already been made to get manufacturers to warn consumers and those efforts were resisted. In addition, I can tell you that as a Plaintiffs' attorney if some defendant or their attorney calls me shortly after receiving a complaint and says they are willing to do what the complaint seeks, the lawsuit is essentially over at very little cost to both sides. Obviously the manufacturers have resisted warning consumers for some time, and continue to do so despite the lawsuit. I fail to see how this can be blamed on the attorney filing the lawsuit.

By the way, your initial sentence is a wonderful way to avoid the difficult questions.
Old    akman            07-25-2003, 8:57 AM Reply   
Just a quick question, if I go riding at night and get injured do I go after the company that manufactured the light, do I go after the boat manufacturer, or do I just chalk it up to another "life lesson" learned??

Flame on.......
Old     (paulsmith)      Join Date: Mar 2002       07-25-2003, 9:02 AM Reply   
You'll probably have to chalk that one up to a "life lesson," Gramps.

Wakeboarding at night in violation of the law is a lot different than sitting on the swim platform with your kid while she puts on her board with the engine running, and having her drop dead next to you.
Old     (wakeguru)      Join Date: Feb 2003       07-25-2003, 9:19 AM Reply   
The kid didn't drop dead. He drowned.
This is obviously getting personal.
There is no way to eliminate all deaths from operation of boats, cars or any other machine for that matter - period.
It depends on how you were brought up Gramps. I was raised by people who believed you took responsability for you own actions and that sueing people wasn't always the answer.
Old     (paulsmith)      Join Date: Mar 2002       07-25-2003, 9:25 AM Reply   
David, you are speaking of the lawsuit over the 11 year old boy who drowned while teak surfing and while not wearing a life vest. I am not necessarily disagreeing with you on that lawsuit.

But I am speaking of the other lawsuit, and according to the Plaintiff's attorney one of the CO-related deaths was a six year old girl who was sitting on the swim platform waiting for help putting on her ski.

I wouldn't say I take this personal, but I do wish to show people that, just because some frivolous lawsuits are filed, that does not mean that every lawsuit is frivolous. I would agree with you that personal responsibility is often lacking, but I also believe strongly that corporate abuse is a widespread problem and plaintiffs' attorneys serve a valuable role in our society as a check on such abuse.
Old     (wakeguru)      Join Date: Feb 2003       07-25-2003, 9:58 AM Reply   
Fair enough.
I wasn't aware of the 6 yr old girl's death.

I don't view corporate abuse with regards to product liablity as widespread (corporate accounting is another subject).

I also feel like companies should fight the requests to place redundant and repetitive warnings on their products and that it does affect sales. Somewhere in this people have to realize that operating these boats will never be a completely safe activity.

I don't think all lawsuits are frivalous and that plaintiff's attorneys do serve value in our society and I also respect that you have gone to great lengths to review the facts in this case.

Old     (fogey)      Join Date: Mar 2002       07-25-2003, 10:42 AM Reply   
Andre, thanks for the additional info. I'm surprised to hear that each and every manufacturer of these specialized boats (except CC) is fearful of sales impacts, but stranger and stupider decisions have been made in the past.

As for your comment to David, I agree with (almost) everything you say in the last paragraph, especially your observation on the valuable role that plaintiffs' attorney can play in ensuring accountability and serving as a check on abuse.

My one disagreement relates to your belief that "corporate abuse is a widespread problem." Existent, and a problem -- certainly. Widespread? Maybe it's mostly a semantics thing.
Old    leggester            07-25-2003, 10:45 AM Reply   
Wow! What a read!

I find this fascinating.

I wonder how we made it through the 60s and 70s without all these parental laws and warnings.

By this token: All cars need a warning sticker in an appropriate area stating "You should not run this vehicle in an enclosed space, such as a garage. Proper ventilation is required or serious injury and possibly death may occur."

Garages need that kind of sticker also.
Old    nick360            07-25-2003, 11:34 AM Reply   
Out of curiousity, I wanted to see what warning stickers my car had posted.

Inside the car - on visor:
*Warning - Death or Serious Injury can occur.
-Chldren 12 and under can be killed by the airbag.
-The BACK SEAT is the SAFEST place for children.
-NEVER put a rear-facing child seat in the front.
-Sit as far back as possible from the airbag.

In trunk, under carpet, on top of spare tire cover:
*CAUTION - Do not get under car while using jack.

In the engine compartment:
*(on radiator) - WARNING - Never open when hot.
*(on bracing) - CAUTION - Refregerant under high pressue. Improper service methods may cause personal injury.
*(on fans) - WARNING - Keep hands away, fan starts automatically.

I guess the worst one is who climbed under the car while it was jacked up that caused that sticker to be required?

Of course there is a Warning or Caution note on virtually every page of the owners manual. Some pages are filled with Warning notes ONLY. Then again, it's MY responsibility to read and understand my owners manual.
Old    nick360            07-25-2003, 11:47 AM Reply   

I'm thinking that $1 per boat isn't going to cover the costs. Manufacturers would have to pay for the following:

*Pay an attorney/law firm to write the warning sticker content in a way to minimize liability.
*Pay someone to design the sticker: color, font, design, placement.
*Pay to have the sticker manufactured.
*Pay someone to install an additional sticker on new boats (seams small, but adds to build time/cost of a boat).
*Pay someone to write a letter to accompany stickers to current owners (likely more work for the attorney).
*Pay for someone to research owner lists.
*Pay all 50 Parks and Wildlife Departments for list of current boats/owners registered.
*Pay for paper to print letter on.
*Pay for ink to print letter.
*Pay for envelope to mail letter.
*Pay for someone to stuff envelopes.
*Pay for postage of each letter.

Just a guess, but while this may not be a huge investment, it is slightly more involved than $1.00.
Old     (whit)      Join Date: Feb 2001       07-25-2003, 12:01 PM Reply   
While the actual amount for this lawsuit might not be huge--the effects of multiple suits become cumaltive. I bet if you add up all the expenses detailed by Nick, you would have enough money to pay for a boat and sponsor a young pro.

As a wakeboarder--I'd rather see some young rider get an opportunity, then pay the country club fees for a gaggle of lawyers.
Old     (supraman)      Join Date: Jan 2002       07-25-2003, 12:06 PM Reply   

Whit - It's nice to see you posting. It's been a while. Hope all is well with you and your wife in NC.
Old     (ltw235)      Join Date: Jul 2002       07-25-2003, 12:18 PM Reply   
A gaggle? Well, I guess it's better to be compared to geese instead of rats (a pack) or sharks (a school).

Whit, the whole point of the warning is to protect the general public and to reduce the number of viable lawsuits. The "cumulative" number of suits should be REDUCED by warnings by manufacturers.

Plus, this is only a guess, I'm sure most boat companies who sponsor riders can find enough money to sponsor everyone they want to. This is so despite the flood of lawsuits brought on by the gaggles and gaggles of lawyers who, somehow, are able to break away from the country club just long enough to file flurries of paperwork in court (no preparation time necessary I guess) before they charge, or migrate as you might term it, back to the 10th tee to make the turn.
Old     (wakeguru)      Join Date: Feb 2003       07-25-2003, 12:39 PM Reply   
Damn, I guess you do learn something new every day.
Old     (bazel)      Join Date: Oct 2001       07-25-2003, 12:48 PM Reply   
Andre, I am not attacking you but you made the 2 following statements:

"In short, efforts had already been made to get manufacturers to warn consumers and those efforts were resisted. In addition, I can tell you that as a Plaintiffs' attorney if some defendant or their attorney calls me shortly after receiving a complaint and says they are willing to do what the complaint seeks, the lawsuit is essentially over at very little cost to both sides. Obviously the manufacturers have resisted warning consumers for some time, and continue to do so despite the lawsuit. I fail to see how this can be blamed on the attorney filing the lawsuit. "

"But I am speaking of the other lawsuit, and according to the Plaintiff's attorney one of the CO-related deaths was a six year old girl who was sitting on the swim platform waiting for help putting on her ski. "

Now this would imply that the manufacturers have not already warned the users to not be on the swim platform or in the water while the engine is running. I belive most of the user manuals warn of this and many boats I have seen has the warning already on the back of the boat!!

How much warning will make the attorney happy?? What else could possibly be done?? If a user does not heed an already existent warning, how can the manufacturers do anything else except have some sort of device that does not allow the boat to be turned on if people are anywhere except the cockpit area!!
Old     (rocketman)      Join Date: Feb 2003       07-25-2003, 1:29 PM Reply   

You seem to be very in the know about the law (which makes sense as that is what you do). Anyway, question for you- In the future, if I sell my 1990 Malibu to somebody that has their kid die doing teak surfing, or any other dangerous activity, can they come after me for not warning them about the dangers of teak surfing, or about any of the many dangers of boating? I don't think my boat has any warning stickers on it. My owner's manual was stolen, so if any warnings are in there, I can't give that to them.

Please advise.

I think when I sell it, especially if it is to a first time boat owner, I will educate them about the dangers of CO, and other dangers with boating, and encourage them to take a boating safety class. I don't want to get them to sign a waiver. If I had to do that, nobody would buy my boat.
Old    akman            07-25-2003, 1:32 PM Reply   
David D, I TOTALLY agree with you on that.

I am a firm believer in taking responsibility for your own actions too. I was just trying to lighten the mood around here.

I'm not for or against, it just seems our society is SUE happy. I agree the loss of a life as tragic as it is could have probably been avoided by the simple act of putting on a vest.

I feel for the parents but I also think some of the blame should be shouldered by them too. Trying to gain something for your own misfortune is a tragedy in itself.

Old     (wakeguru)      Join Date: Feb 2003       07-25-2003, 1:42 PM Reply   
I figured as much.
I tried to lighten it up with the cartoon earlier, but it didn't seem to work.

A lot of people are fed up with the system and much of the diction in this thread illustrates that.

Sue makes me happy. She's a good girl. The kind you wouldn't hesitate to take home to the folks.
Old     (jdreiser)      Join Date: Mar 2002       07-25-2003, 2:07 PM Reply   
Whit, only the defense and corporate attorneys belong to country clubs:-) Us hardworking plaintiff's attorney's are just trying to get reasonable compensation for injured folks.

Kidding aside, I am one of the more conservative plaintiff's attorney's I know and disagree with some of the lawsuits that foster our country's disease of lack of accountability, i.e. fast food, ice cream, teak surfing, etc. However, there are some instances where civil lawsuits are necessary and the only remedy to get beneficial changes made in society. Money will not replace lost limbs, lives, etc., but what else or what way do you compensate people for most incidents. Most of my clients would give their awards or settlements back to have their lives back to normal. FYI - at least in E. Tenn. most juries are far more conservative than the public believes. Plaintiffs have a lot more jury biases to overcome than Defendants, especially in MVA and med mal cases.
Old     (paulsmith)      Join Date: Mar 2002       07-25-2003, 2:09 PM Reply   
I appreciate the messages above, particularly from David D and Jeff. Jeff you are of course correct to point out I don't know the facts regarding each manufacturer and the motivations behind what they have and have not done with regard to this issue.

Nick, I don't know what the exact cost of doing what is requested in the lawsuit will be when broken down to a per-boat sold basis. But I doubt it is very significant when compared to the cost of more deaths in the near future.

Whit, I think we will have to agree to disagree on whether it is more important that a boat company be able to sponsor another pro or whether that money would be better spent saving lives, if that is indeed the choice that some manufacturers are having to make.

Will, I have no idea how you came to those conclusions based on the facts I presented, so I don't know how to respond to you.

David M, I hope you understand that I cannot give specific legal advice on an internet message board. Not as a lawyer, though, I can say that I think it is a great idea to warn about the dangers involved with CO coming from the back of the boat! I think you always also want to do a bill of sale that includes an "as-is" statement specifically disclaiming any warranty.

Gramps, like I said I also am a firm believer in personal responsibility, and corporate responsibility. I would hope that a corporation that was aware that their products were being used in a way that is KILLING PEOPLE would take responsibility and try to prevent any more deaths from happening. I agree the life vest is a tragedy, and I also believe it is a tragedy that the owner was not made aware of the dangers involved with CO poisoning near the back of the boat.

Lastly, thanks to those who have tried to understand my point of view, even if not agreeing with it in its entirety.

Happy wakeboarding everyone. I'm going surfing tonight, though, despite the warning sticker on my surf board about the potential for being eaten by a shark.
Old    akman            07-25-2003, 2:38 PM Reply   
Like I said I'm not for or against, I do think a little common sense goes a long way.

Cigarettes kill people everyday and yet they still make them, sell them and people smoke them.

If every single boat out there had a warning sticker on the back of the boat I still think there will be a select few that don't get it and end up paying the price. It's a matter of personal choice, there will be people that avoid warning stickers, break the law, and just plain old don't care until the end of time.....

The next thing you know someone will get behind their sacked down boat, catch some air and crash killing themselves and the wife, husband, boyfriend or girlfriend is suing the company that makes ballast systems for not warning that "bigger" wakes can cause deaths.......

Old     (rock_n_boardin)      Join Date: May 2003       07-25-2003, 2:43 PM Reply   
Teak surfing.......I am not sure if a warning sticker is going to stop someone from Teak Surfing. To me it's pretty obvious that Teak Surfing is an extremely dangerous activity to begin with, especially because you supposedly can't wear a life vest to do it correctly, forget the CO poisoning, how about a log or piece of wood in the lake that hits your head? But it didn't stop someone from letting their young son do it. There are some things that I look at and think, WTF!

I am sure I will get flamed by some hardcore Teak Surfers. That is ok, just make sure when you die doing it, your family doesn't go sue everyone for your extreme activity.

As far as stickers go, it's not a bad idea, not to save the Teak Surfers, but for the people who might sit leisurely on the back of a swim step while a boat is running in neutral, or cruising at below wake speed and is overcome by the fumes, like the 6 year old who died.

Old     (paulsmith)      Join Date: Mar 2002       07-25-2003, 2:50 PM Reply   
I agree common sense goes a long way. Like, for example, "wow, people are dying from the fumes on the back of our boat. Maybe we better warn people about it and try to prevent future deaths! Most people probably don't realize how toxic those fumes are despite being in the open air."

We are not trying to protect "the select few" who ignore warnings. We are trying to protect the ordinary user that doesn't realize that, despite being in the open air, the CO coming from the back of the boat is so lethal it has killed at least 11 people in the last three years.

Making up frivolous lawsuits doesn't make this one so.
Old     (rock_n_boardin)      Join Date: May 2003       07-25-2003, 3:01 PM Reply   
I will have to say, this is our 3rd boat, we bought it about 3 months ago. Our last boat we sold 3 years ago and had it for about 3 years. It was also an inboard and it was very common for us to have someone sitting on the swim step when we would go through a 5 mph zone, especially on the Delta, when we would be out all day and there are alot of these 5mph areas you go through, it was always a good opportunity for people to hop out and cool off, or we would call it, check the prop time. This happens more often when people have been drinking liquids all day LOL anyway, I must admit I never thought of it is being dangerous at all, in fact that is one of the reasons I bought an inboard, safety from the prop.

It wasn't until I bought our new boat that I finally heard of this issue, and it was from some stranger on a launch, who came up to me to let me know what he had heard about boats like mine. I though it was strange at the time, until I discovered WakeWorld and read more about it.

Anyway, my point is I would have never known otherwise, so why not a warning sticker? People really need to be notified somehow. Either that or a disclosure form of some kind "I hate them". But a sticker seems like the way to go.
Old     (paulsmith)      Join Date: Mar 2002       07-25-2003, 3:04 PM Reply   
Thanks for the honesty, Jonathan. I think a lot of people are afraid to admit things like this for some odd reason. Before becoming aware of this issue, I took used to leave the engine running a lot with people on or near the swimstep.
Old     (fogey)      Join Date: Mar 2002       07-25-2003, 4:35 PM Reply   
Andre says,

"David M, I hope you understand that I cannot give specific legal advice on an internet message board. Not as a lawyer, though, I can say that I think it is a great idea to warn about the dangers involved with CO coming from the back of the boat! I think you always also want to do a bill of sale that includes an "as-is" statement specifically disclaiming any warranty."

Very nicely done. And, a great idea indeed--one I'll implement whenever I sell my boat.

Also, "I agree common sense goes a long way. Like, for example, "wow, people are dying from the fumes on the back of our boat. Maybe we better warn people about it and try to prevent future deaths! Most people probably don't realize how toxic those fumes are despite being in the open air.""

Touche. I still have questions about a lawsuit demanding stickers being the most effective approach, but I feel even more strongly that the manufacturers are missing a golden opportunity to follow Tylenol's excellent example of taking care of customers.

Hang ten!

Old    xtigeman            07-25-2003, 5:10 PM Reply   
Whit: Product defense liability, in fact I have a large product liability lawsuit set for trial on August 18 in Federal District Court in Western Tennessee, People need to have more faith in the jury system. The cases that the media focusus on are the unusual and not the norm. I have faith in our jury system and court system. People have more common sense than you give them credit for. What kills manufacturers is evidence that they know of a prblem yet fail to impliment measures th protect society ecause risk management makes a decision it is cheaper to pay a few claims over time as opposed to redisgn or impliment measures to prevent the harm imposed. This may not sit well with juries and laeds to large verdicts. I fight everything, but that is just my nature.
Old     (h20jnky)      Join Date: Mar 2003       07-25-2003, 5:56 PM Reply   
Sure Doug you fight everything!

I couldn't possibly imagine the struggles you must go through in the morning over deciding which Porsche to drive to work that particular day......

Just jabbin ya mate, Happy Friday!
Old     (zacky)      Join Date: Apr 2003       07-25-2003, 10:39 PM Reply   
If I am crushed by my television because I tried to balance it on my head, can my family sue Sony for not warning me about the dangers of balancing heavy objects on my head? Afterall, there is nothing in the owners book that warns me of the potential danger of placing a 400 lb television on my head, and the last time I checked, I have yet to receive a letter in the mail from Sony warning me of the potential risks involved with such a feat...
Sound stupid? Well it is. Although I have sympathy for the young boy who lost his life, his tragic death should not be the responsibility of the boat manufacturers. Will warning stickers work? Doubtful. Look at all of the warning labels, news articles, and TV commercials regarding drinking and driving. If those labels actually "warned" people, and people actually paid attention to the warnings, we wouldn't have so many DUI fatalities nationwide. If I was a boat manufacturer, I would make people take a competency test before purchasing my product. Well, then again maybe not. If somebody failed the test and I did not sell them a boat, I imagine I would be sued for discrimination...
Old    bad_boy            07-28-2003, 6:37 PM Reply   
I’m curious about how many people have actually died from the carbon monoxide or from drowning after being over come by the gas. The real issue here is anything can happen when you are dragging from a boat 1 ft or 100 feet from the stern and the only thing that’s going to keep you from drowning is a life vest. Anyone who jumps in the water or allows his or her children to jump in the water without a vest on should be the only one responsible if that person drowns. Be it by unconsciousness from Carbon Monoxide or a impact to the head by a wakeboard. I have know problem with sticker, I personally wish God would put sticker on people that said” Warning this product could be faulty. There is a very good chance that this person could cause great harm to other from their stupidity” It all about responsibility!!
Old    calair03            08-10-2003, 6:06 PM Reply   
Both of these lawsuits are based on consumer ignorance. If the boy had been wearing his lifejacket (as required by California Law, not only because he was under 12 years old, but also because the he was behind a moving boat) he would still be here and none of this would have happened.
What differance is a sticker going to make? We all know that the the exhaust is back there and it obviously is not good for you. I refuse to have the back of my boat look like the visor in my new Tahoe. Sure airbags are dangerous....anyone with common sense knows that. Any person that cares enough about their kids, knows that kids are safest in a car seat or booster in the rear seat. A real parent shouldn't need stickers plastered all over their car to know that.
Am I going to be responsible if stickers become mandatory on new boats and I peel them off, because I will not allow anyone on my boat to play around when the boat is running? I sell the boat and some idiot dies. Is that my fault or the fact that the person is a complete moron?
I do not think that the boat companies failure to take immediate action on this issue, is about fear of losing sales or money. It is the fact that this issue should be common knowledge. What is next.....Driving boat into shore at full speed may cause fatal injury? Boaters should know better and this guy is simply making all of us look ignorant.
Old     (kenv)      Join Date: May 2002       08-10-2003, 10:46 PM Reply   
I have been reading this post for about 20 minutes and with all the opinions going back and forth, all the lawyers and non-laywers - - just wanted to say thank you, thank you for putting in words Exactly what the father of this boy should be reading EVERY time he even thinks of water or boating. My hat is off to you. Yes, this was a terrible tragedy and my prayers are with the family - but let it go. This discussion board has made me turn my motor off a whole lot more this summer. It hurts to read about just one accident, but these discussions will save lives in the future.
Old     (bob)      Join Date: Feb 2001       08-11-2003, 2:05 AM Reply   
I do think some people are confused about the facts. It doesnt take being in the water to become dead, just on the platform with the engine running (of course it helps if there is no wind). Someone above said they thought it was a bad idea to let kids in the water without a vest on, i sure hope they meant being pulled by the boat cause i let my son swim without a vest all the time (am i a bad dad?). I was not as aware of the problem till i read about all the deaths, including the ones by generator. I dont think this is a common sense thing like many are pointing out, i mean it is an odorless gas. If it had a smell then maybe you could say if you start to smell the eggs or whatever you need to get away?? I dont know exactly what all the parents are going thru so i cant say and none of us can what we would do if we were in their shoes cause we arent and until you walk a mile in the parents shoes i wouldnt accuse them of anything derogatory. Lets just spread the luv and let as many people as we can know about the dangers of CO.
Old    ssjrmk            08-11-2003, 9:56 AM Reply   
sorry bob but it is not odorless, a couple of times when i was swimming to the platform just after the boat was shut off i could easyly smell the exhaust.
Old    leggester            08-11-2003, 10:20 AM Reply   
Hey! I'm all for it! Yep! WE NEED MORE PARENTAL LAWS!

After all, where would we be if there weren't laws to tell you to put a seta belt on, put your child in a baby seat in the car, every child under the age of 14 required to wear a vest when in a boat ( even if they can swim a mile in about 20 minutes ), on and on an on ad naseaum!

I myself particulalry HATE parental laws. I'm sorry for being harsh, but if you don't have the common sense, perhaps your genes should be removed from the pool.

Now, we need a sticker to tell everyone not to swim under the boat while under way - there's a danger of getting hit and chewed up by the prop!

Also, you shouldn't stand in front of a road milling machine - you could be run over and chopped up all to heck and back!

Old     (paulsmith)      Join Date: Mar 2002       08-11-2003, 10:34 AM Reply   
Seems like much of the difference of opinion is over what is and is not common sense.

I do not see it as common sense that standing on the swim platform in the open air while the engine is running could result in death. I never would have known this if not for the discussions that have popped up on here over the last year.

Of course, if only everyone had as much common sense as Matt Legge, the world would be free of hazard. I guess my "genes should be removed from the pool."
Old    leggester            08-11-2003, 10:50 AM Reply   
Well, I do consider it amazing that whole generations of people grew up WITHOUT these laws.

We were wearing seat belts in the 60s. Yes, it was considered common sense.

I'm afraid there's just too many parental laws out there today Paul. Just where did you expect your exhaust to come out in the boat? You also realize CO2 is heavier than air I hope and that any low lying spots e.g. the underside fo a houseboat, is susceptable to gathering CO2 gasses?

Perhaps we should all have compjuter cotrolled governors on our motorcycle/boat/car/quads so they do not exceed a 'safe' speed limit? That way, if you enter a turn too fast, the vehicle will automatically slow down, no matter what the condition?

I am against parental laws, period, that's all.
Old    mnwake            08-11-2003, 10:59 AM Reply   

Would you just stand behind a running car for a while???
Old     (bazel)      Join Date: Oct 2001       08-11-2003, 9:50 PM Reply   
Not to bring up an old point but what about the "Teak Surfing" part of the accident?? Isn't there a common sense thing with this?? Would the kid be dead if the father had said no, or at least use a life jacket?? Isn't it illegal for a minor to be doing something like this without a life vest??

Where is the fathers accountability for his actions??

I am not argueing the warnings with these comments but the surfing part seems to have been forgotten in this whole thing
Old     (bob)      Join Date: Feb 2001       08-11-2003, 11:21 PM Reply   
Will im not sure if you read the other reports but there were others killed who were either wearing vests or not even in the no the vest would not have necessarily saved him but it would have given him a better chance. Matt, sorry you live in such a screwed up state. Fl- can ski with just a mirror and no spotter, kids under 6 (i believe) must wear vest while boat is in motion, and we dont need the stupid flag to take other boaters attention away from the downed rider in the water to look at the boat waving the stupid flag. Also we can stand up all we want while driving or not driving the boat.
Old    leggester            08-12-2003, 6:53 AM Reply   
Yeah, I know Bob. Maybe it's getting about time to move.

The cops don't even need suspicion or probable cause to pull you over now, on the water or the road.

Lst Sunday at the local lake I go to, there were over 60 boats pulled over - just to check. Making sure that vests fit, kids 14 and under were wearing one... ... NOT because they were doing anything wrong, they may just have happened to be breaking the new parental law.

Oh well. Watch out. What happens ot the Western states seem to percolate to the nation. Not always a good thing.

Paul, I'm sorry you feel you don't have any common sense. I wouldn't stand on a boat's platform with the engine running period. It's just not the safest thing to do. If anyone just happened to flick the throttle, you're dumped in the water - better hope it's in forward and not reverse.
Old     (rkg)      Join Date: Apr 2002       08-12-2003, 7:25 AM Reply   
Would a mandatory boater education work instead of stickers? Say you have to get a license to operate a boat and safety issues are discussed. May solve numerous on the water problems. Seems to me another sticker may not be the most effective route. I would have to be honest and say I did not comb my boat over to ensure I read every sticker. I did read my entire owners manual prior to ever launching the boat (except for the test drive) mainly due to my curiousity of how every thing worked on the boat.
Some of these warning disclaimers seems to be getting out of hand. Companies now have to disclaim everything under the sun. I know in my business (service industry) we need every disclaimer known to man in our proposals, contracts, etc. I know I am guilty of not completely reading this stuff anymore due to the repititive, constant volume of data they throw at you. And why is there 5 pages of warning? Not aso you will read it and be safe. So the company can say they warned you on page 4 at the bottom, paragraph 10. This goes back to my original point that perhaps there should be mandatory boater education. For what all these items cost the manufacturers, they mught be able to afford to subsidize this instead.
Old     (airbesar)      Join Date: Mar 2002       08-12-2003, 11:00 AM Reply   
I'm so with you, Keith, on the boater education requirement. I boat near where a lot of new housing is going in. This year there was an incredible increase of boat traffic and lots of it was brand new boats and owners without a clue. Not staying to the right, power turns, no safety flag, starting up with a rider right in front of you, waking docks. Some of it's bad manners; some illegal.

We talk about the relevant issues all of the time on Wakeworld and in the other wake forums so hopefully some folks are catching on. But buying a boat and then playing catchup so that you know what you are doing is ready, fire, aim. People should know before they're on the water. It would save lives, boats and hassles. We require hunters to take hunter safety courses and vehicle drivers to pass the driver tests. A lot of what goes on out there is rudeness but a lot is just ignorance. Dealers could ameliorate the situation but they don't. In the absence of any other mechanism and faced with the evidence, it's time for requiring a boating course or at least a boating license before you can drive on the water.

Sure it would be a pain for those of us who have learned it bit by bit. But if it cut down on what we see on the water, I don't care - it's a smaller pain than having to deal, day in and out, with the situation out there. Sure it's more government - so what. That's what I want a government for.

Old    calair03            08-12-2003, 12:55 PM Reply   
I would agree to some sort of boater certification. It would help a lot of the people without common sense, and especially cut down on the ignorant jet skiers. Most of the problems on my lake seen to come from the rentals and this would obviously take care of that. Some may say that this may not be the answer. I know that the boy and his father in this case were guests on a friends boat and they would not have had the training but the owner would have and I think that would have helped. By the way why isn't the guy sueing the owner?. I feel that this guy is more at fault than the boat companies.
Old     (rkg)      Join Date: Apr 2002       08-12-2003, 1:23 PM Reply   
I just feel that you can disclaimer your way into anything and still not educate people. If the purpose is to educate, then do it! I think all the stickers could be reminders, but at what point do you run out of room. I do not want to see lives lost, but are stickers really effective? I am not familiar with the boat in this case, but did the owners manual or the boat have the disclaimer warning against being on the platform while the engine was running? If so, then the stickers were ineffective and the owner was negligent.
Old    stormrider            08-13-2003, 11:31 AM Reply   
The assertion seems to be this: the boat company is liable because they knew of a particular danger and did not provide a warning. Is this a workable and fair rule for establishing multi-million dollar liability? Toward that end I pose the following questions (please excuse the socratic method as I, too, am a lawyer and this is how we are trained, I guess, to analyze things):
1.) How big does the warning have to be to be effective? 10 point type? 20 point type?
2.) Many different languages are spoken in California. Many California's speak only Spanish. There are also large Vietnamese, Chinese, Chaldean, Arabic, Afghan, Somalia, Ethiopian, , Khmer, Indian, and Russian communities as well as visitors from many European countries, many of whom have very limited English skills. These are all reasonably foreseeable users. Wouldn't the duty to warn, to be effective, require multiple stickers in multiple languages?
3.) Boat companies also know that people are injured when boats moored together bang into each other. Do they have an obligation to warn about this risk, or face liability?
4.) Many injuries are caused by a driver picking up a rider on the starboard side of the boat, out of the driver's view. Do boat companies have an obligation to put stickers warning of this potential risk? Boat companies are aware that their products have been involved in many different types of accidents where personal injury resulted. Do they have an obligation to warn against all these risks, as well? For example, a storage cover, not a tow cover, could blow off a moving boat and obscure the view of the car behind, causing an accident. What about trailer tire blowouts? People sitting on the sun deck while the boat is in motion and then falling out? What about boards that come off of board racks because they aren't strapped in? There was an accident at San V because the driver of one boat didn't realize boats don't stop or turn on a dime. Should there be this type of warning sticker, as well (my wife would say hell-yes!)?
5.) Boats are not designed for teak surfing. Swim steps are designed for getting in and out of the boat when the boat is not moving. Doesn't the fact that the boat was being used for a non-intended use exonerate the company of any need to warn about risks associated with that non-intended use?
6.) Illiteracy and less than adequate literacy is a real problem in America, especially California, how would this problem be addressed within the context of providing a warning? What level of reading ability must the warning be written down to in order to constitute a "legal" warning, sufficient to insulate the company from liability? To address the illiteracy/subliteracy reality, wouldn't the warning have to be a tape recording that plays every time an operator tries to start the boat, and this recording would then have to be in multiple languages? Wouldn't the recording have to list not just teak surfing but other potential risks?
7.) Boat companies also know that many injuries are related to alcohol use, and that alcohol use impairs judgment and reading ability. Should the boat companies have to take this into account? How? If getting drunk exonerates the companies from a duty to warn, shouldn't other forms of negligence by, in this case the parents, also be considered in the determination of whether any failure to warn was a direct and proximate cause of the injury?
8.) Even assuming a duty to warn such as the one proposed, wasn't the parents' failure to ensure that their son was wearing a pfd a superceeding and intervening cause, thereby exonerating the boat manufacturer?
9.) Is the "warning" argument simply a showing that the failure to warn was "a cause" but not, under all of the circumstances "a proximate cause?"
10.) Will altering the time-tested definition of causation create a system of strict liability that is in itself unfair and also, when extended across the product liability spectrum, one that would introduce too much "risk" into the entreprenurial equation, thereby shutting down the ability of our economy to make important advances in medicine and technolgy, to name just two examples?}
Old     (bob)      Join Date: Feb 2001       08-14-2003, 12:52 AM Reply   
Steven either you just bought a boat or dont know port from starboard??
Old     (auto)      Join Date: Aug 2002       08-14-2003, 5:48 AM Reply   
I have to agree with Matt on some of the latest posts, it is ridiculous what is called for nowadays. How did my generation and the genration before grow up without all these laws?. Now kids wear helmets and safety gear to walk down the street. I am thoroughly dismayed at the parental laws that apply, it's called natural selection. Common Sense is so lacking in society because of the socialist politicians enabling stupid people to procreate without thoughts of supporting their own children. Fortunately none of Calif's marvelous political ideas have percolated over to Texas, or I would be an unarmed victim waiting for the next government supported criminal.


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