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Old     (niap101)      Join Date: Jul 2004       10-29-2008, 7:35 AM Reply   
Wake-surfing accident turns family members against one another
By Erin Alberty
The Salt Lake Tribune

Article Launched: 10/29/2008 12:21:28 AM MDT

A woman who lost her thumb in a wake-surfing accident is suing her sister and brother-in-law, saying they did not provide adequate equipment when they took her onto Pineview Reservoir in their boat.
In a complaint filed Tuesday in 3rd District Court, the woman claimed her brother-in-law taught her to wake surf July 5 but provided a wakeboarding rope to connect to his boat. A wake-surfing rope is shorter and thicker, with a different handle than a wakeboarding rope, the suit claims. Using the wrong rope is "improper and dangerous," and can cause the wake surfer to become entangled in the rope during a fall, the suit claims.
Such was the outcome of the woman's first wake-surfing lesson. When she surfaced, she "felt her glove and realized that her thumb was accidentally amputated by the rope when she fell," the suit states.
She is suing her sister and brother-in-law, the owners of the boat, claiming they "had a duty to provide proper equipment and instruction . . . in the safe and prudent method of wake surfing."


Following don't wake surf behind an outboard, the second most important rule is use the correct handle and length of rope; see:
Old     (bentone)      Join Date: Aug 2007       10-29-2008, 8:27 AM Reply   
this is exactly what is wrong in america today, its all about greed and money. Sue your own family, give me a break. I hope she loses and spends a lot of money doing so.
Old     (leaks)      Join Date: Oct 2005       10-29-2008, 8:33 AM Reply   
Too bad it was'nt around her head. Paleeze, suing your own family over an accident. What if the board hit her in the head, would she sue because he didn't give her a helmut?
Sports like surfing, boarding etc, have inhrent dangers. if you accept to try them, you should accept anything that may happen that is directly attributed to the sport!
Old     (bentone)      Join Date: Aug 2007       10-29-2008, 8:37 AM Reply   
thats funny greg, i was going to say the same thing about around the neck but thought it was maybe a little to harsh
Old     (notsobueno)      Join Date: Dec 2004       10-29-2008, 9:25 AM Reply   
I agree that the wrong rope can cause more problems....especially for beginners. There is obviously more to the story than just this 'accident'. I'd wager that these siblings have much deeper issues.
Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       10-29-2008, 11:35 AM Reply   
Larry makes a great point - use the right rope just to avoid the potential for injury.

I don't think it was a family issue, if you had those sorts of issues going on between you and a 'sis you wouldn't invite on your boat for the day, yet alone teach her something new and fun.

I did a check on the story and it appears it's an insurance issue, not a family issue. The attorney representing the injured woman posted:

Wow. I was suprised to read about one of my cases in the Trib escpecially since they didn't even call to get the any of the story. My name is Dustin Lance, I am the attorney that filed this claim on behalf of the woman that lost her thumb in this tragic accident.

My client is a young mother and she truly enjoys life. This injury has been devastating to her and her family. The hardest part of the injury is the fact that it didn't need to happen.

When I first heard about this accident I did a little research on the web. I quickly discovered that using the wrong rope is the cardinal sin for wake surfing, something the boat owners, her brother in law and sister, now acknowledge.

Seeing how clear cut the boat owners' negligence was, I was shocked to learn that the insurance company, State Farm, was not paying the claim. Instead, they denied it without pause. My experience tells me they denied it because of the familial relationship. Afterall, in their minds, is she really going to sue her sister? She has no choice. Who is going to pay all of the medical bills, the therapy, the prosthetics?

You know who encouraged her to bring the claim? Her family! They have insurance and now the insurance company needs to do what it was paid to do. Pay the claim. After all, they took the premium wasn't that the deal?

In the future I would hope that the Salt Lake Tribune would do more research on the story before they print it without pause. Perhaps more is going on than first meets the eye.
Old     (notsobueno)      Join Date: Dec 2004       10-29-2008, 1:44 PM Reply   
Interesting, very interesting.
Old     (wake1823)      Join Date: Dec 2005       10-31-2008, 6:28 AM Reply   
"medical bills, the therapy, the prosthetics"

For a freakin thumb, lol, come on.....

prosthetic thumbs, lol. Therapy...I almost pissed myself. Medical bills.....once again it's a thumb, it's gone, sew it up and put a bandage on it.
Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       11-10-2008, 5:05 AM Reply   
Followup on that first article a column from a local journalist here

My guess is that the attorney will be successful and that NOT using a wakesurf specific rope will be considered negligent more than the inherent risk involved.
Old     (duramat)      Join Date: Feb 2008       11-10-2008, 7:16 AM Reply   
Pineview! Now that doesnt suprise me one bit, its full of idiots up there!

A coworker of mine did have a friend of his pop his big toe off from the rope wrapping around it when getting pulled wakeboarding.
Old     (bmr82)      Join Date: Jul 2008       11-11-2008, 1:55 AM Reply   
Can I take her wakesurfing? I think I could get the job done right this time. lol


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