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  1. #1
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Lawsuit a threat to trails

    Sun, April 17, 2005
    CYCLISTS FEAR FOR SPORT
    By TRACY MCLAUGHLIN, SPECIAL TO THE TORONTO SUN

    A MOUNTAIN biker who launched a million-dollar lawsuit after falling off his bike has lit a fire under Collingwood area bike enthusiasts who fear the suit will close their trails. James Leone is suing the Toronto Outing Club and its Kolapore Uplands Wilderness Ski Trails Committee as well as the Town of The Blue Mountains, the Grey-Bruce Trails Network and the province for an accident he had while mountain biking last August.

    The 31-year-old personal injury lawyer from Toronto claims he suffered fractured vertebrae and several soft-tissue injuries when his bicycle came to an abrupt stop after hitting a hole in the trail, sending him over the handlebars.

    "It's a crying shame," said "die-hard" mountain biker Mark Derrick, who helped organize a meeting of concerned bikers in Collingwood yesterday.

    "We have hundreds of miles of amazing trails in this area and most of us realize that if you take on this sport, you take on a challenge and a risk." He said his wife, Lynn, has dislocated her shoulder by falling on the trails twice but never considered a lawsuit.

    "This suit does cause a concern that the trails will be threatened," said trail specialist with the International Mountain Bike Association, Laura Woolner. "The case could set a precedent for other cases in Ontario and that could have an enormous impact on non-profit clubs who will have to purchase huge amounts of insurance to keep trails open. Essentially it could shut them down," she said.
    "My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything" -Peter Golkin
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  2. #2
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Gee, do they sue if the skiers hurt themselves while going down Bue Mountain or if hikers hurt themselves while walking on the trails?
    "My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything" -Peter Golkin
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  3. #3
    Senior Member larue's Avatar
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    I doubt this goes very far, shame if it did though. Is there a sign or something that say's use at your own risk?
    Leave your treadmill power trip behind.

  4. #4
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by closetbiker

    A MOUNTAIN biker
    <snip>
    The 31-year-old personal injury lawyer
    The guy should be charged with impersonating mountain biker and a human being and then put out of our misery. Damn ambulance chaser

  5. #5
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    I can't believe this suit will make it very far either (most especially in Canada).

    There must be some extraordinary circumstances for it to see trial, but maybe the guy is just going for a scare settlement against Blue Mountain (a successful,and very rich, management ski hill and retail, housing unit and building company that manages many developments, including Whistler BC).
    "My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything" -Peter Golkin
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  6. #6
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Are Canadian courts as receptive to friviolous suits like US courts?
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DieselDan
    Are Canadian courts as receptive to friviolous suits like US courts?
    Anyone here correct me if I'm wrong, but from my limited experiance and understanding, not really. The loser has to pay court costs so that cuts down on frivolous suits. If there's little chance to win no one tries. If I understand right, in the U.S., if you lose a suit, you don't pay. Where is the incentive not to sue?

    That's why I said, I think he's looking for a settlement. He could be bought off without a challenge or expense of going to court. The guy has to know he has some chance to have a decent case to threaten to bring it to court. If he asks too much, they'll take him to court. If he asks for the right amount, it'll be easier just to give him the cash.
    "My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything" -Peter Golkin
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  8. #8
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    I wish the hole he'd fallen into had been a bit bigger.
    If we learn from our mistakes, I must be a goddamn genius.

  9. #9
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allister
    I wish the hole he'd fallen into had been a bit bigger.
    Bottomless would have been nice.......

  10. #10
    Just riding andygates's Avatar
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    Bottomless? Sweet. Put the lawyers in there too.

  11. #11
    Member ImaGoTourNow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MERTON
    he needs to be beaten.
    No way man. I'm not gonna touch him! He may sue my mom for having me.


    RIP Dime

  12. #12
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andygates
    Bottomless? Sweet. Put the lawyers in there too.
    The nerfherder is a lawyer

  13. #13
    Kicked out of the Webelos bluebottle1's Avatar
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    As a member in good standing of the Texas bar, I apologize to the world that assh*les like this exist, and I volunteer to be the first in line to kick him in the nads in a sincere effort to make sure he doesn't reproduce.

    In Texas, I am happy to say that this creep would probably get laughed out of court. I don't know the law in Canada, but this would likely have to be based on some kind of a premises liability theory. If that's the case, he would have to be able to show that the defendants actually knew about this hole he's complaining of or that they acted willfully or wantonly in injuring him, which pretty much amounts to the same thing. Somehow, I don't think he'd manage. Hopefully the law is similar in Canada.

  14. #14
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    I couldn't imagine it would be any different.

    I have a brother-in law who lives in Collingwood, so maybe I'll give him a call and see where this stands.

    I'll bet nothing happens.
    "My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything" -Peter Golkin
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  15. #15
    Compulsive Upgrader cyclingshane73's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raiyn
    The guy should be charged with impersonating mountain biker and a human being and then put out of our misery. Damn ambulance chaser
    "Personal Injury Lawyer"...yep caught that one too...

    Pretty freakin sad. Maybe I should sue the City of Toronto for the amount of times I went over the bars after hitting tree roots in the Don Valley Trails. I'm curious, do some people get into mountain biking knowing what they are getting into or do they think that all of the trails are lined with gravel and kept nice and level to make it easy and safe?
    "No drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we're looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs. We should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed, and love of power." -P.J. O'Rourke

  16. #16
    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by closetbiker
    Anyone here correct me if I'm wrong, but from my limited experiance and understanding, not really. The loser has to pay court costs so that cuts down on frivolous suits. If there's little chance to win no one tries. If I understand right, in the U.S., if you lose a suit, you don't pay. Where is the incentive not to sue?

    That's why I said, I think he's looking for a settlement. He could be bought off without a challenge or expense of going to court. The guy has to know he has some chance to have a decent case to threaten to bring it to court. If he asks too much, they'll take him to court. If he asks for the right amount, it'll be easier just to give him the cash.
    Generally, in the US, the loser doesn't have to pay the other side's attorneys fees, but the loser can still get stuck paying the winner's court costs, which can include depositions expenses, filing fees, jury fees, etc. In large cases, these costs can mount into the tens of thousands of dollars.

    If the suit is frivolous, the loser might get attorneys fees.

    And of course, almost anyone can file a lawsuit for any reason, but filing doesn't mean winning. Resort areas generally have all sorts of legal protections to stop suits just like this one.

  17. #17
    Gravel for Breakfast
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    I'd be willing to bet… let's see, what do I have on me… $34.65 that this weasel didn't even crash his bike. I'd wager that he only saw the hole with its attendant dollar signs, and headed off to file the paperwork.

    I wish we had a big old nad-kicking Texas lawyer to sort this lowlife out. Grrr.

  18. #18
    Gravel for Breakfast
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    You know, perhaps I was too hasty with my first post here—I'm just reflecting on previous occasions where I jumped in without being apprised of ALL the facts, so, to be fair:

    We haven't heard this lawyer's side of the story. There's a chance that he is NOT a lowlife bag of dirt. He may, in fact, NOT be a revolting parasite, making the world a worse place through wretched, destructive self-interest. He MAY—though this seems unlikely—be a halfway decent human being.

    I trust that this sincere posting will serve to keep me from being sued by any reprehensible weasels.

    I hasten to point out that I am not suggesting that Mr. Leone is a reprehensible weasel. There is just not enough information at this point to determine exactly what kind of weasel he is.

  19. #19
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluebottle1
    I don't know the law in Canada, but this would likely have to be based on some kind of a premises liability theory. If that's the case, he would have to be able to show that the defendants actually knew about this hole he's complaining of or that they acted willfully or wantonly in injuring him
    If Blue Mountain knew they had a big hole recently show up that that wasn't there previously, and it could injure somebody if not taken care of, and did nothing reasonable to prevent a possible accident because of this hazard, then there might be a case.

    It would be good to hear the whole story.
    "My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything" -Peter Golkin
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  20. #20
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by konageezer
    You know, perhaps I was too hasty with my first post here—I'm just reflecting on previous occasions where I jumped in without being apprised of ALL the facts, so, to be fair:

    We haven't heard this lawyer's side of the story. There's a chance that he is NOT a lowlife bag of dirt. He may, in fact, NOT be a revolting parasite, making the world a worse place through wretched, destructive self-interest. He MAY—though this seems unlikely—be a halfway decent human being.
    It's possible. He may be a decent human being. then again maybe I'm a Chinese het Pilot
    Quote Originally Posted by konageezer

    I trust that this sincere posting will serve to keep me from being sued by any reprehensible weasels.
    **** 'em
    Quote Originally Posted by konageezer

    I hasten to point out that I am not suggesting that Mr. Leone is a reprehensible weasel. There is just not enough information at this point to determine exactly what kind of weasel he is.
    The worst kind. The type that gets good trails shut down

  21. #21
    Guy with bike
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    This reminds me of a case that was recently ruled on it England.

    http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/thi...p?story=633356

    Some good quotes:

    Mr Justice Burnton said it was necessary to discriminate between cases of negligence and those where people knew and accepted the risks they were taking. In this case the law would "protect individual freedom of action, and ... avoid imposing a grey and dull safety regime on everyone".

    ...

    Mary Kane, who chairs the winter swimming club, said: "This was a test case with wide implications for all open-water swimming in England, and represents another successful attack by ordinary citizens on the nanny state and the government-sponsored cult of health and safety."

    Ms Kane said the club was proud to have played its part "in re-establishing an important principle of personal freedom in this country, which is taken for granted everywhere else, that responsible adults must be free to decide for themselves whether to pursue recreational activities involving an element of risk."

  22. #22
    Kicked out of the Webelos bluebottle1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by closetbiker
    If Blue Mountain knew they had a big hole recently show up that that wasn't there previously, and it could injure somebody if not taken care of, and did nothing reasonable to prevent a possible accident because of this hazard, then there might be a case.

    It would be good to hear the whole story.

    But even then, I think there's an argument that anyone who takes on biking--be it road, offroad, whatever--assumes the risk of some bumps, bruises, and broken bones. Hell, I've had a few, and I haven't sued anyone over them yet and never do intend to. Creeps like this guy give my profession a bad name, and, Lord knows, we don't need any help doing that.

  23. #23
    Who said turtles are slow
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    Lawyer sues trail owners, town, after he takes a fall on a ride

    Here is some more discussion about this guy, his wife is part of the lawsuit too, she is suing for lost companionship, stress & lost wages. Another hint that this is a money grab IMO.

  24. #24
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    Greetings Folks,

    The Kolapore vs. James V. Leone lawsuit is still ongoing. There have
    been new developments since you posted up about it in April 2005.

    I've attached some links that go to updated information (and active
    threads) on mtbr.com addressing this issue. Some gents have obtained
    some of the legal documentation which gives some interesting details.

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=274784
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=74213
    http://www.nsmb.com/shore_news/beardwinter_04_05.php

    So if you can, give those a read. The most interesting snippet I've
    taken in part from
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.ph...36127#poststop :

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    First of all I have the notes filled as Leone v. University of Toronto,
    Barrie Court File No. 04-B8059, heard before the Ontario Superior Court
    of Justice on August 3 and September 6, 2006, with judgment on September
    25, 2006.

    There are some important items that are mentioned in the “Findings”
    section of the document, that are useful for the public and land owners
    alike to know about to provide ever increasing wisdom in the world we
    live in.

    - Always put up signage indicating users of trail must do so at own
    risk, and that trails are not regularly maintained, inspected, and may
    contain hazards. Otherwise you could be held responsible for accidents
    if you own the land or had a hand in building the trails.

    - Signage must be at all points of trail entry, not just the head of
    trails. Mr. Leone apparently entered the trails system on a side road
    and therefore saw no signs.

    - Even though you may only allow trails to be used for cross country
    skiing during the winter months, the fact you may be doing trail
    maintenance during other months of the year means that the trails are
    your responsibility all year round (unless you put up signage mentioned
    in first point, or clearly put up signage prohibiting other specific
    activities).

    - If you know that other types of users are using your trails for other
    activities than intended, like mountain biking, ATV’s, camping, or
    horseback riding, then you have a duty of care (ie. responsibility) for
    these people. Unless, of course, you put up signage as mentioned in
    first point.

    - If someone has an accident on your property, always make sure you act
    by doing something to prevent it from happening next time. Otherwise you
    will be accused of negligence if you do nothing.

    - Even though a hole may be created by an ATV on your trails, causing
    someone to trip over it and break their spine, you are responsible for
    this hazard and fixing it (unless you have clear signs indicating that
    ATV’s are not allowed, or again, if you have signage as mentioned in
    first point).

    >From the statements of the court mentioned in this document, it appears
    that Mr. Leone has a good case to win so far.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------


  25. #25
    pj7
    pj7 is offline
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    Interesting thought here, but what is all of this wasa scam?
    First, the guy makes a living by manipulating the laws for the "poor victim".
    One day he realises, "I could make even more as a victim!!"
    And here we are today.
    I am a sig Virus. Please put me in your sig so that I can continue to replicate.

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