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Old 11-25-02, 09:34 PM   #1
aerobat
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Something to think about.

This was sent out in our local cycleing bulletin board:

There has been some discussion recently about liability during club rides, especially for new riders joining the ride without being MCA members (and therefore insured to some minimum level, at least).

Attached is an succinct account of the major accident and lawsuit that resulted from a weekly ride in Pennsylvania. Evidently the insurers for the LBS had to pay the claim since some of the riders were wearing their logo shirts. I believe the action started off by naming each rider personally on the ride as a defendant.

Note the facts of shouting an approach warning and then the victim moving into the line of travel.

Note the difference between US and Canadian health insurance - at least the lack of health insurance is not a motivator for action in this country (although pain and suffering, lost wages and property damage would be) .

J.

Date: Sun, 24 Nov 2002 19:39:39 -0500
To: Tandem list <tandem@hobbes.ucsd.edu>
Subject: A story about liability and personal responsibility

Here goes a story. It was in _Bicycling_ a few years back, and was a front
page story in _The Philadelphia Inquirer_. I know some of the participants.

The ride is called "the Drives" and is a 25+ year old Philadelphia
institution. It is sponsored by no one. Racers and fast recreational riders
gather behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays to do
three fast laps of West River Drive and Kelly Drive. Speeds approach 35 mph
on the final lap. Any one who can hang is welcome. Open roads, used by other
riders.

Alice Sherlock is riding her bike. She is wearing a helmet, riding as far to
the right as is practicable, and is by all accounts operating her bike in a
safe and legal manner. Every year she takes a cycling vacation, and she is
getting in shape for one.

Along comes a large-ish group, 30 - 40 riders, "On Your Left!" She is
spooked, or maybe moves slightly left as she looks over her left shoulder,
or something. Crash, bang, ouch. She is seriously hurt, broken eye socket,
bad. Two brothers who happen to own a bike shop - remember, the ride has no
"sponsor" or "owner" - offer to help, get her in an ambulance, take her
bike back to their shop (their undoing, BTW) and generally do the right
thing.

Her insurance runs out. Remember, she is seriously hurt. Folks are looking
around for someone with deeper pockets. An attorney pays a visit to the
shop. Attorney: "Your riders hurt my client." Shop: "Not our, riders, not
our ride." Attorney: "No, she saw riders wearing your team jersey. Must
therefore be your ride. Tell us their names or be sued."

No names were named, but the insurer of the shop did ultimately pay.

Moral? I dunno, sometimes things are not black and white but a dirty shade
of gray.

Pete LaVerghetta
Cheltenham, PA

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Last edited by aerobat; 11-25-02 at 10:03 PM.
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Old 11-29-02, 10:03 AM   #2
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A reminder as to why the US needs both tort law reform AND completely socialized medicine.
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Old 11-29-02, 10:27 AM   #3
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Or maybe get rid of and/or fine the scumbag lawyers that bring about bogus lawsuits.
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Old 12-02-02, 12:19 PM   #4
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Thanks for passing on this story Dave.
Very sad situation for the woman and for the kind-hearted bike shop owners.

I'll have to pass this on to our club president to make sure something like this doesn't happen to our club or sponsers.
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Old 12-02-02, 03:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by RonH
I'll have to pass this on to our club president to make sure something like this doesn't happen to our club or sponsers.
Interesting isn't it? I suppose, if they'd just left her laying there, she'd have still seen the jerseys and sued.

It is indeed time for tort reform.
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Old 12-02-02, 03:15 PM   #6
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Interesting isn't it? I suppose, if they'd just left her laying there, she'd have still seen the jerseys and sued.

It is indeed time for tort reform.
Well, really, it is time for health/medical insurance reform.
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Old 12-02-02, 03:26 PM   #7
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Joe, does this mean if I'm wearing my BikeForums jersey that YOU are going to be sued?
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Old 12-03-02, 02:33 AM   #8
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If seeing a logo printed somewhere on your biking gear is enough to get a company sued, I can understand why Shimano specialises in small components. That has got to be one of the most unfounded case threats ever. The sad part is, it seemed to work.

--J
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Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


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Old 12-03-02, 07:44 AM   #9
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Reminder to self- do not wear team or club jerseys on rides with others.

2nd reminder to self- if someone is badly injured, and you could help in some way, wear a paper bag over your head so they can not recognize you.
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