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  1. #1
    Senior Member CranxOC's Avatar
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    OUTRAGE - Please Read

    A story just broke that has me infuriated, outraged and confused. The parents of Mark Reynolds, the mountain biker who was attacked and killed by the mountain lion at Whiting Ranch Regional Park, are suing the county of Orange stating that county officials “should have reasonably known that the park was dangerous.”

    Let’s consider for a moment the sport for which we, along with Mr. Reynolds, have such a passion. It is a sport that is rife with inherent danger and risk. From the too fast descent down a rocky, rutted single track, to trying to skirt the edge of a rain-rutted section washed out fire-road, to ducking a low hanging tree branch when you’re barreling down a hill; our sport not only contains risk it invites it with open arms. With that risk that we invite into our sport arises another: an inherent risk of death.

    We don’t really think about it too often but it’s there, ever present, the chance that we might fall off our bikes and crack our skulls; the chance that we could plummet over the side of a cliff; the chance that we could get run over by a car while crossing a road section; and, yes, the chance that we could get attacked, and possibly killed, by some type of animal on some section of wilderness. This is our sport and this is the way we like it.

    Now comes this lawsuit which removes all personal responsibility which Mr. Reynolds had and states that, somehow, the county should have protected him from himself. Guess what folks, there are only two ways for the government, in this case, to protect us: 1) they can wipe out the entire mountain lion population in order to make things safe for us humans (forget the fact that we are in their territory, no the other way around) or 2) they can close the park so that no one can use it. Let’s see, considering the money it would cost to defend lawsuit after lawsuit of people getting hurt on trails (gee, that rut caused me to fall shouldn’t have been there…that rock on the edge of the trail that I whacked my knee on was wholly inappropriate…that sandy patch really knocked me off my ride…I’M SUING!) do you think it’s completely outside the realm of possibility that our local trails could get shut down as a result of an irresponsible action such as this?

    I feel for Mr. Reynolds’ family, I honestly do. I grieved when I heard about the attack that happened on a trail that I ride at least once a month (at least when it’s not raining all the time.) I donated money to help both victims of this attack with their medical/funeral costs. I even went to the bike rally held at Irvine Park in order to memorialize this rider who – by all accounts – loved this sport as much as he loved anything in his entire life.

    Now, instead of feeling sorry for the family, I feel nothing but contempt because they are letting their personal grief and greed undermine the very thing that their son loved doing the most. Through this lawsuit, Mr. Reynolds’ parents are not only attacking the county of Orange, they are attacking every person that make mountain biking a significant portion of their lives; they are attacking the advocates who work tirelessly to keep our trails open; and they are attacking us.

    At this point, I’m not quite sure what to do about this besides send this out to every person I know who might care, hope that, somehow, we can reach the people who are about to perpetrate this crime against our sport and, perhaps, get them to reconsider. I didn’t know Mark but, based upon his passion and dedication to this sport that was exhibited throughout his life, my guess is that he would be outraged by his parents’ actions as well.

    Regardless of where you live, this is an issue that you should care about because frivolous litigation against those who mange our trails is something that can literally cripple our sport.

    Sincerely,

    Chris Messina
    mtbfrenzy@mac.com
    "If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts." - Albert Einstein

  2. #2
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    What will end up happening is that they'll just close that park to recreational folks... all because they'll be afraid of getting sued. You'd think these people would take some responsibility for their son being out there on the trail.

    Unfortunately, we are a litigous society. People are so sue happy and greedy that they'll take you to court over anything rather than take on personal responsibility and acknowledge that sometimes bad things happen!

    Koffee

  3. #3
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    The stinkin' attorney who took this case should be disbarred. (Ironic statement here) There oughtta be a law...
    1 Chainring; $35, 1 Cog; $25, 14 Gears; Priceless.

  4. #4
    Senior Member CranxOC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by koffee brown
    What will end up happening is that they'll just close that park to recreational folks... all because they'll be afraid of getting sued. You'd think these people would take some responsibility for their son being out there on the trail.

    Unfortunately, we are a litigous society. People are so sue happy and greedy that they'll take you to court over anything rather than take on personal responsibility and acknowledge that sometimes bad things happen!

    Koffee
    Exactly and that's why we need to do something, anything, that will at least let these people know that Mark's community, the group of people with whom he identified most, are likely going to be hurt by their selfish actions.
    "If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts." - Albert Einstein

  5. #5
    more ape than man timmhaan's Avatar
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    i wonder how far it will go: don't most parks have a "use at your own risk" type of warning anyway? when i lived in AZ, there was a girl who was killed by a black bear in one of the state parks. the parents sued, and i believe the park was ordered to put up more signs. they didn't shut down the area as most people were expecting them too.

  6. #6
    ÖöÖöÖöÖöÖö Dannihilator's Avatar
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    I don't blame you at all for being outraged.
    Strike like an eagle and sacrifice the dove.
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  7. #7
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    There is not yet a 100% chance of the park being closed, but I do see it as a distinct possibilty. Something similar on a smaller scale has happenend near here. Some land was fenced off. I do think suing the county is wrong too. Hopefully a judge will keep it from happening.

    However, when a close loved one dies, you are not rational or logical. The confusion of "why did it happen" takes over. The emotion eliminates the logical thinking process for a while. All these people can think about is "why?' And they are looking to blame something or, someone. They would blame just about anything if it seemed at all feasible, even a little. There is an anger too, that can be too much to bear if it is undirected and too vague. If someone suggests you funnel the anger towards something, it seems like a good idea.( like the Orange county) The family is grieving so much that they can be excused from being logical for a while.(not forever!) They are not looking at it from the same perspective as everyone else. They are looking through a fog right now. The grief has a life of it's own, it drives everything for a while. I suspect greed is not running through the minds of the family, they are easily manipulated right now.

    In fact it should be expected. This is typical. But, someone else, should be helping them keep from making the wrong decisions. Another family member, the attorney, a friend, someone.
    I know this does not help change, or reduce the potential of the park being closed, but I would blame the person (people) who helped things get this far. Not the family, not right now anyway. They probably don't see how wrong it is.

    I DO think the outrage is justified too.
    Last edited by 2manybikes; 03-23-05 at 03:01 PM. Reason: incomplete

  8. #8
    EmperorNorton II norton's Avatar
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    There's so much of this kind of stuff in the news lately that I, a former news junky, have tuned it out.....

  9. #9
    rower with a bike problem blacktrek's Avatar
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    One of the many things wrong with the world today is its lack of personal responsibility. That alone is worth being outraged over, but when something you love is threatened by it, all the more reason I say. You have every right to feel like you do.

  10. #10
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Typical

  11. #11
    fanatik Speedub.Nate's Avatar
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    I hate lawsuits like this, *especially* when it's the spouse or parents suing on behalf of the deceased (whom, I would like to believe, would not have approved of such an irresponsible claim).

    Check out this one:

    Death of a skier points to an invisible danger
    Sunday, March 06, 2005
    Jean Ray says she clearly remembers the crisp blue sky of May 24, 1998, when she dropped off her husband at California's Mammoth Mountain for a Sunday of cross- country skiing around Horseshoe Lake.

    It was the last time she saw him alive.

    The body of Donald James Ray, 58, was found the next morning, skis on, in a snow cave beside an outbuilding. Ray's widow is sure the killer was carbon dioxide.

    "I found out more than I ever wanted to know" about CO2, she says.

    CO2 is essential for life on Earth. Plants take in the odorless, invisible gas and give off oxygen. Without heat-trapping CO2 in the atmosphere, the planet would be frigid.

    But in high concentrations, CO2 takes your breath away. It has been used for anesthesia, treating schizophrenia, and euthanizing pigs in slaughterhouses.

    On rare occasions, volcanic CO2 pools in craters and geological depressions, with deadly results. Natural leaks have asphyxiated people in Japan and Indonesia, and have killed bears at Death Gulch in Yellowstone National Park. In central Italy, carbon dioxide has been claiming lives since Roman times.

    Around Mammoth Mountain, CO2-saturated soil has caused massive tree kills since 1990. Geologists blame earthquakes for venting the gas. Heavy snowfall traps it near the ground.

    Ray says she believes her husband, a retired truck driver and an avid skier and cyclist, was overcome while clambering up a snowbank for lunch atop a restroom building. The coroner's report was inconclusive; CO2 asphyxiation leaves few traces.

    But the gas concentration where Donald Ray fell was 70 percent. Levels around 20 percent bring unconsciousness in a breath or two.

    Ray's widow, a retired schoolteacher, sued about a lack of warnings posted at Inyo National Forest. The government settled for $320,000, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney William Spivak Jr.

    A rumbling in the night was the only warning before the worst- known CO2 disaster.

    Nyos, a crater lake in Cameroon, in west-central Africa, erupted in 1986, killing 1,800 nearby villagers.

    "I remember the smell" -- the stench of death, says Joseph Devine, a member of Brown University's geological sciences department who was among the first scientists to arrive.

    Bill Evans, a chemist for the U.S. Geological Survey who studies deadly gases, recalls flying in a helicopter over devastation that suggested a volcanic blast.

    "I was stunned," Evans says.

    Evans suspects a rockslide agitated CO2 pooled at the bottom of the deep lake, in northwestern Cameroon. The effect was like shaking a huge bottle of seltzer, then loosening the bottle cap.

    Two years before, a similar incident took 37 lives at Monoun, a crater lake about 60 miles south of Nyos.

    Today pipes in both lakes serve as release valves, harmlessly venting CO2 like fizzy fountains.

    Evans says these natural disasters argue for extreme caution when burying CO2 in old oil and gas fields. "Carbon sequestration" aims to slow global warming by capturing CO2 from fossil fuels, and storing it in geologically stable formations.

    "But it's not that simple," Evans says. "Anytime you change the fluid pressure within the Earth, you risk creating seismicity You have to be very careful how you do this."

    -- Kevin Coughlin

  12. #12
    Old School Rad mtnbiker66's Avatar
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    People are stupid! If someone scrapes me up off the trail one day I hope my Wife knows it was my own doing.
    Like a circus monkey on a stolen Harley......

  13. #13
    Senior Member swifferman's Avatar
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    Well, no offense, but I kind of agree with the parents here. The park shouldn't be open to the public in the first place if lions are running around it. Of course, the city could've easily turned it over to some company who could've in turn just put up a sign, but if they didn't and if the park was city controlled I kinda agree with the parents.

    Lions+people=bad

    Disregard the above!

    Please and thanks
    Last edited by swifferman; 03-23-05 at 08:23 PM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member CranxOC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swifferman
    Well, no offense, but I kind of agree with the parents here. The park shouldn't be open to the public in the first place if lions are running around it. Of course, the city could've easily turned it over to some company who could've in turn just put up a sign, but if they didn't and if the park was city controlled I kinda agree with the parents.

    Lions+people=bad
    You obviously don't have any clue about mountain lion behavior. Mountain lions are literally everywhere that there is wilderness here in California. They have a roam radius of over 200 miles (meaning each lion’s territory can cover that much distance regularly) and they make their habitat in wooded areas.

    You want to close down the trails that have mountain lions present? Well you’re talking about closing every single solitary trail in California and in most of the surrounding states. Mountain lions are an inherent risk that goes along with mountain biking in California, just like Grizzlies are in other parts of the country.

    Please educate yourself a little better before making a response such as the one above; thanks.
    "If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts." - Albert Einstein

  15. #15
    Senior Member CranxOC's Avatar
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    BTW, the park has, and has had signs up for years warning park users about mountain lions, rattle snakes, bobcats, etc. They live there, we need to watch out for them.
    "If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts." - Albert Einstein

  16. #16
    ÖöÖöÖöÖöÖö Dannihilator's Avatar
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    Swifferman, the smack down you just recieved is earned.
    Strike like an eagle and sacrifice the dove.
    Words and Stuff.

  17. #17
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    You have got to be kidding. There has to be some degree of responsibility. On any trail you have potential of getting injured. Anytime you step onto natures door it is your job and an intelligent human being to understand the risks INCLUDING natural predators. In my area, bears and cayotes are around. I understand this and it is advertised and known. It is my responsibility, NOT whistlers.

  18. #18
    Senior Member swifferman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CranxOC
    You obviously don't have any clue about mountain lion behavior. Mountain lions are literally everywhere that there is wilderness here in California. They have a roam radius of over 200 miles (meaning each lion’s territory can cover that much distance regularly) and they make their habitat in wooded areas.

    You want to close down the trails that have mountain lions present? Well you’re talking about closing every single solitary trail in California and in most of the surrounding states. Mountain lions are an inherent risk that goes along with mountain biking in California, just like Grizzlies are in other parts of the country.

    Please educate yourself a little better before making a response such as the one above; thanks.
    I said I agree with the parents in that their law suit will most likely result in a verdict for them. The city probably did not do all it could to prevent an accident from happening.

    What's the difference if they're everywhere or not? If you have murderers at every playground do you say, "Oh, they're at every playground so there's nothing we can do." Obviously not, so not entirely sure how it's different depending on the numbers.

    But I still don't agree that mountain biking should take place where animals would be likely to strike. Not entirely sure how you can defend yourself if a lion goes chasing after you. You sure as hell won't be able to outrun him.

  19. #19
    Senior Member CranxOC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maelstrom
    You have got to be kidding. There has to be some degree of responsibility. On any trail you have potential of getting injured. Anytime you step onto natures door it is your job and an intelligent human being to understand the risks INCLUDING natural predators. In my area, bears and cayotes are around. I understand this and it is advertised and known. It is my responsibility, NOT whistlers.
    ...and if you happen to get eaten, you alone made the decision to take that risk when you stepped on that trail. It's funny; I sent this same message out to several hundred people today through a couple of Yahoo MTB groups I belong to and it's amazing how supportive the response has been.

    We will be taking some sort of action here shortly (a petition, letter writing campaign, something) that will remain respectful but will unquestionably show the family that the MTB community - which Mark was an avid member of - will potentially be severely harmed by their actions.

    I'll keep you all updated as to the progress.
    "If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts." - Albert Einstein

  20. #20
    Photog Extraordinaire Crack'n'fail's Avatar
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    This might sound a little off topic, but I hope you understand where I'm going with this:

    My mother died from Cervical Cancer at the age of 49. It had been treated and gone into remission but her doctor misread her (don't know how to spell this) papsmear and missed it coming back. By the time they caught it the next time around it had advanced so badly that it took her life. My uncle is a lawyer and immediately wanted my father to take it to court. Apparently we stood to make a fortune. My father refused. He said that it would do nothing but bring us more grief and raise the cost of healthcare for everyone else. Besides, he said, it's not going to bring her back and that's the loss we have to deal with now. Why make doctors afraid to make mistakes and push the cost of healthcare even farther out of reach for some people?

    My father got the bigger picture. He's my hero.

  21. #21
    Senior Member CranxOC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swifferman
    I said I agree with the parents in that their law suit will most likely result in a verdict for them. The city probably did not do all it could to prevent an accident from happening.

    What's the difference if they're everywhere or not? If you have murderers at every playground do you say, "Oh, they're at every playground so there's nothing we can do." Obviously not, so not entirely sure how it's different depending on the numbers.

    But I still don't agree that mountain biking should take place where animals would be likely to strike. Not entirely sure how you can defend yourself if a lion goes chasing after you. You sure as hell won't be able to outrun him.
    You're out to lunch and obviously have no ability to see reason. This isn't a matter of opinion here, this is fact. We're talking about ANIMALS here, not people. We are encroaching upon their natural habitat, not the other way around; how can you not see this? Also, your anology with the murderers is completely and utterly nonsensical; how does one even come close to equating to the other?

    Finally, you're last "point" as to MTB'ing not taking place in areas where animals would be likely to strike is idiocy at its finest. Animals are likely to strike any time you're in the wilderness. Wild dogs, bears, snakes, mountain lions, alligators, wolves, etc, etc, etc are all out there and any and all "likely to strike" at any time depending upon the circumstances, their level of hunger and a million other factors. Based upon your logic, none of us should ever be allowed to venture into any wilderness area for fear that we might be attacked. Grow up and take some personal responsibility for your actions!
    "If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts." - Albert Einstein

  22. #22
    ÖöÖöÖöÖöÖö Dannihilator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swifferman
    I said I agree with the parents in that their law suit will most likely result in a verdict for them. The city probably did not do all it could to prevent an accident from happening.

    What's the difference if they're everywhere or not? If you have murderers at every playground do you say, "Oh, they're at every playground so there's nothing we can do." Obviously not, so not entirely sure how it's different depending on the numbers.

    But I still don't agree that mountain biking should take place where animals would be likely to strike. Not entirely sure how you can defend yourself if a lion goes chasing after you. You sure as hell won't be able to outrun him.
    What part of this don't you understand? There are risks even on paved multi use trails. It's also impossible to have an area that is animal free(Non dangerous and dangerous alike.) If done your way we would all be sitting indoors riding stationairy bikes. On the road there are risks of getting hit and killed by a car and on the trails you can get attacked. Face it the outdoors can not be controlled the only controlled area is in the indoors and where is the fun in that. If I get attacked and killed by wolfs it's not the wolf's fault I got killed, it's the nature of the animal, when you hit the trails, you basically sign a contract saying that you accept that you could wind up not walking out from it. You agree to the risk, the government is not responsible for the animals behavior.

    Also, the parents are not thinking straight in this case and with their son being a very passionate mountainbiker who probably took part in alot of major aspects of the trail care in that area. This lawsuit the parents are pressing is a diservice to their sons memory.
    Strike like an eagle and sacrifice the dove.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member CranxOC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crack'n'fail
    This might sound a little off topic, but I hope you understand where I'm going with this:

    My mother died from Cervical Cancer at the age of 49. It had been treated and gone into remission but her doctor misread her (don't know how to spell this) papsmear and missed it coming back. By the time they caught it the next time around it had advanced so badly that it took her life. My uncle is a lawyer and immediately wanted my father to take it to court. Apparently we stood to make a fortune. My father refused. He said that it would do nothing but bring us more grief and raise the cost of healthcare for everyone else. Besides, he said, it's not going to bring her back and that's the loss we have to deal with now. Why make doctors afraid to make mistakes and push the cost of healthcare even farther out of reach for some people?

    My father got the bigger picture. He's my hero.
    Your father's a noble man of principle. My wife is an PA Oncologist and deals with other doctor's mis-diagnosis of cancers all the time. What we have to accept is that nobody - not even the world's foremost experts on any given subject - are going to be correct 100% of the time. Is there a time and a place to sue? Absolutely! But, come on, how many of the rest of us have to suffer for the misguided grief or irresponsibility of the few?
    "If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts." - Albert Einstein

  24. #24
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crack'n'fail
    This might sound a little off topic, but I hope you understand where I'm going with this:

    My mother died from Cervical Cancer at the age of 49. It had been treated and gone into remission but her doctor misread her (don't know how to spell this) papsmear and missed it coming back. By the time they caught it the next time around it had advanced so badly that it took her life. My uncle is a lawyer and immediately wanted my father to take it to court. Apparently we stood to make a fortune. My father refused. He said that it would do nothing but bring us more grief and raise the cost of healthcare for everyone else. Besides, he said, it's not going to bring her back and that's the loss we have to deal with now. Why make doctors afraid to make mistakes and push the cost of healthcare even farther out of reach for some people?

    My father got the bigger picture. He's my hero.
    Good man.

  25. #25
    Ride it, don't fondle it! Wheel Doctor's Avatar
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    Life is inherently dangerous. Was this the same incident where a female rider was severely injured by a ML and was saved by her friend and another rider. The rescue crew saw another body, that of a male rider who upon later investigation was killed by the same lion the attacked the girl? If so the story was on TV (reenactment by Animal Planet). It appears that he threw his chain and was fixing it when attacked. I believe I saw signs posted and the narrator indicated that it was common knowledge that ML were in the area which skirts large tracts of residental homes and businesses. While their at it why not sue the the bike manufacturer, the component manufacturer and anyone else with deep pockets. involved with the chain problem. Not only may you lose a recreational facility, kids have lost parks with monkey bars, skating rinks, skateboard parks. FOBS I call it. "Fear Of Being Sued". It affects every aspect of our life. Tommy a 17 year old that works for me wanted to go out on the trail with me and some friends. One of them said he won't do it. He said what if Tommy gets hurt and his parents sue us? You can't do anything these days without FOBS. Can't even take a kid out for some healthy fun. The whole thing pisses me off. When I was a kid one parent took us all to the beach, biking, skating, canoeing etc. No one was worried about FOBS.

    I hope you guys don't lose this fine recreational area. Next thing ya know we will need Advance Directives filed saying that our love ones have no standing to sue if we are killed doing something we choose to do that is inherently dangerous. Like MTBing, Whitewater Kayaking.

    Most of us feel for the parents grief, I wish that they would take into account their sons love of the sport and know that he would very likely be angry about their action.

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