US Liability laws and other mumbojumbo

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buggley
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US Liability laws and other mumbojumbo

Post by buggley » Sat Mar 31, 2012 6:51 am

are there any ride centers in the us?
i know of the park in georgia but what else is ther just for mountain boarders?
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Felix_the_Gat
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Post by Felix_the_Gat » Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:22 am

No. Nothing public anyway. About the only "center" is the one near the MBS office in Colorado.

It is very difficult to find legal places to ride in the US. That is the main reason why the sport has floundered here. Just the opposite, the sport has advanced in the UK due to the wide availablity of places to ride.

What's the difference? The US has hills. The UK has hills.

It comes down to (as does everything else in the world) politics. In the US we have the evil bastards called trail lawyers. They make their living sueing companies for huge profits. No private ATB centers can be established because they can't afford the insurance they have to buy to protect themselves from the legal preditors. No individual will allow you ride on their land for fear of losing their property in a personal injury legal action.

That is the reason skatepark riding is so popular here. Most skateparks are developed and owned by municiple parks departments. Municipalities have given themselves legal protection from law suits that they don't extend to citizens. They are also "self insured" meaning they use tax-payer money to pay off any claims and don't face the increased costs following a claim that the insurance comnpanies charge.

Private skateparks are usually insured through charitable institutions (boy scouts, etc.) that are also self-insured.

Mountainboarding's vitlaity will only be assured following national tort-reform legislation. That will never happen becuase our poliitians are lawyers and rely on their campaign contributions to maintain power.

Sorry. You can find places to ride here but it is very difficult and mostly illegal.

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Post by McCarver » Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:00 am

Another reason to expatriate
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Post by Felix_the_Gat » Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:03 am

McCarver wrote:Another reason to expatriate

Ha, tempting for sure. But, I run toward the sound of gun fire.

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Post by BgSurfer » Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:22 am

Let's not forget one of the most powerful Lobbies (more powerful than Oil) in DC -- INSURANCE Companies/Corporations. They're rates aren't exhorbitant solely because of litigation/pay-out. They're the only game in town and they know it.

To go beyond this comment, we should be in the Pub. But I don't really have much more to say anyway.

EDIT: Also, the US riders are spread out over a very broad area while UK riders are fairly conentrated in close proximity. At $450 a board, you won't get the mainstream involved in what they perceive as an "Extreme Sport." Surfboards are probably the most expensive gravity board. I'm not too familiar with snowboards but the prices I have seen seem cheaper than $600-$1200 a board.
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Post by Brennig » Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:29 am

Find these pay outs ridiculous, someone breaks their leg and gets $1,000,000, what does money have to do with it?!? It makes no sense, the worse is when people sue the NHS, I'm sorry but mistakes happen, and how does money come into the equation. "My child has lost his leg but that doesn't matter because we are now millionaires". My local center had to close down because they got sued, it's the kids fault for riding like a retard and breaking his leg. I just don't see how claims work? What has money got to do with someone falling over, maybe pay if they miss work but not millions.
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Post by BgSurfer » Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:33 am

-- Sorry about the delete and re-post Brennig. Needed to add something --

Let's not forget one of the most powerful Lobbies (more powerful than Oil) in DC -- INSURANCE Companies/Corporations. They're rates aren't exhorbitant solely because of litigation/pay-out. They're the only game in town and they know it.

To go beyond this comment, we should be in the Pub. But I don't really have much more to say anyway.

Also, the US riders are spread out over a very broad area while UK riders are fairly concentrated in close proximity. You have to have numbers to make centers work every week. At $450 a board, you won't get the mainstream involved in what they perceive as an "Extreme Sport." Surfboards are probably the most expensive gravity board. I'm not too familiar with snowboards but the prices I have seen seem cheaper than $600-$1200 a board.
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Post by Brennig » Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:35 am

Mountain biking is getting pretty big in the UK despite being an extreme sport and each bike costing on average $13,870,023,655.02
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Post by BgSurfer » Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:38 am

Brennig wrote:Find these pay outs ridiculous, someone breaks their leg and gets $1,000,000, what does money have to do with it?!? It makes no sense, the worse is when people sue the NHS, I'm sorry but mistakes happen, and how does money come into the equation. "My child has lost his leg but that doesn't matter because we are now millionaires". My local center had to close down because they got sued, it's the kids fault for riding like a retard and breaking his leg. I just don't see how claims work? What has money got to do with someone falling over, maybe pay if they miss work but not millions.


Many remember the McDonalds' lawsuit where the woman made millions for her thigh burns from a cup of hot coffee. When you hear the whole story, her award was inconsequential relative to what McDonalds was doing/making. Our County Attorney gave a seminar and talked about this case.

Not all litigation and high price awards/settlements are unreasonable.

EDIT: Thirteen trillion dollars?
Brennig wrote:Mountain biking is getting pretty big in the UK despite being an extreme sport and each bike costing on average $13,870,023,655.02
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Post by Brennig » Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:40 am

I don't if it's just me, but suing someone never even crosses my mind. It's a suing culture, and it's starting to take hold in the UK. Our adverts are covered with Laywers4you, PPI, and more bollocks.
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Post by BgSurfer » Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:54 am

Brennig wrote:I don't if it's just me, but suing someone never even crosses my mind. It's a suing culture, and it's starting to take hold in the UK. Our adverts are covered with Laywers4you, PPI, and more bollocks.


The McDonald's hot coffee lawsuit may have been a few years before your time.

At the time, McDonalds was advertising that they had the "Hottest Coffee in Town." It wasn't false advertising. They knew theirs was the "hottest."

However, in general, I am in agreement. Lawsuits are too common. However, my son had 4 ankle surgeries. After the first one was a screw up, it took 3 more to repair the first screw up. We had to go to a specialist in another state and not all of the repairs were covered by medical insurance. We did not sue, and the insurance company did not flinch about paying the original Doctor's fee -- driving insurance rates up for everybody because they paid out rather than sue. My son was in excruciating pain for 2-3 years and developed a problem with pain pills as a result. Lots of flaws throughout the system.


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Post by BgSurfer » Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:06 am

Brennig wrote:I don't if it's just me, but suing someone never even crosses my mind. It's a suing culture, and it's starting to take hold in the UK. Our adverts are covered with Laywers4you, PPI, and more bollocks.


The McDonald's hot coffee lawsuit may have been a few years before your time.

At the time, McDonalds was advertising that they had the "Hottest Coffee in Town." It wasn't false advertising. They knew theirs was the "hottest."

In general, I am in agreement. Lawsuits are too common. However, my son had 4 ankle surgeries. After the first one was a screw up, it took 3 more to repair the first screw up. We had to go to a new high-dollar specialist in another state and not all of the repairs were covered by medical insurance. We did not sue, and the insurance company did not flinch about paying the original Doctor's fee -- driving insurance rates up for everybody because they paid out rather than sue. My son was in excruciating pain for 2-3 years (24-7) and developed a problem with pain pills as a result. Lots of flaws throughout the system.

If I didn't have a decent job and what is considered good medical insurance in the US, my son would have been a cripple for life. :mad:
BTW I paid out of my own pocket to the tune of the cost of a new car for this ankle problem, in addition to my insurance policy. Rip-off?

EDIT: Turns out I had more to say than I thought.


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Post by Felix_the_Gat » Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:51 am

McDonalds makes their money honestly. The woman's lawyers who sued made their money dishonestly at the cost to us all.

Sorry to hear about your son. Think how badd it must be like getting proper treatment anywhere other than in the US.

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Post by BgSurfer » Sat Mar 31, 2012 11:04 am

Felix_the_Gat wrote:McDonalds makes their money honestly. The woman's lawyers who sued made their money dishonestly at the cost to us all.


Actually, McDonalds was willfully breaking the law. They were gleefully paying their $10,000/day fine (not exact but similar) while making several million dollars per day selling coffee hotter than the legal temperature.

The woman was awarded an equivalent to the average profit McDonalds made selling "hot coffee" in one day, while violating the law. The "excessive/illegal temperature" caused severe damage because of a skin condition she had.

EDIT: Had they not been sued and lost, they would have continued to knowingly break the law while happily paying a fine that was no more than a slap on the wrist.


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Post by Brennig » Sat Mar 31, 2012 11:14 am

Yeah you should be paid for the operation (although that's free here) but you shouldn't be paid in exess unless it goes towards that cause, when people buy a new home or car it gets silly. Car insurance here is ridiculous ($3000 for a 1 litre) because people claim whiplash, they get thousands for a injury you can't prove. I just don't think people should get paid in exess of the accident. In the UK we have a national health service that's why my argument wasn't completely valid for your case.
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Post by BgSurfer » Sat Mar 31, 2012 11:24 am

Brennig wrote:Yeah you should be paid for the operation (although that's free here) but you shouldn't be paid in exess unless it goes towards that cause, when people buy a new home or car it gets silly. Car insurance here is ridiculous ($3000 for a 1 litre) because people claim whiplash, they get thousands for a injury you can't prove. I just don't think people should get paid in exess of the accident. In the UK we have a national health service that's why my argument wasn't completely valid for your case.


In my son's case, he couldn't work for 2-3 years, lost income. He could not play sports, ride skateboards, go hiking in the woods (dollar value?). He was confined to a chair, playing computer games all day. He was 21-24 at this time, when he should have been in his prime.

Intangible costs: excruciating pain 24-7, little sleep, drug addiction. And he was deemed "un-insurable" by other companies. (I had to invoke the COBRA clause that is law in the US to get him insurance until it was recently extended to 26.)

Having been through this experience, my perspective on health care/insurance and punitive damage awards (including suffering) have changed.
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Post by BgSurfer » Sat Mar 31, 2012 11:35 am

Brennig wrote:Yeah you should be paid for the operation (although that's free here) but you shouldn't be paid in exess unless it goes towards that cause, when people buy a new home or car it gets silly. Car insurance here is ridiculous ($3000 for a 1 litre) because people claim whiplash, they get thousands for a injury you can't prove. I just don't think people should get paid in exess of the accident. In the UK we have a national health service that's why my argument wasn't completely valid for your case.


In my son's case, he couldn't work for 2-3 years, lost income. He could not play sports, ride skateboards, go hiking in the woods (dollar value?). He was confined to a chair, playing computer games all day. He was 21-24 at this time, when he should have been in his prime.

Intangible costs: excruciating pain 24-7, little sleep, drug addiction. And he was deemed "un-insurable" by other companies, pre-existing conditions. (I had to invoke the COBRA clause that is law in the US just to get him health insurance until family coverage was recently extended to age 26.) Without COBRA, it would have cost me close to $80,000 to have his ankle repaired properly -- most US citizens could not afford this and it would have severely impacted my retirement funds.)

Having been through this experience, my perspective on health care/insurance and punitive damage awards (including suffering) have changed.
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Post by MarcATB » Sun Apr 01, 2012 1:44 am

What about snowboard centers? How do they work? They belong to mountains, probably... but mountainboard parks should too... they could be on same place and run by the same people?
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Post by Felix_the_Gat » Sun Apr 01, 2012 8:57 am

MarcATB wrote:What about snowboard centers? How do they work? They belong to mountains, probably... but mountainboard parks should too... they could be on same place and run by the same people?

Ski resorts here were used in the early days of riding in Colorado. I think there is still one in Virginia. Resorts can't make the money with the cost of insurance and the low participation numbers. We know why the insurance is so high and that municipalitites are exempt.

In the US, municipal parks departments need to be lobbied for small, purpose- built mountainboard parks.

That would solve insurance problem. As importantly, it would also get ATBing out into the puiblic and increase the market with new riders. The parks should be built to allow bike riders also. Unless you are in a town with a lot of ATB riders, ATB parks can't be justified without the dual use feature. Parks departments could build a demo mountainboard park every time they build a skate or BMX park. I could see board design adapting to a smaller scale on a prepared surface.

What would it look like? Should they be on slopes with a walk up or flow with wall rides?

I would like a park with big roll ins and transitions in a bowl design and a street course. Roll ins height and location would depend in the degree of slope of the park.

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Post by Felix_the_Gat » Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:18 am

BgSurfer wrote:Actually, McDonalds was willfully breaking the law.


I'll agree they should be liable for civil damages if they were violating the law. How much money McDonalds makes is irrelevant to their culpability for too hot coffee injuries.

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