Is this the end of commercial rafting? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 07-02-2008   #1
 
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Is this the end of commercial rafting?

It will certainly throw the industry a major obsticle.

Supreme Court to Hear Fatal Rafting Case

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Old 07-02-2008   #2
 
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Notice the waivers couldn't be used in court.
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Old 07-02-2008   #3
 
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Shit. That's re-diculous.
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Old 07-02-2008   #4
 
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some more info:

Judge€™s Decision Appears Incorrect - The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

W.Va. Supreme Court to discuss fatal rafting case - Forbes.com


The maritime law thing could be a double-edged sword--if it's NOT used, could the argument be made that rivers are NOT "navigable waterways"?
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Old 07-02-2008   #5
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waivers

Quote:
Originally Posted by caspermike View Post
Notice the waivers couldn't be used in court.
Waiver use in CO is pretty bomb-proof for the ski areas.
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Old 07-02-2008   #6
 
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Waiver use in CO is pretty bomb-proof for the ski areas.
how are the two any bit similar?
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Old 07-02-2008   #7
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Originally Posted by COUNT View Post
Shit. That's re-diculous.
It's only ridiculous if the rafting company didn't do anything grossly negligent.

From one of the articles:

An attorney for the widow of Roger Freeman, who was killed during the trip, accused the outfitter of delaying the trial.

"The real issue," attorney Stephen Skinner said, "is should they have taken these D.C. office workers out in flood conditions."

The river was 10 feet higher than normal when the rafters went out and there was a flood warning in effect from the National Weather Service.

"Despite the fact that the river was too high, too fast, and too violent for commercial rafting, the Petitioners decided that it was safe to take the five-raft trip that day in violation of the West Virginia Whitewater Responsibility Act," according to Skinner's written argument.

As always, there is the issue of personal responsibility but if a rafting company takes out a bunch of rookies at flood stage that don't know any better who's at fault?

Flame away.
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Old 07-02-2008   #8
 
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Hmmm, it's happening in West Virginia and the Judge's name is "Steptoe."

Settle out of court!
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Old 07-02-2008   #9
 
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Mike,

Rafting company provides medium for people to expose themselves to the inherent dangers of nature...the river.

Ski resort provides medium for people to expose themselves to the inherent dangers of nature...the mountain.

Rivers kill people/mountains kill people....people kill people with mountains and rivers.

What's the difference?

The one major difference I see is that the raft company is more responsible for the actually safety and education of a rafter where as a ski resort allows you to get yourself into trouble or make judgement calls where as the raft is a more contained environment where the guide is mostly in control.
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Old 07-02-2008   #10
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I don't understand the legal requirements, but it sounds to me like there are actually 2 separate issues.

The first one is whether or not the rafting companies are acting under maritime laws. This judge has said yes, and that sounds like it has huge legal ramifications because the waivers used by raft companies are not valid in court. It also sounds like that ruling will not hold.

The second is whether or not running at high water levels was negligent and violated regulations. The result of this will not have any significant effect on the industry, while the former will.

Logically, as a citizen of money grubbing America, I think rafting companies generate too much revenue to be shut down by the courts or otherwise.
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