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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2002 3:52 am 
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Brett Gibson is both an attorney and active kiteboarder. He has organized the Mid-Atlantic Kiteboarding Association or M-A-K-A. M-A-K-A is intended to represent kiteboarders in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, and North Carolina. He recently wrote an interesting and timely article titled "ANATOMY OF A KITESUIT", the first of its kind to my knowledge that talks about kiteboarding and liability issues. This article appeared in the recent issue of Kiteboarding Magazine (September 2, 2002) and has been reproduced below with Brett Gibson's permission.

As kiteboarding enters into the mainstream with many new participants, liability issues will continue to grow in significance. This article presents many serious considerations for both kiteboarding participants and for those in the industry. It is said that to be "forewarned is to be forearmed", so taking stock of potential consequences of our actions and our "level of care" is appropriate. The focus of this article is on US law however parallels may exist in other legal systems around the World. Questions and comments may be sent to Brett Gibson at: BigEugene@aol.com

On a related topic, it has been suggested that AKA insurance kiteboarder coverage may be voided if an accident claim results from a gross negligent act. If failure to use a kite depowering leash results in a claim this may constitute one type of gross negligent act and could result in lost insurance coverage. It is obvious that reasonable care to protect bystanders must be employed in this sport and that serious pesonal, financial and access consequences may result from our failure to do so.

Rick Iossi


ANATOMY OF A KITESUIT
By Brett Gibson

Kiteboarding can be dangerous. (Duh…..) With the recent proliferation the sport has seen, injuries, bans and inexperienced riders are on the rise. The growth of kiteboarding is likely to skyrocket for years to come. The extreme nature of the sport will inevitably lead to significant national and international publicity; both for better and for worse. What follows is an outline and discussion of how bad judgment and poor riding decisions could wreak havoc on riders, dealers and manufacturers in the future.

In order to be successful in a traditional negligence claim, four elements must be satisfied: Duty of Care, Breach of that Duty, Causation, and Damages.

DUTY OF CARE

There is no question that a kiteboarder owes a duty of care. But what, exactly, does that mean? Any time you are out in public you owe a duty of care. You owe a duty of care when you walk down the street not to injure other pedestrians. You owe a duty of care when you operate a car, a motorcycle or a wave runner. The operation of a large traction kite is no different. If, due to negligence or recklessness, either causes damage to a bystander, the rider will likely be held accountable.

This duty of care extends to all foreseeable victims within the “zone of danger.â€


{ SHARE_ON_FACEBOOK } { SHARE_ON_TWITTER } { SHARE_ON_ORKUT } { SHARE_ON_DIGG } { SHARE_ON_MYSPACE } { SHARE_ON_DELICIOUS }
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2002 3:06 pm 
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Nice....


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2002 3:19 pm 
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and scary...


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2002 3:42 pm 
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Too true. As this sport grows and our numbers and associated misadventures increase, we need to reassess how we go at this sport. When our numbers were few and we were far from one another it was hard to create much harm for ourselves and the sport. Today it is relatively easy to damage both.

The reality is that we do have a duty to protect bystanders from our actions. If we ignore this along with prudent practices and safety precautions we may be putting up our assets and pocessions for grabs through such acts. Of course toss out access to launches while you are at it. Responsible riding is becoming less of an option and more of an imperative. This goes along with selling kiteboarding gear to untrained people. Such imprudent actions and risky practices will demand a serious price to be paid.

Rick Iossi


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2002 4:30 pm 
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I hope the article does some good. There have been AT LEAST a few comp's since Silkies accident. And i do know for a fact that organizers and sponsors were "enlightened" on ways to make the events more safe--ie, leashes. But from the pictures i saw of Cabarette and the Gorge, there was no one wearing a leash, helmet, or impact vest. Unfortunately, it may take a good attorney :smile: to get the attention of the manufacturers and event organizers. We, the users, can police ourselves. But the powers in advertising will set the stage. PART OF THE SOLUTION OR PART OF THE PROBLEM!


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2002 4:35 pm 
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Location: Vancouver, Canada. rides Naish,Ozone,North, Spotz,Aguera
RickI has posted the following exerpt on the yahoo kitesurf group. It is worth reposting here below.
Chris Glazier
*********************************

<snip>
That is correct, I am an insurance agent and an avid Kiteboarder.
If you have a Homeowners policy and or renters policy, your Liability
protection should follow you anywhere in the world, as long it is not
an intentional act. No policy or limits in the world is better than a
cool head in crowded conditions. Be smart, Ride Hard, Kite Safe.

Ken


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2002 7:03 am 
Fucking american legal system. They should only make movies, hip-hop, big bad cars, wars and hamburgers. They should let other´s take of legal stuff since that system hasn´t got anything to do with justice, it´s all about money. Just like russia, you kill someone in a car accident and it wasn´t your fault, you get 20 years. In U.S. you can get USD 4M in damage by walking onto someone´s car standing on the parking lot and sueing the owner. Over here you´re told to go home unless you want to get a fine for disturbing the court.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2002 9:14 am 
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hey, hey, hey
come down!
It is the American system, so if you don't like it, be happy with your system.
Remember, this is a kiteforum, nothing political or anything else.
But the message of this article is clear:
whenever you ride without safety, you are responsible for the consequences. In the USA it will cost 4 million USD, in Europe 200.000 Euros and in China you might get shot.

So pls leave your political statements at home.

Thx
Toby


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2002 4:34 pm 
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Trash the American legal system, why not; it is a hobby for many over here. This post was made in the interest of trying to secure kiteboarding access, globally. This problem is a lot larger and unaffected internationally by shortcomings in the American legal system. The problem, for now, is NOT THE LEGAL system in the USA or anywhere else. In fact I see it as part of the solution because some riders are ignoring doing what is needed to maintain access. The problem is IRRESPONSIBLE RIDERS.

No one has the right, privilege or option of deciding to put others at risk of injury through indifference or intentional carelessness. I suspect that this position would be backed up in many legal systems throughout the world.

Access is being lost, restricted and compromised in many countries worldwide. These other countries have legal systems of their own unrelated to that in the USA. We should care about maintaining our privilege to kiteboard everywhere. It is going to take responsible riding practices to accomplish this.

Ignore legal systems for now; I am not an attorney anyway, what is the morally correct position in any country? Are we indifferent reckless pests or do we care about our safety, that of others and even the well being of our sport? I know where I would like to come down in this, how about everyone else?

Rick Iossi


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