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New kites and liability insurance.

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Babel
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Re: New kites and liability insurance.

Postby Babel » Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:37 pm

Dr Makani wrote: I am not quite sure if you are involved in a lot of liability cases. I am sure you are aware that every state also has its own set of rules. Not that I want to join a spitting match with you, but I just beg to differ here.
The customer can actually trust in the product being produced properly.
That's actually a dangerous proposition. 8) The liability laws have been made with that in mind. But - I would think that reality is far, far away from that. I would be surprised that you would buy a new/used car without a test drive just because 'there are laws guaranteeing me certain rights'. I am very sure that your 'test drive' has more to it than just kicking the tires. In the end you do you research since you and your family depends on it. Same for a kite. I am sure you see my point.
Most kites can only be tuned in the way that you change the bar pressure and turning speed. What else would you tune?
You will be surprised what you all can check and tune on kites.

peace
Yep, I have. However, mostly in Germany. Due to my masters degree in law comparisons of abglo-american common law and civil law I assumed that, like in other areas, the liability rules are to some extend universal. Oversimplified: If you make a faulty product as a producer, you are liable for the damage. However, knowing how company friendly and contra consumer the US-legislation is I totally believe you, if you say thats not the case.

Test drive: Of course I test drive a car before I buy it new; I also do that with a kite. Reason is to see if I like the way it drives/flies. Yet, I have never heard of anyone test driving the exact same car he then bought from the dealer, in order to see if the wheels will come off. If its a new car, where is the point. Not sure if thats only because I buy Audi... With a used car its different: I would always drive the used car to a garage in order to have it thoroughly checked by an expert. Thats not because of production defects, but because the car might have been in an accident or the seller done something to the car I would want to know.

Final and for me most important question: How do you tune a RPM or a Rebel and make it fly better???

Dr Makani
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Re: New kites and liability insurance.

Postby Dr Makani » Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:54 pm

Babel wrote: Yep, I have. However, mostly in Germany. Due to my masters degree in law comparisons of abglo-american common law and civil law I assumed that, like in other areas, the liability rules are to some extend universal. Oversimplified: If you make a faulty product as a producer, you are liable for the damage. However, knowing how company friendly and contra consumer the US-legislation is I totally believe you, if you say thats not the case.

Test drive: Of course I test drive a car before I buy it new; I also do that with a kite. Reason is to see if I like the way it drives/flies. Yet, I have never heard of anyone test driving the exact same car he then bought from the dealer, in order to see if the wheels will come off. If its a new car, where is the point. Not sure if thats only because I buy Audi... With a used car its different: I would always drive the used car to a garage in order to have it thoroughly checked by an expert. Thats not because of production defects, but because the car might have been in an accident or the seller done something to the car I would want to know.

Final and for me most important question: How do you tune a RPM or a Rebel and make it fly better???
First and foremost - I am not trying to talk down on you. Let me give you a little bit info about me. With my companies I am exactly involved in with what's mentioned. We are retained by major and worldwide manufacturer in a certain industry to represent and testify for them in these liability cases (wrongful death, product or service liability) in the United States. Average restitution is between $250mil to $750mil - and no, it's not kiting or any kite-related industry, but it's manufacturing and safety. And yes, I am not a lawyer, but I am sure I've spent more time in courts in testifying than you ever have been on the water ... :lol:

German laws and US federal/state laws are two different universe. I am not taking your anglo law decree and expertise away, but you have to live here, to understand the absolute different mind and system settings. The intend of US liability laws may have been well spirited, but the reality is far, far away from that.

Last not least to your last, to YOUR most important question, which has to do with YOUR kite. My former post was about TESTING your gear to your best ability to find any imperfection. And IMHO you should test new gear anyway to trim and rig it the right way. It is NOT about your kite. If you want to know what to do with your RPM, start a new thread.

peace

Dr Makani
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Re: New kites and liability insurance.

Postby Dr Makani » Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:11 pm

vkngktr wrote:There are a few types of insurance under the umbrella of Product Liability. The one being discussed here would focus on that policy covering Manufacturing Defects. There are other policies or disclaimers for unintentional use, dangerous product, etc. That's what the warnings on kites are about. I have never seen a warning, nor would it absolve liability, that states "This product may be defective and if it is we are not responsible". In most cases the manufacturer or seller of the product should be covered. Is this a requirement? I don't think so. Is it foolish not to have it? Yes.

Taking the advice given here (which I do) would be to 'test' your gear in a safe environment. Ok. So I go to a very wide beach with no others around in winds appropriate for the kite size. In the scenario given because I am unaware of the defect I launch the kite. It won't depower. I am getting dragged across the beach resulting in only some minor injuries to myself. ... SNIP
Certainly I personally agree with you on certain points. Let me share some reality I've encountered in my career. YOU (as user, consumer, operator, driver ...) have to show that YOU have done everything within your possibility and skills to ensure a SAFE use of the product.
Well, here's the catch. The more you know about kiting, the more it is expected from YOU before you use this product. And believe me, the 'other' side will fine comb Facebook, Twitter and forum sites like here, to proof that you're an expert. :P
We can argue about how 'blond' you want to be or pretend to be. Reality is, the moment you are an intermediate or even advanced rider you'll be on the hook. Especially with kitesurfing/boarding which is considered an extreme sport.

If you can proof and show that you have done anything to test your gear before you go 'hot, you MIGHT be off the hook.

We can argue all day long if that makes sense to you or not. I am just sharing what we've experienced.

peace

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vkngktr
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Re: New kites and liability insurance.

Postby vkngktr » Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:42 pm

Dear Doc. Thanks for the response. I hear what youre saying and dont disagree. Im not here to argue the legal points regarding liability or assigning blame. Im simply saying that a company whether kiting, auto etc. should care enough about their customers and product to help protect them from errors made in the production of their product. In the long run being accountable makes good business sense. Aloha.

BWD
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Re: New kites and liability insurance.

Postby BWD » Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:08 pm

Maybe everyone should remind themselves before they launch a kite, "I could die from this."

Might help keep the focus where it belongs, on managing the primary physical risk.
Just keep saying that, "I could die from this," as you put up a kite you are unfamiliar with in gusty unstable wind:
"Hmm, I never flew this kite before except in 5 knots, it flies a little funny, time to launch, I could die from this, no problem, thank goodness for the warranty and liability coverage, no worries, i could die from this, time to charge it, the sun's out"
Or:
"gee, the wind's a little shifty, never had the new kite out in this much wind. Was it flying right when I put it up on the beach that one time? Is it stable when depowered? Did I even depower it before? Hmm, maybe I could die from this, I think I'll try it at a safer beach first."

It's really not appropriate to treat a kite like a "black box" and just accept it as good, because it is new and has a nice color or logo on it, or a warranty tag.
We do this with ipads, laptops, and things that don't have the same level of risk.
Even with cars that are really powerful and sophisticated, that are like a black box to us under the hood, we drive them a good bit before hanging it all out on a mountain road or trying to hit max. speed on the autobahn.
Or we don't last long.
It's pretty easy to make sure your kite flies right.
The primary risk is that it does not, and you get hurt.
The medical and liability financial risks are secondary.
And it's pretty hard to pin down liability in court anyway.
Remember, the companies that carry multimillion dollar liability policies can also afford to pay a few hundred thousand in attorney fees. And they would usually much rather pay their own attorneys $100k than pay a $50k liability claim without contesting it.

Kite safe.

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RickI
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Re: New kites and liability insurance.

Postby RickI » Fri Jan 03, 2014 2:05 am

I am sorry the kiter was injured, suffered major medical expenses and has found no recourse. I wish him the best in recovery and getting back into things.

NEVER fly a new or unfamiliar kite in strong conditions. This lesson was hammered home over ten years ago and repeated many times since sad to say. Also, always preflight your gear, look it over carefully for irregularities just like what showed up in this case, after the accident unfortunately. With stronger conditions, repeated checks make sense as the consequences of launch errors can be even more severe.

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Laughingman
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Re: New kites and liability insurance.

Postby Laughingman » Fri Jan 03, 2014 2:23 am

NM....
Last edited by Laughingman on Fri Jan 03, 2014 2:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

SupaEZ
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Re: New kites and liability insurance.

Postby SupaEZ » Fri Jan 03, 2014 2:27 am

RickI wrote:I am sorry the kiter was injured, suffered major medical expenses and has found no recourse. I wish him the best in recovery and getting back into things.

NEVER fly a new or unfamiliar kite in strong conditions. This lesson was hammered home over ten years ago and repeated many times since sad to say. Also, always preflight your gear, look it over carefully for irregularities just like what showed up in this case, after the accident unfortunately. With stronger conditions, repeated checks make sense as the consequences of launch errors can be even more severe.
He had a pre-flight one week before when the kite was new....before his accident

He noticed on first flight that the kite seem way too powerful for just an 8

All the clues were there at that very moment

Even with kite fully depowered with trim line the back lines would not slack and kite stayed powered

After that initial flight a full investigation of why this was happening with his new kite was crucial

If after confirming that all his 4 lines on his kite were equal length only 2 other things were possible

Either the wingtip pigtails were way too short or the bridle way too long

Yes in this case a 12m bridle was installed and final inspection if there was one....totally failed him

I am so sad this happened

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Re: New kites and liability insurance.

Postby madworld » Fri Jan 03, 2014 6:04 am

File a report with the consumer products safety commission...may force them to recall.

http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/2014/Cab ... 2-Binding/

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Re: New kites and liability insurance.

Postby longwhitecloud » Fri Jan 03, 2014 6:42 am

Good on the Lloyd dude for posting this in nw kite - he knew he would face some pressure by doing so but ... people will learn from your experience so sleep well at night!

Don't really agree with what he said though, debate good though...

it's not rocket science, kiteboarding is a sport that involves a flying capable wing and as a pilot you are responsible for using basic common sense...... such as

Major Lloyd fail seems to be : not noticing kite was vastly oversheeted in light wind trial flight - sounds like not enough wind to justify test flight or user inexperience not to notice oversheeting ...and other points below. Caution should for sure be humble and help you out where they can though without court system as they did f3ck up but I don't think they are liable for systematic failures of Lloyd - i like the analogy to paragliding/ parachuting regarding flight checks otherwise the world is just getting more stupid by the day..


1. Pilot needs to do pre flight checks.

2. Never launch a new kite /modified kite in high winds first time, check it in light winds, use additional caution with suitable increased buffer zone. Fail.............

3. "first time ever launch new /modified kite /bar /setup please dont let go until i say but let me feel the kite while you hold it to check for anything not seen easily in pre flight checks. eg pulling to one side/ oversheeted......... Fail..........

4. check/ fire /reload your safety systems before you go on water...

5. launch with hand on safety ready to release ...


Some kiteboarders today come across as complete morons and the companies/ associations that pimp how safe kiteboarding is today even more moronic - kind of how kiteboarding finds itself in this exact situation of a kiteboarder suing a kite company.


Don't read this if you don't want to learn from others misfortune's, graphic data.
Anyone can add any comment they want to any cell in the database/additions, recommendations, error correcting.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc ... 5Wnc#gid=0


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