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 Post subject: Re: New kites and liability insurance.
PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 8:30 pm 
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I agree that the liability is with the kite manufacturer. At least most of it, around 80-90%.

Being a lawyer and a kitesurfer myself there is absolutely no reason why a customer should test the kite for faults by the company. The customer can actually trust in the product being produced properly. The fault is not obvious and thus can not be the problem of the customer. I wouldn't actually know where and how to tune a kite. Most kites can only be tuned in the way that you change the bar pressure and turning speed. What else would you tune?


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 Post subject: Re: New kites and liability insurance.
PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 8:57 pm 
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William Munney wrote:
windybrit wrote:
It's a not unreasonable expectation for a consumer to have that anything they buy should work straight out of the box, but it's also prudent for the same consumer to make checks on something they've purchased before trusting their safety (and that of others) to it. It's not possible to always legislate common sense and reasonable behaviour, and we'd all like to think a manufacturer would carry some sort of coverage against their own failings.... but I guess this thread highlights that some don't. Read the small print on the kite or in the manual, I bet there is some wording in which there will be a blanket denial of any liability put there by legal advisors.
Ultimately the person who is there to best look after you is you ........ caveat emptor, oh and check your home insurance policy for liability cover, to double mine cost pennies a month....

Have a great 2014 , stay safe.


And your policy covers damage to others from any recreational activities? Are there any exclusions?


When I looked into this "homeowners insurance policy" issue, and read my policy, I could not tell, and needed to call my agent. The worry here is that the agent might not have any idea what you are talking about. I used the example of "golf" in the conversation. Below are some interesting facts about "golf-related" injuries. Draw your own parallels. The "actuaries" who do the statistical analysis of the risk may or may not know about the details of our activity, and it may or may not be a good idea to state the exact activity that you are concerned about, when talking to your agent.

Below are some links and excerts from the online articles.

Golf Course Accidents: Injuries from Golf Balls, Golf Clubs and Golf ...


Golf Course Lawsuits and Settlements

Golf courses have faced numerous lawsuits over the years from those injured on the links. In February 2009, a 67-year-old golfer sued Candia Woods Golf Course in New Hampshire after his own golf ball struck a yardage marker and ricocheted into his own eye. In January 2008, a New Jersey woman who was struck by a stray golf ball while watching her husband play golf sued Owl's Creek Golf Course for $1 million. In 2007, a Chicago woman struck in the head by a golf ball sued a golf course and the golfer who hit the ball. If you have been hurt on the golf course, have a personal injury lawyer review your case to determine if negligence on the part of the golf course, another golfer, or even the manufacturer of the golf cart contributed to your injuries.

Accidental golf club injuries.

Over a 2 month period, 33 patients with injuries caused by golf clubs were identified among attenders at the accident and emergency department at Glasgow Royal Infirmary. The vast majority of these were to the face and head, including three compound skull fractures. Attention is drawn to the average age of those injured (8.1 years) and to the fact that only one of the injuries occurred on a golf course. The dangers of unsupervised experimentation with golf clubs by young children are emphasized.


Par for the Course: Golf-Cart Accidents | PropertyCasualty360

The standard Homeowners’ policy excludes coverage for motor-vehicle liability, and a motor vehicle is defined as a self-propelled land vehicle, which would include a golf cart. However, the policy then declares that the exclusion does not apply to a motor vehicle designed for recreational use off public roads and not owned by an insured (the exception also applies to a motorized golf cart that is owned by an insured, under certain conditions). So, the Homeowners’ policy will offer coverage for the insured if he or she inadvertently runs over a fellow golfer and causes some bodily injury.


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 Post subject: Re: New kites and liability insurance.
PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:05 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2007 1:51 am
Posts: 247
Location: Montreal Canada
William Munney wrote:
windybrit wrote:
It's a not unreasonable expectation for a consumer to have that anything they buy should work straight out of the box, but it's also prudent for the same consumer to make checks on something they've purchased before trusting their safety (and that of others) to it. It's not possible to always legislate common sense and reasonable behaviour, and we'd all like to think a manufacturer would carry some sort of coverage against their own failings.... but I guess this thread highlights that some don't. Read the small print on the kite or in the manual, I bet there is some wording in which there will be a blanket denial of any liability put there by legal advisors.
Ultimately the person who is there to best look after you is you ........ caveat emptor, oh and check your home insurance policy for liability cover, to double mine cost pennies a month....

Have a great 2014 , stay safe.


And your policy covers damage to others from any recreational activities? Are there any exclusions?


Specific exclusions were Skydiving and Paragliding, kitesurfing got lumped together with windsurfing and sailing so wasn't considered a problem.


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 Post subject: Re: New kites and liability insurance.
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 3:18 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2004 3:59 am
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Location: Upper Padre . . . . --> Oleander
It is unfortunate the OP was hurt and very much thank you for the warning about yet another risk that may be unseen. yes it is amazing when you get a big pull how it feels like your body will snap in half at the middle. Very glad the injuries were not more grave.

Certainly it seems risky to rely on others for insurance. It seems much more relevant to shop for insurance to cover your needs for health/disability/death and protect your assets. What assets does a direct retail kite company have to recover? And even going through life thinking you may get lucky In the law-suit after the fact does not protect you from the most probable causes of loss.

I learned the hard way when hit by an uninsured motorist who ran a red light. I was sitting motionless at a stoplight and could have done nothing to avoid the collision. The errant driver's 12 year old died in that. Insurance means nothing to the boy or parents now. Neither does the fact that my car delivered 45 mpg. Now my family rides only in IIHS top safety vehicles.

So the real take away in this thread is safety, which is a chain connecting the manufacturers, retailers, riders and communities.


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 Post subject: Re: New kites and liability insurance.
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 3:55 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:00 pm
Posts: 88
William Munney wrote:
windybrit wrote:
It's a not unreasonable expectation for a consumer to have that anything they buy should work straight out of the box, but it's also prudent for the same consumer to make checks on something they've purchased before trusting their safety (and that of others) to it. It's not possible to always legislate common sense and reasonable behaviour, and we'd all like to think a manufacturer would carry some sort of coverage against their own failings.... but I guess this thread highlights that some don't. Read the small print on the kite or in the manual, I bet there is some wording in which there will be a blanket denial of any liability put there by legal advisors.
Ultimately the person who is there to best look after you is you ........ caveat emptor, oh and check your home insurance policy for liability cover, to double mine cost pennies a month....

Have a great 2014 , stay safe.


And your policy covers damage to others from any recreational activities? Are there any exclusions?


I'm in the insurance biz. It's not so unusual for high risk equip mfgs not to have products coverage. Its hard to get and unless your huge its expensive relative to gross sales.

Your homeowners policy should cover your activities, including kiting, where you hurt someone else or damage their property. I've never seen a kiting exclusion on a personal liability policy.
As to your own injuries, that would not be covered on your homeowners policy, but should be covered on a major med policy.

As was mentioned above, the legal concept of assumption of risk would be a strong defense for a kite mfg. You would have to prove gross negligence almost to the point of malice intent to win that case.


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 Post subject: Re: New kites and liability insurance.
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:23 am 
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toyletbowl wrote:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uE5dzuboHE#t=32

All in all, they do a great job producing kites.

Bob
www.kiteridersllc.com


Wow, another eye opener video....chinese laborers working above dyes with only dust masks...not to hijack but I do wonder if cabrinha extends any worker safety exposure standards to its contractors....


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 Post subject: Re: New kites and liability insurance.
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 5:20 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:39 pm
Posts: 101
Location: CA, HI
tautologies wrote:
I generally test my kites, but flying them for 30 mins on a wide beach? No one in Hawaii could kite.


Spending 30 min with a new product on land isn't far fetched. Go down to the flag (Kailua) and you have enough space. I would know about 3 to 4 spots on every island where's enough room.

peace


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 Post subject: Re: New kites and liability insurance.
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 5:34 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:39 pm
Posts: 101
Location: CA, HI
Babel wrote:
I agree that the liability is with the kite manufacturer. At least most of it, around 80-90%.

Being a lawyer and a kitesurfer myself there is absolutely no reason why a customer should test the kite for faults by the company. The customer can actually trust in the product being produced properly. The fault is not obvious and thus can not be the problem of the customer. I wouldn't actually know where and how to tune a kite. Most kites can only be tuned in the way that you change the bar pressure and turning speed. What else would you tune?


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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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


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 Post subject: Re: New kites and liability insurance.
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 5:53 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:39 pm
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Location: CA, HI
I think, a lot of you guys (and general consumers) are under the false impression that a liability insurance of a manufacturer will cover you. It may or may not, but that also depends where you live and where an accident would happen (God forbid).

Maybe I should share my $.02 here.
In the US and within a civil case you have mainly 2 different levels of 'fault' in an accident when it comes to liability, depending in which state you live. CA is i.e. a competitive state, while AK is an at-fault state. So, what does this mean?
You drive drunk with a car and hit a light pole. Your passenger dies. The relatives of the passenger sue you, the car manufacturer, the city and about 20 to 40 other defendants regarding this accident. So, now it comes into play, where this accident happens. In AK is a 'default law'. Which means, that the one who carries 51% of the fault will carry the burden (and fault) of the accident. The rest is off the hook.
In CA the accident and its fault go to trial and its percentage of fault will be assigned by a jury. I.e. 60% driver (you), 30% to car manufacturer (technical flaw at car), 9% to city (light pole didn't have the right permit), ... and so on.
Let's say the left-behinds go for $10mil. The money is then allocated in accordance with the percentage of 'fault'. You as a driver may not have the money, but the car manufacturer and city will - that's what the lawyers are after.

I know, this is a very simplified picture,, but it's the essence how it works. You can switch car with kite with toaster with wheelchair - doesn't matter.

YOU as kiter (and operator) will always be in the picture and every good liability lawyer of the plaintiff will try to get you into the picture, greatly depending where you live and what you own (your assets, house, money ...) You can question that system all day and year long if it makes sense. It probably doesn't. But that's how the dice rolls at the moment.

peace


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 Post subject: Re: New kites and liability insurance.
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:31 pm 
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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. I release the kite and pull the second release. Phew! I am no longer being dragged. The kite goes over the dunes, onto the roadway causing an accident with injuries. I accepted the risk of flying the new kite, did everything in my power to mitigate harm to myself and others. Now what? Who here would not be upset with the kite company and be OK with causing the injury of an innocent and bankrupting your family and yourself because of the companies defect?

Product Liability covers those who were injured as a result of the defect even if they were the party not using the gear.

To me the bottom line is that those producing a product, whether it be kites or cars, have a moral and fiscal responsibility to the purchasers to produce the best product possible. Since no company or person is perfect Insurance covers those instances where errors are made. I'm sure no company wants to make a defective product but sh*t happens.

As you hear all the time; its the cost of doing business. It also shows you stand behind your product and your customers.


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