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Family sues over Winter Park avy death - Page 3

post #61 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTKook View Post

What is clear is you don't know much about the subject area, but continue to come up with new reasons why lawsuits in this context really would be a help. 

 

As far as judging what is safe, your words again show you don't know much about snow safety, and that's even as a skier.  I'm quite sure you know nothing about skatepark design and safety, 

 

As far as understanding the laws of economics, you again have no clue.  You don't understand that lawsuits don't increase safety, either.  

 

And again, to understand what people are dealing with, they should google Dickie Scruggs and for that matter John Edwards.  This is not a normal part of the bar, it is a part of the bar where dark things happen.  

Actually, what's clear is that you consider a valid argument is ad hominem attacks on the person you're arguing with. You haven't answered any of my questions or conclusions directly except to say I don't know anything about any of them. Now that's a nuanced response! The closest you come to specific data is a broad claim about lawsuits and skateboard parks, when my older son could name a half dozen other reasons skateboard parks may have suffered a decline (if they did). Or here's a claim from the first skateboard park site I Googled:

"This overall lack of acceptance has led to a gradual decline in the popularity of the sport: many skate parks sit empty, unused. Why?

  • The sport of skateboarding itself is in a period of decline
  • Skateboarders typically refuse to be fenced in - they don't want to be told what to do
  • The parks are sometimes poorly designed
  • The parks may be inaccessible to the youth who typically ride skateboards – I know of one city's skate park that is on an abandoned Navy Base, far from most neighborhoods"

 

Interesting that none of the reasons listed has to do with lawsuits. Hmmm. But I'm sure you know all about it. In fact, if I were to extrapolate from your comments above (obviously you do know a great deal about all the areas mentioned) you must have graduate level training in economics, epidemiology, design engineering, are a practicing attorney, and a ski patroller who teaches avalanche courses. Impressive..or maybe you should go back on the old meds...wink.gif

 

post #62 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post

 

1. If ski areas have to control and mitigate every "named" tree stash in the West, I imagine it will be much easier just to outlaw skiing in the trees. This is what worries people. It is a gray area that could be better handled, sure. In Europe, it's well defined: piste is very skinny, well marked, and controlled. Off piste: you are on your own, period. (And of course trees are not the main hazard there, not saying that.) 

 

 

And yes, if inbound avalanches were to become more common, my thinking would change, because my opinion is based on their rarity. 

OK, here I need some education. IME, there are two kinds of boundaries at a resort: Out of Bounds, where you are on your own, and Closed, where you'll get your ticket lifted. Not clear why a resort can't simply put OB markers on some/most of its trees (many I've been at already do this, especially along steeper traverses between separated lifts). Then no liability issues, right? And obviously, some trees are in bounds because they're used by the resort for teaching, etc. Lot of kid's classes take to tame trees. A good patroller, talking to a good manager, could figure out the difference between woods that can't  realistically be looked after/assessed, and those typical stands between lifts that everyone uses for all sorts of things. I'm sure I'm wrong about something here, but I can't see why mitigating risk would lead to what you call "outlawing." th_dunno-1[1].gif (My own suspicion is that a resort wouldn't mind people thinking that any regulation will lead to "outlawing," because that'll definitely push people's buttons. Politicians do versions of this about 1,267 times a week, if you follow the news out of D.C.) 

 

As far as statistics, what I'm arguing is that most people don't think of risk in terms of real probability. Or none of us would ever drive. People underestimate risks for those actions over which they think they have control. So while the actual skier deaths in CO are minute, the real problem is that individuals underestimate the risks of specific situations because of the "I'm-in-control-it-can't-happen-to-me-this-time" mentality. That's why I harp on the average skier at a resort. They aren't going to know the total aggregate risk, nor are they going to know that their on the spot estimate is off (not to mention that they're uniformed about most of the relevant variables they could use to judge). They see that someone else has been there, and they think, "Oh, it's fine. I can make it." So we have to allow for the fact that most skiers are not like us. Nor should they have to be; recall the other thread about how retention is falling and we need to attract new skiers to remain in the sport? 

 

Also curious about inbounds deaths from other causes related to trees. Tree wells, collisions, hidden hazards, and so on. Then add in significant morbidity. I'd guess that trees are by far the most hazardous part of a resort inbounds. Obviously, one approach is to say, "you're on your own." But how does that play with the push to attract new skiers? Another is to try to mitigate risks. That might argue for more patrollers checking out the woods... 

post #63 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

Actually, what's clear is that you consider a valid argument is ad hominem attacks on the person you're arguing with. You haven't answered any of my questions or conclusions directly except to say I don't know anything about any of them. Now that's a nuanced response! The closest you come to specific data is a broad claim about lawsuits and skateboard parks, when my older son could name a half dozen other reasons skateboard parks may have suffered a decline (if they did). ...

 

Interesting that none of the reasons listed has to do with lawsuits. Hmmm. But I'm sure you know all about it. ...

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skateboarding#1970s

 

http://www.storeyourboard.com/skateboarding-laws.html  "By the end of the 1970s, many skateparks had closed due to fear of lawsuits stemming from injuries."

 

http://www.landscapeonline.com/research/article/9553  "For all its success, this first skatepark phase ended abruptly when liability insurance undermined business. The development marked the end of the private, for-profit skatepark, but the not the end of skateparks themselves."
 

 

Again, it's ok to be ignorant about the issues.  Staying willfully ignorant, when someone posts factual info that is broadly known to people with familiarity of motion sports, is something different. 

 

Now, skateparks CURRENTLY are in fact widely available and used.  A partial reason that there are so many good parks available, now, is that there have been a few avenues developed to keep lawsuits away.  The basic fact is, skate and you will get hurt, sooner or later.  And, the basic common sense rule is, if you get hurt, it's your issue. not the parks.  There are occasional little successful forays by plaintiffs' attorneys, that nationwide either result in new legislation further tightening protection from suits, or parks (or some types of parks) closing. 

 

You clearly like the idea of lawsuits.  You clearly don't feel a need to be informed about a topic before posting.  I could easily show how you're talking out your backside as regards snow safety, as well, but it would be a waste of time to do so when you're willing to do something as obviously out-there as argue over whether lawsuits killed the first wave of skateboarding's popularity. 

 

For others who are trying to get clear info from a thread, you willful ignorance is a problem.  Your trying to assert that someone needs an advanced degree to understand that lawsuits in the context of sports are a huge problem is also an interesting type of elitism.  Yes, lawsuits have had serious affects on several sports in the U.S. 

 

Yes, limiting the ability to sue allows for better and more athletic options.  Pretty simple, and pretty common knowledge.

post #64 of 83
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

OK, here I need some education. IME, there are two kinds of boundaries at a resort: Out of Bounds, where you are on your own, and Closed, where you'll get your ticket lifted. Not clear why a resort can't simply put OB markers on some/most of its trees (many I've been at already do this, especially along steeper traverses between separated lifts). Then no liability issues, right? And obviously, some trees are in bounds because they're used by the resort for teaching, etc. Lot of kid's classes take to tame trees. A good patroller, talking to a good manager, could figure out the difference between woods that can't  realistically be looked after/assessed, and those typical stands between lifts that everyone uses for all sorts of things. I'm sure I'm wrong about something here, but I can't see why mitigating risk would lead to what you call "outlawing." th_dunno-1%5B1%5D.gif (My own suspicion is that a resort wouldn't mind people thinking that any regulation will lead to "outlawing," because that'll definitely push people's buttons. Politicians do versions of this about 1,267 times a week, if you follow the news out of D.C.) 

 

As far as statistics, what I'm arguing is that most people don't think of risk in terms of real probability. Or none of us would ever drive. People underestimate risks for those actions over which they think they have control. So while the actual skier deaths in CO are minute, the real problem is that individuals underestimate the risks of specific situations because of the "I'm-in-control-it-can't-happen-to-me-this-time" mentality. That's why I harp on the average skier at a resort. They aren't going to know the total aggregate risk, nor are they going to know that their on the spot estimate is off (not to mention that they're uniformed about most of the relevant variables they could use to judge). They see that someone else has been there, and they think, "Oh, it's fine. I can make it." So we have to allow for the fact that most skiers are not like us. Nor should they have to be; recall the other thread about how retention is falling and we need to attract new skiers to remain in the sport? 

 

Also curious about inbounds deaths from other causes related to trees. Tree wells, collisions, hidden hazards, and so on. Then add in significant morbidity. I'd guess that trees are by far the most hazardous part of a resort inbounds. Obviously, one approach is to say, "you're on your own." But how does that play with the push to attract new skiers? Another is to try to mitigate risks. That might argue for more patrollers checking out the woods... 

Not sure how to respond to most of this ... I've never worked for a ski area, so I don't know how they assess all this. As a skier (which I have been doing for a long time), my experience says, If you go into a named run, and it doesn't have the doublediamond EX sign, you can expect that most hazards have been addressed. If you go into trees or double diamond EX territory, you are on your own. 

 

The thing about this discussion is, as someone earlier (Jimmy?) said, trees aren't really where you usually need to mitigate for avalanche. Tree wells are the main issue, as you pointed out. But treed areas are still open, and I don't think anyone does anything about it. The tradition of controlling for slides I guess has led to the expectation that resorts are safe for slides (similar to what davluri described). But a lot more people die in tree wells in bounds, and afaik, no one gets sued. So that is the perception problem ... once you start fixing one thing, people expect that it all should be fixed. And it can't be.

post #65 of 83

What is the quote from Blizzard of Ahhs? Something like, "People who sue ski areas should be shot." Think that applies in this case. 

post #66 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTKook View Post

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skateboarding#1970s

 

http://www.storeyourboard.com/skateboarding-laws.html  "By the end of the 1970s, many skateparks had closed due to fear of lawsuits stemming from injuries."

 

http://www.landscapeonline.com/research/article/9553  "For all its success, this first skatepark phase ended abruptly when liability insurance undermined business. The development marked the end of the private, for-profit skatepark, but the not the end of skateparks themselves."
 

 

Again, it's ok to be ignorant about the issues.  Staying willfully ignorant, when someone posts factual info that is broadly known to people with familiarity of motion sports, is something different. 

 

Now, skateparks CURRENTLY are in fact widely available and used.  A partial reason that there are so many good parks available, now, is that there have been a few avenues developed to keep lawsuits away.  The basic fact is, skate and you will get hurt, sooner or later.  And, the basic common sense rule is, if you get hurt, it's your issue. not the parks.  There are occasional little successful forays by plaintiffs' attorneys, that nationwide either result in new legislation further tightening protection from suits, or parks (or some types of parks) closing. 

 

You clearly like the idea of lawsuits.  You clearly don't feel a need to be informed about a topic before posting.  I could easily show how you're talking out your backside as regards snow safety, as well, but it would be a waste of time to do so when you're willing to do something as obviously out-there as argue over whether lawsuits killed the first wave of skateboarding's popularity. 

 

For others who are trying to get clear info from a thread, you willful ignorance is a problem.  Your trying to assert that someone needs an advanced degree to understand that lawsuits in the context of sports are a huge problem is also an interesting type of elitism.  Yes, lawsuits have had serious affects on several sports in the U.S. 

 

Yes, limiting the ability to sue allows for better and more athletic options.  Pretty simple, and pretty common knowledge.

Interesting what your idea of "posting factual information" and "pretty common knowledge" appears to be: Culling a few quotes that appear to support your argument out of a few websites, and ignoring the far larger body of information out there that indicates lawsuits (actually insurance rates) may have been partly responsible for one dip in the 80's in skateboarding's apparently cyclical waves of popularity. Look, why don't you take a deep breath and realize how insulting you're being with this "willful ignorance" deal because I don't happen to buy into your argument or your manicured "research." You might also stop trying to mischaracterize my likes and dislikes ("You clearly like the idea of lawsuits") since I have nowhere said one way or the other about lawsuits except to allow as how I ski with a lawyer, and in general indicate that it may not be as black and white as all lawyers or their clients should be shot. But I guess you like black and white. 

 

Anyway, for the few that are still listening, here are what is actually said in your three links, followed by an extended passage from a skateboard site indicating that 10 year popularity cycles in skateboarding are the rule, and that all but one of the crashes had nothing to do with insurance or lawsuits. 

 

First, your links. The first is the always popular Wikipedia, and out of three pages of information about skateboarding, there is one sentence (without a citation) mentioning lawsuits (my bold): "Public opposition, and the threat of lawsuits, forced businesses and property owners to ban skateboarding on their property.[citation needed]" For those of you out there who still think Wikipedia is a definitive source of data, it's wise to recall that a statement without a citation means that it's someone's opinion. Like the rest of Wikipedia.

 

Then you cite one of many skateboard sites, again, simply the opinion of the writer there (my bold): 

 

"By the end of the 1970s, many skateparks had closed due to fear of lawsuits stemming from injuries. The sport again returned underground. Today, skate parks are regaining their popularity, helped by large skateboard companies and pro skateboarders who are legitimizing the sport in the eyes of the public.

The mid-1990’s helped somewhat to loosen these laws. Televised “extreme sports” competitions led skateboarding to gain an air of legitimacy. Despite its increase in popularity, skateboarding was still outright banned or regulated in many local communities...

Besides the counterculture element and possibility of injury, skateboarders are disliked by property owners and local officials for several other reasons. Skate wax, applied to boards to make them easier to slide or grind over a surface, leaves behind a residue on wood, metal, or concrete surfaces. The act of sliding or grinding itself can also damage the structure. The noise created when the skateboard hits steps, railings, and other obstructions can be quite loud and bothersome to those in the immediate area."

 

OK, so after the quote you like, we have a longer list of reasons why skateboarding has been resisted by many non-boarders. I point out that the narrative in general seems more oriented toward why people don't like skateboarders than why the sport waxes and wanes in popularity. 

 

Finally, from your third link, apparently a site for park designers (my bold): 

 

 

"For all its success, this first skatepark phase ended abruptly when liability insurance undermined business. The development marked the end of the private, for-profit skatepark, but the not the end of skateparks themselves."

 

 

 

 

So again, the larger context seems to be that skateboarding goes through phases, and that one was ended abruptly around the time of what you fear. However, on another site, having to do with the history of the sport, I found a more complicated picture in which the decline said by your park design site to be the first was actually the second of at least four, and none were especially abrupt. In a time series like this, I should add, establishing cause is tough. If the sport already had a cyclical demography built into it - which characterizes many of what you call "motion sports" incidentally - the insurance may be neither necessary nor sufficient, just another push in the wrong direction (my bold):

 

 

 

"In the early 1960's companies such as Larry Stevenson's Makaha and Hobie Alter's Hobie began to mass-produce the first true surfing-inspired skateboards. Some of the early proponents of surf-style skateboarding included Bill and Mark Richards, Dannu Bearer, Bruce Logan and Torger Johnson. Skateboarding became very popular almost overnight, and companies were fighting to keep up with demand. Over fifty million skateboards were sold within a three year period, and the first skateboard contest was held in Hermosa Beach, CA in 1963. Then in 1965 a slew of so-called safety experts pronounced skateboarding unsafe - urging stores not to sell them, and parents not to buy them. The skateboarding fad died as quickly as it had started, and the sport entered its first slump. Skateboarding would experience other slumps in its history. This pattern of peaks and valleys would come to be known as the "ten-year cycle," although the slumps weren't exactly ten years apart.

 

1970's

It was during this first slump that Larry Stevenson invented the kicktail, and the first generation of skateboarders laid down the foundation of tricks and style. However, they were still largely limited by equipment. Then in 1973 the urethane wheel was invented, revolutionizing the sport. The new wheels provided much better traction and speed and, combined with new skateboard specific trucks, allowed skaters to push the difficulty of maneuvers to new levels. Tricks at this time consisted of surfing maneuvers done on flat ground or on banks. Empty swimming pools and cylindrical pipes were exploited as terrain for the first time.

 

During the 1970's skateboarding experienced a large growth stage whish saw the construction of numerous concrete skateparks, a rank of professional skaters, magazines and movies. During this period modern skateboarding evolved to include vertical skating among its disciplines of slalom, downhill, freestyle and longjump.

 

Key advances in the sport included the aerial, the invert and the ollie, which may be the single most important trick in the evolution of skateboarding, next to the kickturn. This was the first time skateboarding had stars, some of the first really big names being Tony Alva, Jay Adams and Stacy Peralta. The look of skateboards also changed from being six to seven inches in width to over nine inches, providing better stability on vertical surfaces. Near the end of the 70's, spiraling insurance and slowing attendance forced all but a few skateparks out of business and skateboarding entered its! Second slump.

 

1980's

 

In the 80's the plywood ramp and streetstyle revitalized skateboarding just as the urethane wheel had revitalized the sport in the 70's. Forced to take an underground, do-it-yourself attitude, skaters began to create their own wooden skate ramps in backyards and empty lots and turn previously unrideable street terrain, such as walls an handrails, into free-skate parks. Skater-owned companies became the norm and innovations in board and truck size allowed the trick envelope to be pushed even further. This generation had its own group of skate stars, some of whom still compete today including Tony Hawk and Steve Caballero. Towards the end of the 80's the focus shifted to street skating and Vert riding became less popular, it was the era of the first street stars like Mark Gonzales, Natas Kaupas and Mike Vallely.

 

With all this grass-roots action taking place it was inevitable that skateboarding would go through another growth phase. This time the cycle peaked around 1987 after skateboarding had directly influenced international culture ranging from the hard-edged punk style of music that most skaters preferred to the baggy, earth-tone clothes and retro tennis shoes that skaters wore.

 

The current cycle of skateboarding has been fueled by many items including new companies, more varied and difficult terrain, a new, more hard-core, almost dangerous attitude, and most importantly by a new generation of kids who have discovered the exhilaration feeling of rolling along of a board with wheels. Some of the people who exert heavy influence on the sport are former pros who have started companies like Steve Rocco of World Industries. The ollie has come into its own as the foundation for 80% of street tricks and about 60% of vert tricks, with the focus being on more technical and larger tricks.

 

1990's

 

In regards to the "ten-year cycle," the sport once again started on an upward swing in 1995, due in part to exposure it received from ESPN's first Extreme Games in Rhode Island."

 

OK, so what I take away from this is that as much as you'd like to frame this in very reductionist terms (bad lawyers kill sport, friendly legislation helps sport rise again), the data suggest something a lot more complex. For instance, like my other post, from yet another site, it looks very much like there are major cultural and technological  issues here. Skateboarding goes in and out of fashion, probably as it becomes attached to particular subcultures and rejected by others. Some decades it's sexy, some not. New innovations in the boards, media exposure, and new tricks all seem to play a part in popularity. Yes, I suspect that in the 1980's, during one decline, insurance companies got scared by a few lawsuits and that further depressed the economics of private parks. (Notice that nowhere are the suits specified, it's unclear how many there were or whether they were justified or not, and it's mainly insurance carriers that are mentioned as causes of the troubles.) Just please realize that your own sources, as well as mine, state that the sport didn't disappear, it just stared using public spaces. Which then led to several new types of boarding and events that were later institutionalized by the X-Games. Meanwhile, since the 80's private parks, as well as public, have massive unused capacity possibly for the reasons mentioned in my original post on boarding or possibly because a new cycle is winding down. 

 

More to the point - which I think was originally about skiing th_dunno-1[1].gif- I still haven't seen anyone show that there's this groundswell of lawsuits waiting to happen in states without protective laws. Is the sky getting ready to fall someplace I've missed? My original post, you might recall, specifically stated I wasn't arguing about the specifics of this skier's death except to wonder about the general issue of safety and responsibility. In fact a bit later I suggested the skier probably made the mistake, not the resort. But mainly, I cited a "knee jerk" reaction. 

 

And I remain curious about the sources of that reaction. Why are so many of us so willing to assume so quickly that any lawsuit represents an attack on the good guys? When did the resorts that we frequently trash for season ticket prices, lousy food and service, indifference to the environment, treatment of their patrollers and instructors, etc. suddenly become these struggling mom and pop businesses, doing the best they can? For the record, Winter Park is owned by Intrawest, which is North Americas' largest "destination resort" conglomerate, and in turn it's one of many large companies owned by a Fortress, a private U.S. investment firm. Intrawest runs everything from golf resorts to ski mountains. Yep, it's in financial trouble (again), and is cutting back on capital expenditures and forcing employes to take unpaid leaves. You could make the case that these cost-cutting measures might lead to a greater risk for the skiing public. Or you could argue that they they have nothing to do with safety. But either way its hard to make a case that Winter Park is this brave little ski resort that could. It's just a cog in the corporate gears, and it does what its bosses demand of it. Welcome to late capitalism. 

 

Now frankly, I am sick of Googling the web for skateboarding blogs. The point should be obvious by now: 1) Reality is more complicated than a one-size-fits-all "hate the lawyers" model either for skateboarding or for skiing. Different players, ranging from this guy's widow to Fortress Investments, have different perspectives, and each may carry some pluses and minuses. 2) You really need to get over this idea that if someone doesn't agree with you, it means they're willfully ignorant. Maybe they just see things differently (gasp) than you, maybe they have different sorts of data, and maybe your own understanding is not (gasp) definitive. Or to paraphrase that great scholar Donald Rumsfeld said (stealing from Socrates and Einstein): Know what you know, know what you don't know, and know there are things you don't know you don't know. wink.gif


Edited by beyond - 5/28/12 at 3:33pm
post #67 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post
But a lot more people die in tree wells in bounds, and afaik, no one gets sued. So that is the perception problem ... once you start fixing one thing, people expect that it all should be fixed. And it can't be.

Yep, trees are unforgiving places. But not sure that we know whether once you fix one thing, people will expect everything, and of course there's the inverse: Should we thus just never fix anything, on the grounds that it'll force us to fix everything? Lot of landlords I know would say that you fix what needs fixing, nothing more, then wait for the next thing. None of us like landlords particularly, but the laws are pretty clear about what is a reasonable level of maintenance - enforcement is another issue, obviously - and many of us rent and get adequate service from the owner, and they get by without losing money. Always worry about argument from analogy because our brains are wired to like it, but in this case I think it works. What real evidence is there that if Winter Park "fixes" one thing - let's say posting trees and daily conditions better - that skiers and their lawyers will then mass outside the corporate offices with such unrealistic demands that Winter Park will have to close all trees? Is this a fear or a previously demonstrated outcome? And if it's simply a fear, you might ask yourself who stands to gain by it...

post #68 of 83
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

And I remain curious about the sources of that reaction. Why are so many of us so willing to assume so quickly that any lawsuit represents an attack on the good guys? When did the resorts that we frequently trash for season ticket prices, lousy food and service, indifference to the environment, treatment of their patrollers and instructors, etc. suddenly become these struggling mom and pop businesses, doing the best they can? For the record, Winter Park is owned by Intrawest, which is North Americas' largest "destination resort" conglomerate, and in turn it's one of many large companies owned by a Fortress, a private U.S. investment firm. Intrawest runs everything from golf resorts to ski mountains. Yep, it's in financial trouble (again), and is cutting back on capital expenditures and forcing employes to take unpaid leaves. You could make the case that these cost-cutting measures might lead to a greater risk for the skiing public. Or you could argue that they they have nothing to do with safety. But either way its hard to make a case that Winter Park is this brave little ski resort that could. It's just a cog in the corporate gears, and it does what its bosses demand of it. Welcome to late capitalism. 

 

 

Again, I stress that my reaction is not a knee-jerk to "suing a resort." This particular situation, to me, is an anomaly. And because it reflects on the patrollers ... that's who was "supposed" to control stuff, right? I don't care about suing Intrawest. But it wasn't "Intrawest" out there doing their best to make things safe for us. Intrawest has some employees who are out there doing their best to make things safe for us, and I don't doubt for a second that they did. I trust patrol more than I trust anyone involved in skiing, period. End stop.

post #69 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

.

...Yes, I suspect that in the 1980's, during one decline, insurance companies got scared by a few lawsuits and that further depressed the economics of private parks. ..

So, with a whole lot of typing, you do now concede what you had tried to deny, namely that lawsuits led directly to killing off over 80% of the parks nationwide.

 

It happened in the late 70s, of course, not the 1980s, but because you don't know what you're talking about, we can't expect you to get the decade right, now can we? 

 

Now, if we want to do the same thing for all the great terrain pods that have been opened up at ski areas nationwide, it's real easy: let lawyers stick their head in the door, and wave bye bye.

 

In terms of the insinuation that maybe we should care about mom and pop ski areas getting sued, but not about big, greedy corporations like Intrawest, go look at any big ski area.  The patrollers, instructors, park crew, snowmakers, groomers, on down the line are about as mom and pop as you can get, and not in it for the big bucks.  Shut terrain down because of lawsuits, and they are losing jobs.  Sue them in a frivolous lawsuit, and they get to lose sleep and become irritable with their wife and kids because of the needless stress THEY suffer because they happened to be the one around when some bad luck happened.  Imagine. 

 

Any ski area out there is as mom and pop as you can get.  If you want to go all Occupy and talk about those mom and pop employees as cogs in Late Capitalism, man up and find a bar full of them one night and tell them how much they suck. 

 

Blizzard of Ahhs got it right.

post #70 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTKook View Post

So, with a whole lot of typing, you do now concede what you had tried to deny, namely that lawsuits led directly to killing off over 80% of the parks nationwide.

 

It happened in the late 70s, of course, not the 1980s, but because you don't know what you're talking about, we can't expect you to get the decade right, now can we? 

 

Now, if we want to do the same thing for all the great terrain pods that have been opened up at ski areas nationwide, it's real easy: let lawyers stick their head in the door, and wave bye bye.

 

In terms of the insinuation that maybe we should care about mom and pop ski areas getting sued, but not about big, greedy corporations like Intrawest, go look at any big ski area.  The patrollers, instructors, park crew, snowmakers, groomers, on down the line are about as mom and pop as you can get, and not in it for the big bucks.  Shut terrain down because of lawsuits, and they are losing jobs.  Sue them in a frivolous lawsuit, and they get to lose sleep and become irritable with their wife and kids because of the needless stress THEY suffer because they happened to be the one around when some bad luck happened.  Imagine. 

 

Any ski area out there is as mom and pop as you can get.  If you want to go all Occupy and talk about those mom and pop employees as cogs in Late Capitalism, man up and find a bar full of them one night and tell them how much they suck. 

 

Blizzard of Ahhs got it right.

 

Wow, you are seriously obstinate about bending anything I say into a form that can allow you to a) claim you're right, and b) say I don't know what I'm talking about. OK, one last time, and you can then do your obligatory "Hah I was right/you're an idiot" dance and let's all move on to another thread. 

 

First, about the great semantic issue of 70's vs. 80's: Can you wrap your head around the notion that economic and cultural phenomena did not neatly within decade hash marks? The decline you're interested in began in the late 70's and extended into the 80's. Y'know, as your own citations note. But hey if you want to get all excited about how this shows "I don't know what I'm talking about," please go for it. Clearly it's vital to you.

 

Second, you seem foundationally confused about the difference between employees and owners. Thus the mixed metaphors: "Any ski area out there is as mom and pop as you can get." And: "The patrollers, instructors, park crew, snowmakers, groomers, on down the line are about as mom and pop as you can get, and not in it for the big bucks."

 

Do you have any experience owning or running a business? I do. Here's the reasonably useful definition of "mom and pop" from your beloved Wikipedia: A small business, also called a mom and pop store by some in the United States, is a business that is privately owned and operated, with a small number of employees and relatively low volume of sales. Small businesses are normally privately owned corporationspartnerships, or sole proprietorships. The legal definition of "small" varies by country and by industry, ranging from fewer than 15 employees under the Australian Fair Work Act 2009, 50 employees in the European Union, and fewer than 500 employees to qualify for many U.S. Small Business Administration programs. Small businesses can also be classified according to other methods such as sales, assets, or net profits." 

 

So let's use this as a teaching moment. You are confusing Winter Park employees - who for sure are not in it for the money, since they don't make much, and for sure do not set policy - with a large incorporated business, called Intrawest, which does. Cannot locate how many employees Winter Park has, but in any case it would not qualify as a small business because it's simply part of Intrawest. Thus you are confusing a true small business, with no resources other those those available to its local owner, with a moderate sized resort that is actually owned by another larger non-local business, which is then owned by a larger international one. With resources at each level, and decisions about where to allocate them. Neither Winter Park, nor Intrawest, nor any of their employees, are by any stretch of the imagination "Mom and Pop." The technical terms for Winter Park employees are either "working hard to stay in place poor," or "stuck in lower middle income and making the best of it." wink.gif Your level of self-righteous anger indicates you're one of these folks. Patroller or instructor, maybe, juggling another job? Justifiably proud of your skill set, and seeing any questioning of Winter Park corporate calls about safety as questioning you personally? 

 

Ironically, given your jab at Occupy, Winter Park's employees at that bar I'm supposed to man up to, and the town as a whole, are the ones that will be on the short end of the corporate stick when it gets stirred elsewhere. But you're apparently so tea-washed that you think that any threat to your end of that stick is the fault of skiers and lawyers. Funny stuff, really, this level of protectiveness toward a system that simultaneously keeps you way underpaid, and teaches you to vent your frustration at anyone who wants to challenge it. 

 

Finally, I trust that you won't go seeking a lawyer when say, someone totals your car, hurts you or someone you care about, but it's in a no-fault state. I've honestly never communicated with anyone before who so blindly hates one particular occupation as you do. Have a hunch that you or someone close to you were on the wrong side of a lawsuit once. Sorry if that happened. But I can provide eyewitnesses who have seen actual lawyers without cloven hooves or tails. Some of them, you may recall, helped write the constitution, the Supreme Court that gave us Citizen United is full of 'em, and 18 have been president, including Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Lincoln, Polk, and more recently, Roosevelt, Nixon, Ford, Clinton, and unfortunately for you, both the current president and the fellow running against him. Does this mean you'll have to vote for a lawyer for president? eek.gif

 

Out. 

 

 

post #71 of 83

BTW, for those of you looking for how to  get OUT of a jury, just remember the concept of any of these statements from either debater above and say something similar in court, and you'll be quickly thanked for your service and dismissed.

post #72 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

...

 

So let's use this as a teaching moment. You are confusing Winter Park employees - who for sure are not in it for the money, since they don't make much, and for sure do not set policy - with a large incorporated business, called Intrawest, which does.... Neither Winter Park, nor Intrawest, nor any of their employees, are by any stretch of the imagination "Mom and Pop." The technical terms for Winter Park employees are either "working hard to stay in place poor," or "stuck in lower middle income and making the best of it...

Your contempt for people like patrollers and full-time instructors comes through pretty clear. 

 

Take your teaching moment and...The point is not whether or not a corporation qualifies for a certain type of loan, the point is that the people who make a resort "happen" -- and who, along with the patrons, bear the destructive effects of unwarranted lawsuits -- are for sure down to earth types.  These patrollers, instructors, snowmakers, and groomers will be the ones at whom the sharp end of the litigation knife you're so in favor of will be pointed. 

post #73 of 83

Beyond = Michael Burg, Attorney-at-Law? Hmmmm. I wonder.

post #74 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTKook View Post

Your contempt for people like patrollers and full-time instructors comes through pretty clear. 

 

Not at all, at least not to me. What comes through is a realistic and empathetic assessment of their positions in this situation.

 

Take your teaching moment and...

 

Now what does come through pretty clear is that CTKook, as facile as he is at condescending to others, finds it disagreeable to be on the receiving end. It's not surprising, but is amusing.

post #75 of 83

I was at mammoth all weekend and every once in a while a rock would break loose and go rolling and bouncing down the runs under chair 23,  it would be a bummer to get hit by one, but I'm not going to blame a resort for a natural event.... Same goes for an avalanche, they do what they can, but nothing in certain.  

post #76 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post

 

1. If ski areas have to control and mitigate every "named" tree stash in the West, I imagine it will be much easier just to outlaw skiing in the trees. This is what worries people. It is a gray area that could be better handled, sure. In Europe, it's well defined: piste is very skinny, well marked, and controlled. Off piste: you are on your own, period. (And of course trees are not the main hazard there, not saying that.) 

 

I don't know what steps patrol took to deal with these trees, so I hesitate to say what they should have done instead. I doubt there was "a giant lump of snow" anywhere, though. And it had to be pretty low on their priority list for the day, really. Again, I am just guessing, but it seems to be really bad luck, a terrain trap and a perfect storm of everything happening just so. You can't prevent everything. From the CAIC report,  A downed tree below the outcrop funneled a portion of the avalanche towards Skier 1's location. Avalanche debris was able to pile up deeply, for the volume, where he was caught. The avalanche may not have buried Skier 1 if he had been caught in other portions of the debris. Skier 1 may not have been buried, or even triggered the avalanche, if he had been traveling 10 feet further down hill, away from the rocky outcrop.

 

2. As for the outlier, no, I'm not a statistician, and I wasn't talking about the groups of events. I was using the word informally to describe an unusual situation distinct from the rest of the data. 

 

         avalanche deaths in CO (in open inbounds terrain)

1980: 0

1981: 0

1982: 0

1983: 0

1984: 0

1985: 0

1986: 0

1987: 0

1988: 0

1989: 0

1990: 0

1991: 0

1992: 0

1993: 0

1994: 0

10 more years: 0

2005: 1

2006: 0

2007: 0

2008: 0

2009: 0

2010: 0

2011: 0

2012: 1 (maybe 2, that's still murky)

 

 

And yes, if inbound avalanches were to become more common, my thinking would change, because my opinion is based on their rarity. At least here in CO. -- I can't speak for other states, where snow and terrain are different. But your odds of dying in one of these are extremely low ... CO gets about 12 million skier visits per year. Those are very very very low odds. You are much more likely to die from hitting a tree near a groomer on a clear day, but I don't see anyone clamoring for resorts to remove all the trees to make things safer. In fact, looking at those numbers shows just what a great job patrol does of controlling slides and how few lethal mistakes are made. I'm sure many other professions/vocations would like to have that kind of safety record. 

 

I do agree that ski areas could do a better job of educating skiers on risk evaluation. Not doing so in this case, though, doesn't constitute negligence. I go back to the attorney's comment comparing a ski area to an amusement park. NO. That is not right. If he really believes that (snicker), then yes, ski areas need to invest in a little more education, not in more ropes and more patrollers and more attempts to pretend that you can tame mother nature.

 

 

Excellent stats, I would love to see stats of car related deaths driving to an from skiing during the same time frame.  

post #77 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdiddy View Post

I was at mammoth all weekend and every once in a while a rock would break loose and go rolling and bouncing down the runs under chair 23,  it would be a bummer to get hit by one, but I'm not going to blame a resort for a natural event.... Same goes for an avalanche, they do what they can, but nothing in certain.  


We do. We definitely sue our rocks.  Then the lawyer takes half. The court costs. There's so little left...

post #78 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post


We do. We definitely sue our rocks.  Then the lawyer takes half. The court costs. There's so little left...

lol !

post #79 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdiddy View Post

lol !

Yeah that was good. 

 

On hopefully a similar positive note, here's a fun story on what can happen when the liability monsters can be put to bed.  http://www.skatepark.org/park-development/2011/01/the-edgemont-ditch-story/  The similarity between this and other skatepark ditches, and some well-known features at a number of big Western (and a couple Eastern) ski resorts should be obvious, as is the need to keep plaintiff's lawyers at bay and to allow people to pursue the sport they want.  I note that, contrary to what some people have asserted, I've not attacked lawyers in general, and in fact Texas is a good example where positive lawyers, trying to keep healthy recreation from being strangled by the plaintiffs' bar, changed the laws to allow things like skateparks to have enough protection to exist in that state. 

post #80 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by voriand View Post

Tresle trees is not even a run.  It is not even on the ski map.  Been skiing Winter Park for almost 30 years and would never go in here without a friend.   Would be a shame if this area gets roped off as a result of this.

 

 

If this BS lawsuit wins, ski resorts would have no choice but to rope off all tree boundrys of every run they have cut or label on the ski map.

 

Yes it was a bad accident but the fault is with the skier.

 

1.  Snow pack this year was horrid.

2.  He went skiing alone in an unmarked gladed area.  There is not enough personal in the ski resort to sweep all the cut runs AND every acre of trees between them.

 

3. From several first hand accounts from the day in question there were

 

Quote:
huge signs you saw right before you exited every lift that said the trees were all CLOSED because of early season conditions and you would have your pass pulled if caught in them.
post #81 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by raytseng View Post

In a word lobbyists.


I suggest whenever such discussions fall to watch the Hot coffee movie.  I found it really informative and changed how I thought about the subject.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_Coffee_(film)

 

They describe the legislation in Texas I believe that limited malpractice lawsuits.   The lobbyists ran the same campaign to convince legislators and voters that a reason for high health care costs was because of these frivolous lawsuits.

 

However, after the law passed, and you ran the numbers, both costs and amount of malpractice did not go down, comparing to the state itself before/after the law as well as other states that did not change any laws.

 

I don't remember the details exactly, but I do remember the point is lobbyists run things pretty slickly to convince you of something that sounds like it should be true but really isn't (truthiness).

 

The system works well enough so people don't just "win the lottery" with lawsuits, all the frivolous stuff loses.  There are real stories behind what happened that convinces judges and jury of what happened.  Why have an arbitrary cap without hearing out the details of each specific cases in all it's glory (court) then deciding what is fair or not fair.

 

That movie is horribly one-sided and lacks even a smattering of objectivity.  I attended the movie's worldwide premier at Sundance Film Festival, and, during the Q&A, the director, in response to a question from the audience about frivolous lawsuits, starting screaming at the audience that there is no such thing as a frivolous lawsuit - ever, and that all the problems in America are the fault of Dick Cheny & Halliburton.  She seriously came unglued.  I thought she might stroke out.  

 

Oh - the director made her fortune in the plaintiffs bar, suing "evil" corporations for a living.

 

Just because a movie is a documentary doesn't mean it represents truth  - the film maker has a point of view.

post #82 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by SportyandMisty View Post

 

That movie is horribly one-sided and lacks even a smattering of objectivity.  I attended the movie's worldwide premier at Sundance Film Festival, and, during the Q&A, the director, in response to a question from the audience about frivolous lawsuits, starting screaming at the audience that there is no such thing as a frivolous lawsuit - ever, and that all the problems in America are the fault of Dick Cheny & Halliburton.  She seriously came unglued.  I thought she might stroke out.  

 

Oh - the director made her fortune in the plaintiffs bar, suing "evil" corporations for a living.

 

Just because a movie is a documentary doesn't mean it represents truth  - the film maker has a point of view.

 

 

Who's to say what's frivolous until the case is heard?  I'd rather someone get their day in court than come after me with a meat cleaver.

post #83 of 83

So a crazy person can never be right also?

It is equally as one-sided to say 100% of everything a person says is false, just because they freaked out at a question at a film festival and may have had a background in law.

 

I am not saying to blindly believe everything this person say just because they made movie,  I'm saying go watch the film, evaluate the evidence then make your own decisions about it.  At a minimum, go to wikipedia and then click through the cases mentioned in the movie, to see what were the "generally" agreed upon unbiased facts (as policed by  wikipedia editors anyway).  Can start with the details of the hot coffee case which is the movie's namesake.

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