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Chockstone Forum - Accidents & Injuries

Report Accidents and Injuries

 Page 3 of 4. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 60 | 61 to 79
Author
Werribee Gorge Accident

Alex
12/05/2006
9:11:38 AM


(I was going to make a 'Please do not fall off the cliff' sign but thought this would do.)

Eduardo Slabofvic
12/05/2006
12:38:45 PM
On 11/05/2006 patto wrote:

>The problem with lawyers is that they think like lawyers. (No offense,
>intended but if you have studied law you probably know what I mean.)

What is the difference between a Lawyer and a sea slug?
climbingjac
12/05/2006
12:43:20 PM
On 11/05/2006 kerroxapithecus wrote:
>People could get by eating about a tenth of what they eat. But that
>wouldn't keep the food outlets going would it?

Interesting point Kerrin. Who says that what people require for a standard meal portion is a Big Mac, some fries and a coke? Maybe something the size of a simple dim-sim would do just fine ?!?!
Ronny
12/05/2006
1:21:04 PM
On 11/05/2006 patto wrote:
>The problem with lawyers is that they think like lawyers. (No offense,
>intended but if you have studied law you probably know what I mean.)
>

I rather think that the problem with normal people is that they do not think like lawyers... :)

The original point of this was that people don't take responsibility for themselves anymore. Its easy to justify a statement such as this by reference to a single example - but that won't cut it to support a general statement. Lawyers tend to think from general principle, rather than specific example, and hence the conflict (not that the lawyer's way is necessarily better).
The original statement is probably true. My point was that its not necessarily "the legal system's" fault. Certain lawyers may behave unethically, but its not necessarily systematic, and after all, if people don't like the law they can change it - through parliament.
Also, some thought needs to be given to whether the change identified is part of a broader theme. It may be that there is indeed a trend towards making people/corporations/etc more accountable for accidents that they have a hand in causing. That manifests itself in a bad way when people bring spurious claims against national parks or anyone else, but there are many positive elements. For example work places are generally far safer than they were even 50 years ago. There are all sorts of controls to attempt to prevent deaths on building sites that didnt' exist in the past. This is a direct result of the fact that the employers are being held responsible for the workers death. Surely no one can sugges that this isn't a good thing (especially seeing as most of us don't choose to work, but have to if we want to eat).

So I agree with the original thread to an extent. Yes, people should take responsibility where an accident is their fault. Yes, people should be prevented from using the threat of litigation as a tool to extract money where none is due. Yes, living in a world sanitized to fit the lowest common denominator is boring. But these things are perfectly consistent with traditional legal principle (afterall the principle hasn't changed over the timespan we're talking about). There are certainly problems to be addressed - but merely attacking the legal 'system' or 'profession' generally will not solve anything. Instead it will result in throwing the baby out with the bath water (to reuse a metaphor from before).

J





Robb
12/05/2006
1:49:18 PM
On 12/05/2006 Ronny wrote:

>
>I rather think that the problem with normal people is that they do not
>think like lawyers... :)
>

THats a huge call Ron

Eduardo Slabofvic
12/05/2006
2:14:40 PM
On 12/05/2006 Eduardo Slabofvic wrote:

>What is the difference between a Lawyer and a sea slug?

One’s a sleazy, slimy, muck suck, bottom dwelling slug……and the other lives in the ocean.
NEVERCLIMBED32
12/05/2006
2:43:24 PM
On 11/05/2006 earwig wrote:
>So ... does anyone know if someone is really sueing Parks Victoria or not?

Look out.........earwigs trying to highjack the thread !

Eduardo Slabofvic
12/05/2006
2:45:38 PM
What's the difference between a Rooster and a Lawyer???

Rupert
12/05/2006
2:54:45 PM
Perhaps signs like this might help?


Eduardo Slabofvic
12/05/2006
3:06:15 PM
The Rooster wakes up in the morning and clucks defiant.

Rupert
12/05/2006
5:50:35 PM
On 12/05/2006 Eduardo Slabofvic wrote:
>The Rooster wakes up in the morning and clucks defiant.

It took me a moment - but I got there in the end. Very good. :)
patto
12/05/2006
6:16:31 PM
On 12/05/2006 Ronny wrote:
>On 11/05/2006 patto wrote:
>My point was that its not necessarily
>"the legal system's" fault. Certain lawyers may behave unethically, but
>its not necessarily systematic, and after all, if people don't like the
>law they can change it - through parliament.
>
>.....
>
>But these things are perfectly consistent with traditional legal principle
>(afterall the principle hasn't changed over the timespan we're talking about).
>

Lawyers always go on the defensive when their system is attacked, rather than considering solutions they concentrate on denying the problem. Again, no offense intended, in fact in many ways it is justifiable considering the amount of shit lawyers get. I have an ex who was studying law, we had many such discussions. :)


On one hand you say that it isn't the legal system's fault, if people don't like it they can change it through parliment. Then on the other you say that the legal priciples haven't changed. It is clear things can change within the legal system without parliment led action, thus law isn't just in the hands of the 'people'.

It is clear to everyone things HAVE changed. You have said the legal principle haven't changed. Thus it is the judicial/jury rulings that have changed. That is why people blame the legal system.

But lets forget the blame game. It is the culture of blame that has caused the problem in the first place. We need to ask is there a problem, why has it occured, and how to fix it.


I believe there is a problem and as I have argued earlier I believe it exists because the broad extent of duty of care, and the fact that all foreseeable risks are considered.

Consider a lip in the pavement. Clearly there is a foreseeable risk the people could trip. In extreme cases it is forseeable that they could be seriously and pernamently injured. Thus councils are scared of being sued for possible injuries. From a commonsense perspective this seems silly but from a legal perspective it makes sense. I believe the problem is that the legal system ignores the primary duty of care, the duty to care for yourself. If somebody failed to care for themselves then how can they try to hold another responsible?

Furthermore even when the judges have recognised lack of personally responsibility they have often said the person was 80% responsible for the accident. The problem is that 20% of $4million damages is still alot of money. This distribution of blame in laughable. (I believe this occured when a drunk fell off children's play equipment and suffered spinal damage. The tan-bark was only 4" thick rather than the 6" which required)


The law also needs to differentiate between the authority creating the danger and the authority failing to remove the danger.

For example building a path in the wilderness may still fail to remove all the dangers, such the werribee gorge cliffs. Yet often the fact that a path is built creates the duty of care and cause problems for the authoritive body, despite the fact that they REDUCED the dangers.

Contrast this to the authority building an unsafe foot bridge across a river. If the bridge breaks then people could be injured or killed. Here the authority has CREATED a danger that didn't exist before. Furthermore it is probably a danger that an individual, unless they're an engineer, is unlikely to recognise.

To me the first situation the authority shouldn't be liable whereas in the second I believe it should.

*******************************************************************************

I think I rambled a bit too much, I hope it makes sense. My point is that in the incidents that we are objecting to, it is usually because the law has failed to take into account that the primary duty of care lies on the individual.

kerroxapithecus
12/05/2006
9:58:32 PM

>On 12/05/2006 Ronny wrote:
if people don't like the
>>law they can change it - through parliament.

good luck!

>On 11/05/2006 patto wrote:
>My point is that in the incidents that we are objecting to, it is usually because the
>law has failed to take into account that the primary duty of care lies
>on the individual.

Patto, you're doing a good job for one of these 'normal' people who don't think like lawyers and your argument would be a good one for the defendant. I don't think it would be fair if there was no avenue to nut out the issues and to just have someone give an overriding decision that in all cases the primary duty of care rests on individuals. Could we really say that's a type of democratic legal system? A trial is simply a way of bringing out the evidence and determining the real story. Yes our system is adversarial in contrast to civil law systems which are inquisitorial. Therefore a lawyer must argue the case for their client and use the law to forward their client's case. They are an advocate. I do see this as a fair system when used appropriately and not unethical seeing all citizens have a right to a fair hearing.

In your example of the drunk who fell off the children's play equipment ask yourself what is the greater evil - going out getting drunk and playing in a public playground or installing a playground in a manner that is against safety regulations? Another important question relates to the balance of power and which party is more able to prevent the damage. It seems to me that the drunk (probably young person) was not doing anything extraordinary and the council was doing something against the law. How many times has the average person become intoxicated and sat in a public place or climbed on a fence or similar? Who suffers the greatest from the failing of the council to meet the regulations? Why install a public playground and not meet the regulations? A sober child (or adult) could just as easily have suffered the same fate. Was the damage caused by the drunkedness, or the lack of depth of the surface bark? Actually that's what this case comes down to......causation. If the plaintiff can show the spinal injruy was caused by the negligence they win (as long as the other parts are proven too). ....That the injury would have been unlikely if the proper surface was in place.

Say you do apply the duty of care to the injured drunk. Do you also apply reasonable foreseeability? If so do you reasonably foresee that all around the place there are dangers because regulations haven't been met? eg. you fly on a plane and you reasonably foresee that the airline didn't do the mechanical checks? My arguement (if you can make sense of all this) is that we should be able to exist and go about our business with a pretty high level of confidence that someone is doing their job.

I agree that we now have much safer workplaces and public places which is a positive outcome of all of this. Afterall what's worse ...having more fatal and permanent injuries in the community or having to pay higher premiums? How ethical is our thinking? Are we more interested in our hip pockets or the general safety and wellbeing of our fellow citizens? What's the cost to the community of incapacitated people???


Re the lawyer jokes.....depends.
I don't like police or footballers but I guess there might be a few who are ok. :)


kerroxapithecus
12/05/2006
10:16:30 PM
On 12/05/2006 climbingjac wrote:
>Interesting point Kerrin. Who says that what people require for a standard
>meal portion is a Big Mac, some fries and a coke?

Yep. Mcdonalds says. That's who says. In a few years it'll be 3 Big Macs and 2 serves of fries and it'll cost less per fry....economies of scale.....economies of large-scale. Notice how you go to McDonalds, KFC etc (if you are silly like me) and they say 'Would you like to upsize the meal for an extra $80c??!! I wonder if we'll keep on upsizing and upsizing until we all blow up.
BoaredOftheRings
12/05/2006
11:52:23 PM
Solicitors look after the interests of the client who is pay the money, ideology is the realm of first year law students.

Eduardo Slabofvic
13/05/2006
11:09:18 AM
What's the difference between a dead snake on the side of the road, and a dead lawyer on the side of the road?

Super Saiyan
13/05/2006
1:52:20 PM
On 13/05/2006 Eduardo Slabofvic wrote:
>What's the difference between a dead snake on the side of the road, and
>a dead lawyer on the side of the road?

there are skid marks before the snake??
patto
13/05/2006
6:39:12 PM
On 12/05/2006 kerroxapithecus wrote:
>
>In your example of the drunk who fell off the children's play equipment
>ask yourself what is the greater evil - going out getting drunk and playing
>in a public playground or installing a playground in a manner that is against
>safety regulations? Another important question relates to the balance of
>power and which party is more able to prevent the damage. It seems to me
>that the drunk (probably young person) was not doing anything extraordinary
>and the council was doing something against the law. How many times has
>the average person become intoxicated and sat in a public place or climbed
>on a fence or similar? Who suffers the greatest from the failing of the
>council to meet the regulations? Why install a public playground and not
>meet the regulations? A sober child (or adult) could just as easily have
>suffered the same fate. Was the damage caused by the drunkedness, or the
>lack of depth of the surface bark? Actually that's what this case comes
>down to......causation. If the plaintiff can show the spinal injruy was
>caused by the negligence they win (as long as the other parts are proven
>too). ....That the injury would have been unlikely if the proper surface
>was in place.
>
>Say you do apply the duty of care to the injured drunk. Do you also apply
>reasonable foreseeability? If so do you reasonably foresee that all around
>the place there are dangers because regulations haven't been met? eg. you
>fly on a plane and you reasonably foresee that the airline didn't do the
>mechanical checks? My arguement (if you can make sense of all this) is
>that we should be able to exist and go about our business with a pretty
>high level of confidence that someone is doing their job.
>

Well here I think we just have differing opinions. You seem to be in favour of the drunk, I find that absurd.

Your initial question shows the problem with adversarial type thinking. You ask which is the greater evil. To me NEITHER is at all 'evil'. Getting drunk and playing around isn't evil nor is building a playground. The point is that no wrong action was done. Accidents sometimes just happen, however if your playing around like that you have to accept the consequence of your actions.

Sure the tan-bark may have been not thick enough for the 'regulations' but 1000s of playgrounds around the country would be similar.

You ask the question "How many times has the average person become intoxicated and sat in a public place or climbed on a fence or similar?". It seems obvious that many people do. However people do this at their OWN risk.

If it was a tree in a park that the drunk climbed and fell off, then does then should the council be liable for not ensuring a soft landing around all trees?

Law claims to be consistant yet it is amazingly inconsistant across areas. For example accidents occur all the time during sports. Most of these are foreseeable furthermore many are preventable. However thankfully in the world of sport people accept these risks and don't try to blame others.

Your scenario about the airline is completely irrelevant. There is a big difference between dangers that you can control such as choosing to climb, walk or play compared to dangers that you have to trust somebody else to control such as bridge building, aeroplane maintainence and safe medicine.

kerroxapithecus
13/05/2006
9:00:00 PM
On 13/05/2006 patto wrote:

>Sure the tan-bark may have been not thick enough for the 'regulations'
>but 1000s of playgrounds around the country would be similar.

I think that's the problem. Why are they when there are regulations stating that surfaces must be of a certain thickness? Wouldn't the regulations be in place because someone with some expertise has worked out that to prevent injury there should be a certain thickness? Why does the council get to ignore the warning and get away with it?

>If it was a tree in a park that the drunk climbed and fell off, then does
>then should the council be liable for not ensuring a soft landing around
>all trees?

The duty of care would not be the same. The installation of the playground is an invitation to play/climb. I don't think there is a regulation that states there should be a soft landing around trees. A tree is not an invitation to climb like the playground is.

The point is if a service is provided it must be provided safely and in accordance with reasonable regulations and laws. Otherwise don't provide it. I'd rather have no local playground than have an unsafe one.
>
>Law claims to be consistant yet it is amazingly inconsistant across areas.
> For example accidents occur all the time during sports. Most of these
>are foreseeable furthermore many are preventable. However thankfully in
>the world of sport people accept these risks and don't try to blame others.

The same laws would apply if a sporting facility was found to be unsafe and caused an injury. If the injury was caused by the normal play of the game then no negligence.
>
>Your scenario about the airline is completely irrelevant. There is a big
>difference between dangers that you can control such as choosing to climb,
>walk or play compared to dangers that you have to trust somebody else to
>control such as bridge building, aeroplane maintainence and safe medicine.

I see your point but there are inherent dangers in flying in planes too. Also I think we should be able to trust that playground surfaces are safe so I don't think it's that different to the plane scenario.

I think the argument will go round in circles from here. Your opinion is the more popular one but I still remain committed to the idea that when companies and authorities that have the power and money to live up to their duty of care should do so because it's so easy to do so. The court does weigh up the cost and practicability of preventing injury against the foreseeability of the damage.

Super Saiyan
13/05/2006
9:16:32 PM
Sooooo..... um..... anyone actually know what happened at werribee?

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