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DomDoeslive

waited 6 years only to realize.

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Try looking at it from a legal perspective. Personal injury lawyers follow the money.

Drop zone owners and parachute manufacturers have the most money to lose.

USPA has few assets but has wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars defending against lawsuits ... many of which were frivolous. USPA does not want the hassle of any more lawsuits.

Trust me, a decade ago I got dragged into a personal injury lawsuit that named a dozen defendants. As soon as (WorkSafeBC) lawyers realized how little money some defendants had, they were quickly dropped from the lawsuit. Then lawyers focused on the three defendants who might have enough money to make it worth their time.

After 6 years, a judge found the owner/pilot guilty.

Nine years after the crash, a judge decided that Transport Canada as well as Pratt & Whitney of Canada (engine manufacturer) were blameless.

Meanwhile, lawyers left me to starve during knee surgery.

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(edited)

I am not an attorney and did not even stay in a Holiday Inn, but what I've been told, at least in Florida, is that no one can sign away a minors rights, not even their parents.  Keeps it pretty simple.

http://www.familyblawg.com/family-law/can-a-parent-waive-their-childs-right-to-sue/

 

Edited by danornan
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On 8/18/2020 at 11:17 AM, chuckakers said:

USPA has not granted age waivers to drop zones. They are granted to individuals who are then welcome to jump anywhere they like without being in violation of BSR's.

AKA the good ole boy system, it's not who you know, it's who you...  I'm calling BS, and you Mr Ackers who are taking up for these scofflaws. The shame of it all. 

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12 hours ago, timski said:

AKA the good ole boy system, it's not who you know, it's who you...  I'm calling BS, and you Mr Ackers who are taking up for these scofflaws. The shame of it all. 

The most recent age waiver was granted to a 17-year old girl. You might want to choose your words a bit more carefully.

This young lady trained and earned her USPA A license outside the country specifically because she couldn't jump legally in the U.S. She and her father (also a jumper) travelled from Florida to Phoenix to attend the last board meeting where she addressed the board in person to request a waiver. The board overwhelmingly supported her request.

As for your assertion that there is a "good ole boy system", you are flat wrong. I have served our membership for more than 4 years and haven't experienced any of the countless things the keyboard warriors claim.

By the way, you owe this fine young lady an apology for your rude remark.

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On 8/23/2020 at 10:00 AM, chuckakers said:

The most recent age waiver was granted to a 17-year old girl. You might want to choose your words a bit more carefully.

This young lady trained and earned her USPA A license outside the country specifically because she couldn't jump legally in the U.S. She and her father (also a jumper) travelled from Florida to Phoenix to attend the last board meeting where she addressed the board in person to request a waiver. The board overwhelmingly supported her request.

As for your assertion that there is a "good ole boy system", you are flat wrong. I have served our membership for more than 4 years and haven't experienced any of the countless things the keyboard warriors claim.

By the way, you owe this fine young lady an apology for your rude remark.

My dude you can spin it any way you wish. I see through the BS and call a spade when I see one. This isn't about ONE person in question, it's about THE SYSTEM and who it works for. Good day sir.

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4 hours ago, timski said:

My dude you can spin it any way you wish. I see through the BS and call a spade when I see one. This isn't about ONE person in question, it's about THE SYSTEM and who it works for. Good day sir.

Believe whatever you like.

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There shouldn't have been an age restriction in the first place. That was a handout to the manufacturers, and I don't recall ever paying dues to the United States Parachute Manufacturers Association. They already have PIA.

Maybe I am recalling the explanation incorrectly, but I don't buy the argument that the entire equipment industry was one lawsuit away from disaster, and that we had to protect them to protect our interests as skydivers.

If they wanted to limit their liability from minors from using their equipment then they should have put their heads together and gotten their lawyers involved.

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I usually agree with most of what you have to say, but...

6 hours ago, DougH said:

I don't buy the argument that the entire equipment industry was one lawsuit away from disaster, and that we had to protect them to protect our interests as skydivers.

Huh? We're not that big of an industry, and wrongful death lawsuits can result in huge judgements, on top of what it costs to defend and appeal them.

 

6 hours ago, DougH said:

If they wanted to limit their liability from minors from using their equipment then they should have put their heads together and gotten their lawyers involved.

I think they did, and what they came up with was an age-of-majority age limit.

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I would consider getting into indoor skydiving now, then looking into AFF when you turn 18.

Not sure what your background with the sport is, but I grew up with parents who both skydive, and as a result, was able to participate in tunnel camps and gained flight skills from a young age without ever skydiving. I personally would not have even started AFF without this background(granted, I never planned on skydiving. indoor skydiving and the community really opened me up to the possibility).

The more you learn before you start skydiving, the better. Plus, a lot of AFF instructors(in my area, at least) will often recommend tunnel time. Someone confident in their bodyflight/freefall abilities is often less overwhelmed by the whole process, and can safely focus on the newer things more easily(e.g. better altitude awareness because they're not concerned about body position or stability).

You'll also likely get to be involved with the skydiving community if you participate in tunnel comps as well. We have a lot of crossover locally between our skydiving community and out tunnel fliers. So you'll get to know the community, fly with experienced jumpers, and prepare for your future skydives all before even starting!

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Dear DougH,

I strongly disagree because my experience is that personal injury lawyers create more problems than they solve.

Tort lawyers are greedy, self-centered, lazy and willfully ignorant. A dozen years after a plane crash, I have more problems (15 months lost wages, starvation, PTSD, heart murmurs, etc.) than before I ever talked with a lawyer.

At one point I had to explain a 30-year-old legal precedent set by a 16 year-old girl who was paralyzed during a static-line jump in Ontario! Why did a lay man have to explain a 30-year-old legal precedent?

Another lawyer was gob-smacked when I mentioned the jump-plane crashes in Perris Valley, California and Hinckley, Illinois back in 1992! Even the lawyer representing Transport Canada was clueless about those two crashes!

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(edited)
12 hours ago, dudeman17 said:

I usually agree with most of what you have to say, but...

Huh? We're not that big of an industry, and wrongful death lawsuits can result in huge judgements, on top of what it costs to defend and appeal them.

 

I think they did, and what they came up with was an age-of-majority age limit.

Who is not that big of an industry? Sport skydiving (to include instructors, fun jumpers, DZO's and clubs), or skydiving equipment manufacturing. They are interrelated but they aren't one in the same.

Who put their heads together? The manufacturers or the USPA board. The impression I got at the time was that the board put the age limit in place at the direct request of the manufacturers. That isn't who the USPA is supposed to represent. 

I will admit that it is a silly detail for me to be hung up on because in general I don't think minors skydiving is a great idea. I personally wouldn't take a minor on a tandem even if I was allowed by UPT or Strong unless it was my child or an extremely close personal family friend. It just isn't worth the personal liability unless there are major legal changes or a state law that would provide legality to the waivers. I just think that should be a DZO and an instructor choice.

 

Edited by DougH

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9 hours ago, DougH said:

 

I will admit that it is a silly detail for me to be hung up on because in general I don't think minors skydiving is a great idea. I personally wouldn't take a minor on a tandem even if I was allowed by UPT or Strong unless it was my child or an extremely close personal family friend. It just isn't worth the personal liability unless there are major legal changes or a state law that would provide legality to the waivers. I just think that should be a DZO and an instructor choice.

 

In a perfect world, maybe.

But the problem is that if/when someone gets hurt, the lawyers cast as big of a net as they can. 

There's no way any manufacturer can shield themselves from that liability. 

It doesn't matter what the contract for the user says. It doesn't matter what the waiver says. It doesn't even matter what the BSRs say. 

The only way to prevent those lawsuits is to prevent the underage tandems from happening in the first place. 
By making the age limit a BSR, and enforcing it, they are trying to accomplish that. 

As as far as actual 'underagers' jumping, I've known a few. All were 'DZ Brats' who were allowed to start underage, mainly because the parents were deeply involved in the DZ (owned it or were long time, high ranking club officers).

Since the change, I've only known of one. DZO's son. DZO stated very clearly that since a BoD member was an occasional fun jumper, and conducted instructor ratings courses on the DZ, there was no way the rules weren't going to be followed. 
I have no doubt that the relationship between the DZO & the BoD member helped the process. But I don't think it was a necessary part of it. 

However, despite the BSR waiver, there were very few DZs that would let the underager jump. They wouldn't accept the risk. 

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Lawyers follow the money and cast their nets wide in search of "deep pockets." The only "deep pockets" in the skydiving industry are parachute manufacturers.

In my case, lawyers representing WorkSafeBC named something like a dozen defendents including: the pilot, airplane owner, one overhaul facility, a separate mechanic, the engine manufacturer, the pump manufacturer, Transport Canada, etc.

They really wanted to sue the American Federal Aviation Administration, but US law prohibits that kind of lawsuit.

As lawyers learned how little money most defendants had, they were dropped form the lawsuit. It took Transport Canada 9 years to convince a judge that they were innocent! Nine miserable years!

A dozen years after the crash, there are still a few loose ends.

What a miserable process!

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(edited)
On 8/26/2020 at 6:48 PM, wolfriverjoe said:

In a perfect world, maybe.

But the problem is that if/when someone gets hurt, the lawyers cast as big of a net as they can. 

There's no way any manufacturer can shield themselves from that liability. 

 

Yes, but does that reality really vary between a 17 year old jumper and a 30 year old jumper? 17 year old jumper goes in and the parents/estate will sue everyone if they get the right (wrong) lawyer gets in their ear. Same outcome is just as likely with our 30 year old.

I see the argument on a tandem jump, for example where the Sigma specific waiver is shielding UPT, would be deemed invalid for a underage jumper. There is much more of a relationship between UPT and a tandem student. UPT makes the rigs, but they also train instructors, and they have a whole system that continues to interact with their equipment, the equipment owners, and their instructors following the sale of a tandem system.

That is not the case with non-tandem sport parachutes. Aerodyne doesn't have evaluators to certify instructors that are taking students on AFF jumps using their student rigs. There isn't a continued relationship there after the sale to the rig owner. 

Excluding tandem jumps I don't think that the DZ waiver, regardless of its legality, offers any protection for the manufacturers.

Think of all of the other risk activities where equipment manufacturers have products that are used by minors. Climbing, skiing, driving. None of them are lobbying to have all use of their products restricted until the age of majority.

Edited by DougH

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1 hour ago, DougH said:

Yes, but does that reality really vary between a 17 year old jumper and a 30 year old jumper? 17 year old jumper goes in and the parents/estate will sue everyone if they get the right (wrong) lawyer gets in their ear. Same outcome is just as likely with our 30 year old...

 

...Excluding tandem jumps I don't think that the DZ waiver, regardless of its legality, offers any protection for the manufacturers.

Think of all of the other risk activities where equipment manufacturers have products that are used by minors. Climbing, skiing, driving. None of them are lobbying to have all use of their products restricted until the age of majority.

The difference between the 17 yo & the 30 yo is that the adult can legally waive rights.
The minor cannot, nor can anyone else for him (or her).

A properly written waiver includes everybody, including gear manufacturers (for student jumps or rental gear).

Doesn't mean a slimy ambulance chaser can't try to sue, but the waivers have been upheld in courts a bunch of times. 

I have no idea how the other industries protect themselves from frivolous lawsuits involving minors using their gear. 
It probably has something to do with the availability of liability insurance for those manufacturers. And the size of the legal departments of those insurance companies.

Don't forget that UPT is more properly known as "Uninsured United Parachute Technologies". If you aren't aware (and many folks are so you may well be), Bill Booth changed the name after a court decided that he wasn't allowed to testify that his company had no liability insurance for these sorts of lawsuits because it wasn't available. 

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On 8/16/2020 at 1:27 AM, DomDoeslive said:


Easily ruined my week. If anyone knows of a way I could still skydive in texas please share any info.

Easily ruined my week

Waah.

If anyone knows of a way I could still skydive in texas please share any info.

Make a lot of money.

But your own plane and equipment.

Have at it.

Probably good to hire a few instructors also to hold you stable.

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