20 March 2012

Where there's Blame There's a claim


Climbing seems about personal responsibility as much as anything. Very much the "You got yourself into this mess now you get yourself out of it." type of risk sport beloved of the self reliant. Bit of a shock then for this careful risk taker to see a forty something climbing wall first timer suing and winning against a climbing wall. This after she fell off and badly and broke an ankle whilst bouldering. She won her case on the basis that she wasn't properly briefed on the risks and correct procedure for using a bouldering wall. I suspect she wasn't but here's the rub. The Climbing wall's insurance pays out so the climbing wall stays in business. Except next year their premium's go up, as do premiums across the country, I imagine. Worse still it looks like the judge interpreted the existing legislation correctly in this case and this is arguably justice being done.

Climbing  walls which are mainly but not exclusivlely used by climbers, not first timers on some bizarre corporate "bonding activity" have to put their prices up. Punters have to subsidise compensation to someone who won't go on to get anything out of the past time and probably wasn't that interested in it anyway. Lawyers make a few bob and we keep some of the insurance industry in second homes in Cornwall.
So dear climbing wall industry how about this; Please offer me the use of your facilities on a "I'm big enough and ugly enough to look after myself basis" with the caveat that when I do something stupid and something goes pop or crack, I can't sue you and its all my fault. In exchange I will sign a paper to that effect and I would like to pay a little less or at least pay no more, please?  If this fails and the compensation culture wins and prices go up, we all lose and people that probably weren't in a position to benefit from what climbing had to offer get a few quid to compensate for their righteous anger at "someone else's negligence".
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