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Discussion Starter #1
I got a call from a lawyer representing the State of California because a mountain biker is suing Annadel State Park. Apparantly he was riding down Spring Creek trail about a year ago when they were preparing to do trail maintainance. At the end of the trail where it merges with Canyon trail, was a pile of gravel. His contention is that he couldn't see the gravel, or didn't know he could ride around it, and went over it, crashed, and got hurt.
I told the lawyer (she got my number because my wife crashed on the same gravel pile and was seen by a ranger who got our phone number) that the gravel pile was easily avoided, and anyone who went over it did so by their own choice. Furthermore, the earlier parts of the trail are way more treacherous than the flat ending of spring creek trail.

A year ago, my wife followed me as I (voluntarily) jumped over the gravel pile. She miscalculated, crashed, and ended up breaking a bone in her hand. But she freely admits she chose to do something that was probably beyond her skill level.

Our state parks have enough financial problems without having to pay everyone who gets hurt on a trail. I'll probably be called as a witness. I told the lawyer if she needs anyone else I'd post on MTBR and she'd probably get more help :)

I think she said the prosecution has Robert Van Der Plas, author of The Mountain Bike Handbook, as a witness.
 

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Hmm, well this sure doesn't explain why they put a whole mess of gravel on that newly sanitized region of live oak.

I'm disgusted with the idea of a biker who would sue a park because they crashed.
 

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Ride what you want!!
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If if the person suing doesn't win, it's still going to cost the parks money. Farken icehole.

george
 

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It happens. A burgulur fell through a homeowners roof while trying to rob him, he broke his leg, sued the homeowner, and WON.

That would explain the sign I saw today on the new extremely steep d/h trail we have in our state forest, "Expert Mountain Bike Downhill Trail. Check with Ranger Before Attempting." Of course, rules were made to be broken... which happened, because the Ranger was off-duty, and now I know why it's called the "Ranger Danger" Trail. Forget the switchbacks, this mother- just goes straight off the edge of the hill!
 

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if this guy wins, could it mean that the park system could deem that bikers in annadel are a lawsuit waiting to happen and close off the trails?
 

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Fermented Grain Sampler
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That's just riduculous. My random thoughts:
- Why the hell did it take a year? Did he forget about it and then go, "Hey, I need some $$!" Is it going to trial?
- The sport has inherent risks. Deal with it. Crap, if I sued all the places I crashed, lots of lawyers would be wealthy. I'd probably have an extra $20 or so after their fees. Enough for bandages and some beer.
- Then there's the personal responsibility aspect...if you try something, deal with the consequences.
- If I understand this correctly, the pile was small enough to possibily jump over? Do you mean bunny hop or use as a ramp? Either one involves a personal decision to "go for it". If its either, then its also walkable.
What else can I come up with?.....

Oh yeah, lets say he was going too fast to avoid it... does that means he wasn't riding in control at the time on a multi-use trail?

Personal opinion... he's probably some dirtbag looking to make a quick buck based on the advice of some ambulance chasing personal liability lawyer going after the insurance coverage that public entities carry.
End result.... premiums go up for the park system and potential closure of trails to bike due to potential risk. It sucks.

Werner
 

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if you have any info

about who this guy is please let us know. He should be informed through telephone calls/emails (on a massive level) that it is not appreceated.
 

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Focking ridiculous.

If they have sued it's a matter of public record. We just need to find the right venue to get copies of the complaint.

Superior court in Santa Rosa sounds plausible.

Any locals want to fork over a few bucks and some time to get copies of the complaint?

I volunteer to publicaaly (internet at least) humiliate the losers in an attempt to knock some sense into them.

I'll create a whole friggin' website to showcase their idiocy.
 

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I have to say that this is just ridiculous and rather laughable.

I assume the Plaintiff is suing in negligence because the park owed some sort of duty to warn of a gravel pile which caused the subsequent damage. My question is, in the state in which this is happening are their any civil liability Acts that limit the liability of statutory bodies such as state parks - or is there limitation of liability where the claimant ought reasonably be aware of this risk he/she is exposing themselves too? A

I know for a fact, here in my home state in Australia that this case would most probably fail to even make it to the courts on 2 counts.

Utterly pathetic.

It would be good if CraigH et al could make this thread a sticky I would like to hear the progress of this farce.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm not sure

if the lawyers for the park would appreciate everyone's well-meant efforts to communicate with the plaintiff. I'd say wait and see what is the best action to help the park win the law suit. Humiliation/harrassment of the plaintiff might end up helping his case. I would at least wait until this thing gets a bit further along so we don't mess up a possible easy and cheap settlement or something like that.

I'll post more if/when I find out more. Especially if I get to be a witness. Fun.

The lawyer asked me if I think that other park users (hikers, horse riders) would be good or bad to have on the jury. At first I thought that maybe they shouldn't be on the jury because some of them may have bad experiences with bikers. But then I thought if they don't like bikers, then they probably won't side with a guy who wants to sue their favorite park because of his poor bike skills. hmmm...
 

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jra
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Pete said:
Focking ridiculous.

Any locals want to fork over a few bucks and some time to get copies of the complaint?

I volunteer to publicaaly (internet at least) humiliate the losers in an attempt to knock some sense into them.
Sadly, another kook Kalifornian. It's no surprise that much of the country is entertained by our lunacy...don't get me wrong, I was born, raised and love it here.

Count me in for assistance. This IS rediculous! The "I crashed, so I'm going to sue somebody" mentality has got to end. Sheesh, I think we'd all have sued WAY too many times by now. :D

If anyone gets any updates, please keep us posted. Thanks.
 

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jra
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GuruAtma said:
But then I thought if they don't like bikers, then they probably won't side with a guy who wants to sue their favorite park because of his poor bike skills. hmmm...
I think you may be right. I know of a few hikers that would love to get the cyclists off of 'their' trails. I generally don't get the same response from equestrians, although I wouldn't be surprised if the sentiment is the same.

Please keep us posted.
 

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GuruAtma said:
if the lawyers for the park would appreciate everyone's well-meant efforts to communicate with the plaintiff. I'd say wait and see what is the best action to help the park win the law suit. Humiliation/harrassment of the plaintiff might end up helping his case. I would at least wait until this thing gets a bit further along so we don't mess up a possible easy and cheap settlement or something like that.
Yes I agree it would be wise to leave things be for a while. Producing a web page may lead to some sort of imputation which, knowing plaints like these would lead to an action in defamation. :rolleyes:
 

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seasick said:
I think you may be right. I know of a few hikers that would love to get the cyclists off of 'their' trails. I generally don't get the same response from equestrians, although I wouldn't be surprised if the sentiment is the same.

Please keep us posted.
You know, recently hikers have been so pissed with riders that they have been setting traps and obstructing trails in order to deter mountain bikers.

Bushwalkers set biker booby-traps
By Gavin Lower
July 12, 2004

BUSHWALKERS have placed dangerous traps on a Mt Wellington track to stop mountain-bike riders using it, a Hobart rider says.

John Clingo said sticks and rocks were being placed on the Radfords Track, near The Springs, by walkers upset with mountain-bikers who used the track.

Mr Clingo said he had come across walkers on the track angry that riders were using the steep and winding trail.

"Walkers have been putting sticks across the track and rocks in places they should not be," he said.

Under the Wellington Park Management Trust's list of tracks appropriate for mountain-biking, Radfords Track is one where mountain-biking is allowed.

Mr Clingo said that while he had not heard of any riders being hurt by the obstacles, he had heard of one rider who only escaped injury by jumping the hazard.

Mr Lingo said one way to address the issue would be to open the Lenah Valley Track from The Springs to mountain-bike riders.

He is putting together a petition calling for the track, which leads to the start of many mountain-bike tracks at Junction Cabin, to be opened to riders.

Mr Clingo said he believed if the Lenah Valley Track was opened, mountain-bike use on the Radfords Track would drop by half.

He said he did not believe riders on the Lenah Valley Track would be a problem for walkers because it was flat, had few blind corners and riders generally rode slowly along it.

Wellington Park Management Trust executive officer Michael Easton said the trust was aware of obstacles being placed on Radfords Track and did not condone the practice.

"It shows us we need to educate walkers that riders are entitled to use the track," he said.

Mr Easton said the trust believed it was time to review the park's bike strategy but was not proposing to stop riders from using Radfords Track.

He said any petition could be taken into account during the review.

One way the trust was looking at addressing the conflict between walkers and riders was to create a mountain-bike park on the mountain behind Glenorchy, Mr Easton said.

However the park would not have the aim of moving bikes off the mountain but would provide a dedicated riding area that would link with other bike-approved tracks.

Mr Easton said Glenorchy City Council had agreed in principle to put money towards the project and an application for a grant from the State Government had been made.
 

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I just remember being in SF last year and noticing that half the phone book in our hotel room was lawyers and attorneys.

Surprising, funny and sickening all at once.

But yes, great place. :)
 

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Suits are bad news

The La Jolla Valley in Pt. Mugu SP is closed to mtn biking because a mountain biker sued after falling. The knee-jerk reaction is to close a trail.
 

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The person currently LIVES in California

seasick said:
Sadly, another kook Kalifornian. It's no surprise that much of the country is entertained by our lunacy...don't get me wrong, I was born, raised and love it here.

Count me in for assistance. This IS rediculous! The "I crashed, so I'm going to sue somebody" mentality has got to end. Sheesh, I think we'd all have sued WAY too many times by now. :D

If anyone gets any updates, please keep us posted. Thanks.
That, in no way, makes him a Californian. An idiot, perhaps, but not neccessarily a Californian.
 

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All this discussion brings up some good points...

We all love our local trails and want them to be protected and preserved. I am a SR local and ride Annadel about 4 days a week. I remember that gravel pile at the Spring Creek and Canyon junction. Man, I can't believe that loser. What a zero!

We need to spread the word to our biking bretheren that we (the mountain bikers who primarily use the trails) have a direct impact on the trails themselves. What does that mean?.....just answer the following questions and you will get the jist:

Have you ever thought to yourself why the mountain biking community is under so much fire? Why do most hikers and equistrians frown everytime you courteously slow down and stop to yield the right of way?

Have you ever riden your favorite trail when the conditions did not allow for trail conservation? i.e. Did you trash the muddy trail with your fat tires?

Have you ever riden down your favorite trail at speeds that would get you ticket on public streets? Did you maintain that speed while blowing past the elderly hikers? "On your left." Yah right! Slow the %$^&#@ down. If you want to go fast pay the duckets and race.

Have you ever ridden any illegal trails?

Have you ever carried too much speed into a turn so much so you had to lock it up to save from going over the bars, yet destroying the trail in the process?

What about making the turn on a blind corner only to find some equistrians. We all know the horses startle at the sound of squeeky brakes.

There are countless more questions we need to ask ourselves in an effort to be courteous mountain bikers. Basically, we need to police ourselves.
Wow, want a rant that was. I haven't been on the board in a while. I guess it shows. I wonder if this will spark a new "healthy" debate?

stoom
 
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