/ Faulty rope led to amputation for outdoors instructor

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
Pete Cook - on 30 Aug 2013
deacondeacon - on 31 Aug 2013
In reply to Pete Cook: does this mean the guy recieved 20'000 in compensation?
Seems like pretty much f' all to someone has broken their back and lost a foot due to negligence.
JLS on 31 Aug 2013
In reply to deacondeacon:

>"does this mean the guy recieved 20'000 in compensation?"

No, that was just the 'Elf n safety fine. I'd think the compensation will be considerably more, picked up by the firm's insurers.
Pete Cook - on 31 Aug 2013
In reply to deacondeacon: No this was the fine imposed by the courts on the supplier.
deacondeacon - on 31 Aug 2013
In reply to Pete Cook and JLS:

Cheers, law isn't my strong point.
highclimber - on 31 Aug 2013
In reply to JLS: not if they were found to be negligent - you cant insure against negligence.
muppetfilter - on 31 Aug 2013
In reply to deacondeacon: What I cant understand is that a rope and termination that is destined to hold a human bodyweight in this system wasn't proof loaded in any way before use.
timjones - on 31 Aug 2013
In reply to highclimber:
> (In reply to JLS) not if they were found to be negligent - you cant insure against negligence.

That's an interesting assertion! Can you back it up?
highclimber - on 31 Aug 2013
In reply to timjones: My professional indemity policy does not cover me were I to be found negligent. I assume that this is the case in all policies. happy to be proved wrong.
DancingOnRock - on 31 Aug 2013
In reply to highclimber:It won't protect you against being sued. It will provide compensation for people who you have injured. That's the whole point of it.
DancingOnRock - on 31 Aug 2013
In reply to Pete Cook: The thread title is somewhat misleading. The rope didn't fail, that's very uncommon. The cleat on the end failed and it is easily understood why it failed. The amputation was caused (IMO) by the hospital missing the injury until it was too late. Which is another law suit completely...
timjones - on 31 Aug 2013
In reply to highclimber:
> (In reply to timjones) My professional indemity policy does not cover me were I to be found negligent. I assume that this is the case in all policies. happy to be proved wrong.

Do you tell your customers about this, you're likely to be very short of work if you confess. Get yourself some decent insurance!
Andy S - on 31 Aug 2013
In reply to highclimber: might get a payout from the outdoor centre's insurance?
jon on 31 Aug 2013
In reply to Pete Cook:

> the rope supplied by Pfeifer Rope & Tackle Ltd simply unravelled as he stepped off a platform for a practice descent.

Unravelled? What sort of rope was it? Doesn't sound like a climbing rope...
AlH - on 31 Aug 2013
In reply to jon: Sounds like the fitting on a captive eye they had created wasn't properly crushed.
highclimber - on 31 Aug 2013
In reply to jon: I read it to mean the captive eye too that was at fault.
jon on 31 Aug 2013
In reply to AlH:

So does that mean the rope wasn't faulty?
AlH - on 31 Aug 2013
In reply to jon: Yes to me it sounds like their procedure for creating the captive eye was at fault and that they failed to check it was properly fit for use.
jkarran - on 31 Aug 2013
In reply to jon:

Reads like the person-end termination assembly was faulty. The use of the word rope in place of rope-assembly is rather confusing.

jk
jon on 31 Aug 2013
In reply to jkarran:

Hmmm, person end termination... sounds like they got it about right then! So, what should it look like? I'm having trouble imagining it.
ads.ukclimbing.com
elsewhere on 31 Aug 2013
In reply to jon:
Possibly a wire rope termination , that would be in line with the company's products.

http://www.pfeifer.de/emag/complett-2011-2012_english/#/220/
jon on 31 Aug 2013
In reply to elsewhere:

So not a rope as we know it, but a cable?
Pete Cook - on 31 Aug 2013
In reply to DancingOnRock: Yes agree the HSE title is somewhat misleading which is what I copied exactly to post here!
elsewhere on 31 Aug 2013
In reply to jon:
Same word but different material in different fields (ie climbing -> nylon, lifting/cranes -> wire).
BigHairyIan - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Pete Cook: back in the day when I had professional indemnity insurance (albeit for providing software), I was never insured for negligence. If you do something daft, then you cop for the consequences. In this case, the way is now open for the man to bring a claim against both the centre and the manufacturer... Although I strongly suspect that the center are the culpable party. Much like whoever is driving a car needs to make sure that it is road worthy... Not the owner... I might be wrong! I'm sure that we will hear the next chapters if this story as it pans out...
Howard J - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to BigHairyIan:
> (In reply to Pete Cook) back in the day when I had professional indemnity insurance ... I was never insured for negligence.

??? That is exactly what PII is for - so that if you get something wrong and are found negligent (in the legal sense), there are sufficient funds to pay damages to the claimant. Apart from a few situations where there is strict liability, if you haven't been negligent you won't be liable.

hamsforlegs - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Pete Cook:

I used to deal a lot with very large centrally sourced insurance contracts. As others have noted, standard policies don't provide any kind of cover in the event of negligence or criminal misconduct. This makes sense - the alternative is that you could take out insurance and then go out to bankrupt the insurers through a series of deliberately reckless or damaging acts.

In reality, those who suffer harm because of the actions/omissions of an insured person do often receive payouts, even where negligence or criminality are involved. This is partly because it is worth the cost of the additional payout to maintain a reputation as providing reliable cover. It is also partly because it is usually simpler to close off the action surrounding the original incident by paying out, and to then start a separate action to recover the money from the insured party if there was negligence or similar involved.
AlanLittle - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Pete Cook:

I assume JCM will be along in a bit to tell us about the legal issues, what can & can't be insured etc.

Meanwhile, I must say I find your thread title rather misleading and unnecessarily alarmist on a clmbing forum. One immediately thinks/assumes "faulty CLIMBING rope, that's worrying, must read it" then finds some time later that it's about some knd of in-situ toproping rig that has nothing to do with normal climbing equipment.

I don't mean to imply any lack of sympathy of respect for the victim.
hamsforlegs - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Howard J:

My terminology could be out here, but I'm pretty sure that you can be liable without being negligent. They are two different things.
Baron Weasel - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to jon: Think it might be webbing with a sewn termination.
RCC - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to hamsforlegs:

> My terminology could be out here, but I'm pretty sure that you can be liable without being negligent. They are two different things.

You can. Civil liability simply means that you are responsible for the payment of damages etc.

You can be liable due to:
1. Contractual responsibility (e.g. you said you would pay for something but didn't).
2. Deliberate actions. (you set out to damage something that wasn't yours).
3. Negligence. (you failed to take reasonable precautions and someone suffered)
4. Strict liability. Where you are in a position that any harm suffered is automatically your responsibility.

PII does not cover the 1st two (and generally not the last), but is explicitly about covering negligence claims. Some policies (civil liability insurance) are much broader in range.
Neil Williams - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to highclimber:

Yes you can. Car insurance, for example, exists for exactly that purpose.

You can insure against anything an insurance company will issue a policy on. It's simply a form of gambling - you bet that you will carry out the insured event, the insurer bets you won't.

Neil
johncoxmysteriously - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Pete Cook:

Mystified by highclimber and others. If they're not insured against negligence, wtf are they insured against, pray?!

jcm
Neil Williams - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

I think as others have said they are not insured against deliberate, wilful acts by the insured party. Near enough the whole point of liability insurance is to cover against negligence.

Neil
Howard J - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Pete Cook: A deliberate act could still be negligent. Negligence in the legal sense is not the same as carelessness, in a professional context it means failing to do what could reasonably be expected of a professional in the same circumstances. This might mean failing to do something, or doing something wrong or badly. Usually if you follow recognised good practice you should be OK.

In the well-known Smiler Cuthbertson case he had used a single ice screw to belay from. This was a deliberate act, a choice made because, in his judgement as an experienced climber and guide, in the circumstances he felt that it was more important to move quickly rather than stay in a danger zone trying to set up a belay. They fell, the belay failed and his client was killed. The court found he was negligent, because he had failed to follow good practice which would recommend at least two belay points. His PII paid up.

It's interesting to speculate what the court might have decided if he had followed best practice and an accident occurred because they had not moved fast enough. I suspect the court might have decided that he had been negligent because he had delayed moving into a safer position in order to fix a better belay. Ultimately PII is there to protect the victim - in this case a widow and fatherless child - and where the circumstances allow different interpretations the courts will often try to find a way to compensate the victim.
deepsoup - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Baron Weasel:
> (In reply to jon) Think it might be webbing with a sewn termination.

This:

"There had been a failure by the company to perform a simple measurement check on the end terminations to confirm they had been fully crushed."

Suggests it was swaged. It can be done with a textile rope, but it's more likely it was steel. The rope is put through a ferrule (a tube of copper or aluminium) which is then crushed between dies in a press to reduce its size and grip the rope.

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.