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Old 04-05-2018, 12:25 PM   #11
Who's askin'?
maytag's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Utah
Posts: 1,096
Originally Posted by thstone View Post
The first thing that I want to make clear is that I fully believe that we all take responsibility when we enter the track.

But after talking with a couple of friends about this case, I wanted to convey what some people believe will be the basis for the rider's claim of gross negligence;

The rider will claim that the sandbags were never intended to be part of the track run off area. The rider will present evidence showing that the design of the track never included sandbags in those areas.

Thus, the rider will claim that the sandbags created an "artificial obstacle" that either caused/contributed to him crashing or caused his crash to more serious than would have occurred if the area had been maintained consistent with intended design of track runoff areas - meaning plain dirt/gravel.

Furthermore, the rider will claim that the sandbags were not placed there to improve the safety of the racers but to accomodate rain. Therefore, the safety of the sandbags had never been properly evaluated in terms of risk and the potential for reducing safety, and thus, they should have been removed after any threat of rain had passed to avoid creating an artificial obstacle in run off area.

Your thoughts?
I would counter that argument by suggesting that the design ALWAYS included appropriate measures to control rainwater in a desert climate with little to no vegetation. But the placement of those measures could never be "designed" until rainwater creates its path, and sandbags are placed. I'd further ask "what constitutes a hazard"? It can be argued at an extreme that gravel, sand, turf, any of those things are hazardous, as they do not provide the same consistent qualities in traction, steering & braking as the asphalt does. As many have pointed-out: Kim was crashing whether he hit that sandbag or not. It could be argued at the other extreme that NOTHING is a hazard, if it is placed outside the asphalt surface of the track, as it's not intended to have riders on any unpaved surface. So who determines what constitutes a negligent hazard? I've fallen-down at Barber because I took the runout and instantly locked the front wheel in the wet grass. So is that grass a hazard? Should I sue Barber?

One of the problems we have is that too often in the legal system, we get people who enjoy semantics. They enjoy parsing the words, rather than the meanings of them. They will try to maneuver into a place where this event exists in a vacuum, with no context from the general landscape of the sport, the associated risks, the inherent dangers, etc. They'll try this case in that bleak, context-less field which will provide zero perspective, and then they'll spin the words to suggest an intended meaning that is not in sync with what we all know to be true. This is not justice: it's law. There's a wide gap between the two. "Mind the Gap!"

It's a shame that personal responsibility has been eroded in this country (perhaps it's the world, I don't know?) to the point where we blame everyone but ourselves for getting-in over our heads and getting hurt.
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