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post #1 of 17 Old 12-16-2008 Thread Starter
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A dead horse..boat

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post #2 of 17 Old 12-16-2008
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He didn't take long to lock the thread, did he?

Damn it guys, change the legal system so that the loser pays all of the costs.

You must. This is crazy.
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post #3 of 17 Old 12-16-2008
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Wow! That's what you get for letting lawyers rule the world. This is scandalous! What happens if there are serious injuries or death which could have been avoided if the information had been published? Free speech? Only if you can afford it, apparently.
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post #4 of 17 Old 12-16-2008
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That idea of loser paying isn't really the best plan. Let's say a boat in the marina comes lose and bashes your boat. The boat owner doesn't have insurance, or money as far as you can tell, but the marina requires insurance to dock there.

Well you decide to make a claim against the marina but it's denied. So you sue the marina for the damages but they're insurance company sends in a pack of lawers that prove the contract you signed stated that the marina wasn't liable for damage to your craft and they had proof of insurance, two years old mind you, of the boat in question.

You lose the suit and by the way here's a bill for $250,000 for the marina and insurance company's legal fees. Pretty soon unless you knew you had a 100% chance of winning a lawsuit, you'd never even try. Companies all over would get pretty lax in they're due diligence. Why make boat owners prove anything, no ones going to sue as long as you write the leases right.

Shoots, insurance companies would look forward to going to court because with a little padding they're legal departments could become profit centers. In the end the victims of big companies or deep pocketed Aholes would suffer far more then they do now. We'd all pay far more then an extra buck for this and a little inconvenence when we want to do that.

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post #5 of 17 Old 12-17-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danjarch View Post
That idea of loser paying isn't really the best plan. Let's say a boat in the marina comes lose and bashes your boat. The boat owner doesn't have insurance, or money as far as you can tell, but the marina requires insurance to dock there.

Well you decide to make a claim against the marina but it's denied. So you sue the marina for the damages but they're insurance company sends in a pack of lawers that prove the contract you signed stated that the marina wasn't liable for damage to your craft and they had proof of insurance, two years old mind you, of the boat in question.
In this case, recourse would have been available for damage to your vessel through your own insurance. Where was the marina negligent??

Well, it wasn't. So rightfully, in this case, the marina wins and the loser pays for the baseless lawsuit.

There could be a better example out there somewhere....

(I'm a proponent of tort reform)
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post #6 of 17 Old 12-17-2008
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Of course, if the boat that came loose, did so because the finger pier they were tied to broke free...then you would probably have a good case against the marina. However, if the boat came loose due to the owner not having secured it properly, the marina is not at fault, since it isn't their responsibility to tie up the boats—that falls on the owner of the boat generally.

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In this case, recourse would have been available for damage to your vessel through your own insurance. Where was the marina negligent??

Well, it wasn't. So rightfully, in this case, the marina wins and the loser pays for the baseless lawsuit.

There could be a better example out there somewhere....

(I'm a proponent of tort reform)

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post #7 of 17 Old 12-17-2008
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Of course, if the boat that came loose, did so because the finger pier they were tied to broke free...then you would probably have a good case against the marina. However, if the boat came loose due to the owner not having secured it properly, the marina is not at fault, since it isn't their responsibility to tie up the boats—that falls on the owner of the boat generally.
In either case, damages would still be paid by your own carrier, but you make a good point.

Even if the peir broke, that alone does not prove the marina negligent.

However, if it was in obvious disrepair and it was proved the marina knew about it, well, you'd have a case. Even still, your own insurance would subrogate against the marina. That's the better course to take.

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Pretty soon unless you knew you had a 100% chance of winning a lawsuit, you'd never even try.
That's the idea!!
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post #8 of 17 Old 12-17-2008
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I'm also for tort reform but to continue the example above, you assume the injured party had full coverage on his insurance but plenty of sailors carry liability only. You also see where I noted the proof of insurance the marina had on file was two years old. This is what I'm talking about more then anything else.

As it now stands, legit companies have a reasonably awareness of the need to keep track of more then just the bottom line. For the simple reason that even if they aren't directly responsible they have a hand in everything going on around them and can be held liable. As well, you can counter sue for legal fees as well as sue for punitive damages over frivolous lawsuits, now.

There are plenty of examples of people with shaky cases. An even bigger problem would be if you have every reason to sue but lack compelling evidence that you can show in court. The is also a misconception about the number of lawsuits today. There are far fewer lawsuit per capita then even 50 years ago, fewer still then when America was just getting started.

You could make it easier to win counter suits or easier to go after repeat litigator without scaring off reasonable lawsuits. Making it automatic for the plantiff to pay the defendants legal fees will only encourage people and companies to spend even more in defense just so when they win, the plantiff get socked with high bill. It would be in the long term interest to many corporations to instill fear of retribution in the general public.

There is a book tittled "Unequal Protection" the gives an interesting perspective from past efforts of different corporations to manipilate the law with constant lawsuits to nible at the governments as well as consumers rights. It not unheard of for a big company to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars fighting a battle over a small judgement just to keep from being held liable in the future. Even when the evidence shows they're really liable.

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post #9 of 17 Old 12-17-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danjarch View Post
That idea of loser paying isn't really the best plan. Let's say a boat in the marina comes lose and bashes your boat. The boat owner doesn't have insurance, or money as far as you can tell, but the marina requires insurance to dock there.

Well you decide to make a claim against the marina but it's denied. So you sue the marina for the damages but they're insurance company sends in a pack of lawers that prove the contract you signed stated that the marina wasn't liable for damage to your craft and they had proof of insurance, two years old mind you, of the boat in question.

You lose the suit and by the way here's a bill for $250,000 for the marina and insurance company's legal fees. Pretty soon unless you knew you had a 100% chance of winning a lawsuit, you'd never even try. Companies all over would get pretty lax in they're due diligence. Why make boat owners prove anything, no ones going to sue as long as you write the leases right.

Shoots, insurance companies would look forward to going to court because with a little padding they're legal departments could become profit centers. In the end the victims of big companies or deep pocketed Aholes would suffer far more then they do now. We'd all pay far more then an extra buck for this and a little inconvenence when we want to do that.
dan- Maybe not the best example, but a very good point non-the-less. While it would likely stop a lot of frivolous law suits, it would mean that all other suits would be won by those who were willing to pony up for the best/most attorney. One step forward, two steps back.

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post #10 of 17 Old 12-17-2008
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Ok lets set up a different senario. You only have liabilty insurance, you come down to the marina and you tink your dock lines have been messed with. You don't think to much of it, it been a bit since you've been down, maybe the water was high and the dock guys adjusted the lines.

You go out for a sail, when out, you find your winch is loose. You get back to the marina and take a peek at the winch bolts, only to find that the fiberglass around them is cracked. Taking a better look at your boat you see a big scrape by the stern that you didn't see till you walked out on the finger pier one space over.

Talking to one of the liveaboards your told the marina was moving boats earlier this month to work on the piers, but he never saw your wether your boat was moved. You go to the marina office but they deny moving your boat. You've got a weak case to go to court on, but it clearly points to the marina being at fault. You don't have a witness who saw them move your boat but the pier does have fresh bumpers.

Will the judge put two and two together or not. Do you not see where loser pays will cut back on lots of legitimat lawsuits. Do you not see how it will become far more common for aggresive companies to deny just about everything and go to court instead.

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