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Re: [TowerTalk] Full body harness - Law Suits??

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Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Full body harness - Law Suits??
From: "Paul Christensen" <>
Date: Thu, 3 Apr 2008 16:06:58 -0400
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> I was going to call ARRL and see if they had an answer.

The League should not (and likely will not) render legal advice unless 
there's an established attorney-client relationship.  They may put you in 
touch with one of their volunteer counsel, but this is a tough issue to 
manage when matters go seriously awry -- and the League will want no part of 
it during discovery proceedings.

Everyone wants to be helpful, but that spirit of helpfulness does not 
necessary carry on with the heirs of the deceased.  Bystanders and invitees 
to an accident when damages occur are not necessarily protected if some 
legal duty exists to protect against the harm.

The most lucrative and predatory area within the legal profession is in 
personal injury law -- and it didn't get that way because attorneys want to 
help and do what's right for everyone involved.   Ask anyone who has been 
deposed in a personal injury case just how pleasant the experience was. 
Become a part of a tower negligence claim and be prepared to have your 
credibility completely shattered in under 120 minutes by the plaintiff's 

When an incorporated club aids in these activities, their non-participating 
officers may be shielded from liability, but that protection normally does 
not extend to its membership.  I know it sounds like I'm pontificating here: 
In my youth, I carelessly climbed towers for friends when I had no idea of 
the risk involved.  But back then, I didn't have a dime to my name either. 
Most of the folks reading this list are in or near retirement with a 
war-chest of funds available to a potential plaintiff.

It's one thing to work on your own gear -- and on your own property.  But 
beyond that, work should be performed by professionals who can provide 
evidence of ample liability protection (> $2 million) and who can 
demonstrate some level of competency from their workers (e.g., Comtrain or 
some other current training certificate(s)).  If the tower crew cannot 
produce evidence of either of these, seriously consider looking elsewhere 
for help.

Paul, W9AC

Disclaimer:  Although I am an attorney, I am NOT your attorney.  Seek the 
advice of your own attorney who can apply your local laws to the relevant 
facts of your case. 


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