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majid_sabet


Jun 29, 2011, 5:48 AM
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Broken spliced webbing,climbing accident, lawsuit
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This is an interesting case cause I had purchased at least several spool of webbing from ebay that came with spliced webbing and it was taped. Some of the spool did come with warning label saying" splices" and some did not. If you buy spool of webbing, make sure you check the webbing before you use it.

http://www.medicalmalpracticeattorneyphiladelphiapa.com/...mbing-accident.shtml


(This post was edited by majid_sabet on Jun 29, 2011, 5:48 AM)


markc


Jun 29, 2011, 6:54 AM
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Re: [majid_sabet] Broken spliced webbing,climbing accident, lawsuit [In reply to]
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This brought to mind the report from a fatal accident at the Happy Hour Crag in Boulder Canyon. Pdf here:
http://www.rockymountainrescue.org/...alysisHappyHour1.pdf.

As you suggested, Majid, this reaffirms the need for all of us to take personal responsibility, and to regularly inspect our gear and systems. Either she or someone in her party should have checked the piece of webbing, preferably at the store or at least at the crag. While information is really limited, it's clear the webbing wasn't a part of a redundant system.

To the best of my knowledge, splicing lengths of webbing together to make whole spools is an industry-wide standard. Even if this woman was unaware of that, following two of the most fundamental climbing practices would have prevented this unfortunate accident.


(This post was edited by markc on Jun 29, 2011, 6:56 AM)


majid_sabet


Jun 29, 2011, 7:58 AM
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Re: [markc] Broken spliced webbing,climbing accident, lawsuit [In reply to]
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markc wrote:
This brought to mind the report from a fatal accident at the Happy Hour Crag in Boulder Canyon. Pdf here:
http://www.rockymountainrescue.org/...alysisHappyHour1.pdf.

As you suggested, Majid, this reaffirms the need for all of us to take personal responsibility, and to regularly inspect our gear and systems. Either she or someone in her party should have checked the piece of webbing, preferably at the store or at least at the crag. While information is really limited, it's clear the webbing wasn't a part of a redundant system.

To the best of my knowledge, splicing lengths of webbing together to make whole spools is an industry-wide standard. Even if this woman was unaware of that, following two of the most fundamental climbing practices would have prevented this unfortunate accident.

what are the reasons behind it ?

I am guess they do not want long piece webbing to be used but there may be other reasons.


kovacs69


Jun 29, 2011, 8:26 AM
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Re: [majid_sabet] Broken spliced webbing,climbing accident, lawsuit [In reply to]
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majid_sabet wrote:
markc wrote:
This brought to mind the report from a fatal accident at the Happy Hour Crag in Boulder Canyon. Pdf here:
http://www.rockymountainrescue.org/...alysisHappyHour1.pdf.

As you suggested, Majid, this reaffirms the need for all of us to take personal responsibility, and to regularly inspect our gear and systems. Either she or someone in her party should have checked the piece of webbing, preferably at the store or at least at the crag. While information is really limited, it's clear the webbing wasn't a part of a redundant system.

To the best of my knowledge, splicing lengths of webbing together to make whole spools is an industry-wide standard. Even if this woman was unaware of that, following two of the most fundamental climbing practices would have prevented this unfortunate accident.

what are the reasons behind it ?

I am guess they do not want long piece webbing to be used but there may be other reasons.

Most companies that sell spooled material use splices so they can get a full roll of materials. It isn't because they don't want the customers to have a long length of whatever it is they are selling. It is because they had a break between batches and needed to fill a spool. I would have to say it would be better if the companies did not do this but then they would have a bunch of short spools laying around.

I do not know how climber would not notice a splice in the webbing. Usually the companies use a VERY noticeable color of tape for the splice. Not to mention that if you just ran the webbing through you hands before you use it you would feel the splice.

Before I tie my webbing up I always run the entire length through my hands to feel and see if there are any problems with it. I guess this just goes to show you that not everyone pays attention to their gear. So not only should you pay attention to your own gear you need to check the gear of the person you are climbing with.

JB


Partner cracklover


Jun 29, 2011, 8:33 AM
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Re: [majid_sabet] Broken spliced webbing,climbing accident, lawsuit [In reply to]
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majid_sabet wrote:
This is an interesting case cause I had purchased at least several spool of webbing from ebay that came with spliced webbing and it was taped. Some of the spool did come with warning label saying" splices" and some did not. If you buy spool of webbing, make sure you check the webbing before you use it.

http://www.medicalmalpracticeattorneyphiladelphiapa.com/...mbing-accident.shtml

It says they're looking for a jury trial. I would love to be on that jury. But I guarantee the lawyers for the plaintiff will kick off anyone with serious experience in climbing or caving.

GO


kennoyce


Jun 29, 2011, 9:37 AM
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Re: [cracklover] Broken spliced webbing,climbing accident, lawsuit [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:
This is an interesting case cause I had purchased at least several spool of webbing from ebay that came with spliced webbing and it was taped. Some of the spool did come with warning label saying" splices" and some did not. If you buy spool of webbing, make sure you check the webbing before you use it.

http://www.medicalmalpracticeattorneyphiladelphiapa.com/...mbing-accident.shtml

It says they're looking for a jury trial. I would love to be on that jury. But I guarantee the lawyers for the plaintiff will kick off anyone with serious experience in climbing or caving.

GO

That's just what I was thinking.


JAB


Jun 29, 2011, 10:17 AM
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Re: [kennoyce] Broken spliced webbing,climbing accident, lawsuit [In reply to]
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I actually think they have a case, against the store they bought it from. I mean, if I want to buy 20 feet of webbing, I want exactly that and not 15+5 feet. They should not have sold that without making perfectly sure the clients knew what they were buying.

This is of course assuming this is what happened. We only know one side of the story, and who knows what these guys were told but didn't understand or remember.


majid_sabet


Jun 29, 2011, 10:17 AM
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Re: [cracklover] Broken spliced webbing,climbing accident, lawsuit [In reply to]
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the several spools of webbing I purchased from ebay either came with red or white tape or sometimes with nothing and in the beginning, I had no clue why the tape was there till I opened the tape and saw the splice. My early assumption for the tape was the mark for 50 feet or 100 feet but then I realized that there were several splices per spool. this was a clear cut splice where you could easily separate the webbing by hand and i always thought mfg did not want long pieces of webbing on the spool but now it makes all sense that having a splices on the spool of webbing is pretty much guaranteed.

As far as this case, if she bought a long webbing with a tape on it from a retail store then may be she thought the tape was a mid mark of some sort and assumed the webbing was one piece.I would give a credit cause I made the same assumption till i carefully examined each spool .


Partner cracklover


Jun 29, 2011, 11:07 AM
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Re: [JAB] Broken spliced webbing,climbing accident, lawsuit [In reply to]
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JAB wrote:
I actually think they have a case, against the store they bought it from. I mean, if I want to buy 20 feet of webbing, I want exactly that and not 15+5 feet.

Okay, you're right. The jury should find the store responsible for 20 feet at 15 cents a foot and order the store to give her her $3 back.

Good grief. Webbing is not a complex machine with hidden moving parts. It's not difficult to inspect. If she wanted a single piece, she should have brought it back for refund/exchange. It's that simple.

I mean, splices in webbing held by tape are common, but let's say for the moment that they were not. Let's say they were unheard of. How about an analogy.

Let's say I buy a pair of shoes. There was some kind of manufacturing weirdness and the soled didn't get glued on, but were held on by a couple piece of scotch tape.

So I put them on and my foot goes right through, leaving the sole lying on the floor. I lace them um, and walk out into a snowstorm. The shoes are flopping around my ankles, and my socks quickly get shredded and frozen. An hour later I check into an emergency room with frostbite.

If I sue, the judge should laugh in my face and throw the lawsuit out.

The same would happen in this case, except that your typical judge and jury don't have the experience with climbing that they do with putting on shoes and going for a walk. So the plaintiff's lawyer thinks she has a shot at turning her client's idiocy into some nice cha-ching.

GO


Speed4TheNeed


Jun 29, 2011, 11:12 AM
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Re: [majid_sabet] Broken spliced webbing,climbing accident, lawsuit [In reply to]
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IMO, all this does is hurt the industry and also the mistake lies pretty much all on her (also opinion). I just don't understand how you can chalk this up to anything but negligence on her part.

1. If she was an experienced climber/caver then checking gear should be instinctive

2.If she was an inexperienced climber/caver then she should have been wary of whatever gear she was using. Usually beginners (myself included) are even more cautious than the experienced ones. If not, I still don't see how you can use "blind faith" to excuse yourself from liability.

"Climbing is inherently dangerous" that warning is posted on EVERYTHING even remotely associated with climbing.


bill123


Jun 29, 2011, 11:33 AM
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Re: [Speed4TheNeed] Broken spliced webbing,climbing accident, lawsuit [In reply to]
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While many of us here (experienced or inexperienced) would have checked what was under that tape, I think that when you buy a brand new length of webbing, rope, etc, you should have an expectation that the entire length is structurally sound. She certainly bears some responsibility, but I think the store does as well.


dagibbs


Jun 29, 2011, 12:06 PM
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Re: [majid_sabet] Broken spliced webbing,climbing accident, lawsuit [In reply to]
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IANAL.

I don't think the webbing manufacturer is liable here. It sounds like it is normal manufacturing processes to have splices on the roll.

I think the retailer, though, does have liability. Maybe not complete -- but partial. If someone asks for a 20' section of webbing, they should expect a single 20' section of webbing and the retailer should sell them such. Not two (spliced) sections that are smaller.

But, yeah, this is a good warning to check these things carefully when you buy them, too. (Just in case.) And to make sure your anchors are redundant.


markc


Jun 29, 2011, 12:20 PM
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Re: [dagibbs] Broken spliced webbing,climbing accident, lawsuit [In reply to]
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dagibbs wrote:
I think the retailer, though, does have liability. Maybe not complete -- but partial. If someone asks for a 20' section of webbing, they should expect a single 20' section of webbing and the retailer should sell them such. Not two (spliced) sections that are smaller.

It sucks that the retailer didn't catch this, but the ultimate responsibility for use falls to the climber. When I buy webbing, I tend to daisy it myself just so I have a chance to look it over and feel it run through my hands.

With a properly constructed, redundant anchor, we wouldn't be having this discussion. Not anchoring correctly is in no way the fault of the retailer, and certainly not the fault of the manufacturer.


Partner cracklover


Jun 29, 2011, 12:40 PM
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dagibbs wrote:
IANAL.

I don't think the webbing manufacturer is liable here. It sounds like it is normal manufacturing processes to have splices on the roll.

I think the retailer, though, does have liability. Maybe not complete -- but partial. If someone asks for a 20' section of webbing, they should expect a single 20' section of webbing and the retailer should sell them such. Not two (spliced) sections that are smaller.

Exactly. How much liability? The retailer owes her back the $3 (or whatever) she paid. And not a single red cent more.

GO


bearbreeder


Jun 29, 2011, 12:47 PM
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Re: [markc] Broken spliced webbing,climbing accident, lawsuit [In reply to]
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hell ... if it was 2 bolts at the top ... using 2 opposed draws and we wouldnt be having this conversation ...

the shop should definitely have given an unbroken length though ... or informed the customer of the splice


wmfork


Jun 29, 2011, 12:49 PM
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Re: [markc] Broken spliced webbing,climbing accident, lawsuit [In reply to]
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markc wrote:
It sucks that the retailer didn't catch this, but the ultimate responsibility for use falls to the climber.
I guess the lawyers will decide on that. Regardless, when dealing with safety, everyone involved in the chain must take responsibility, from the designer to the maker to the retailer to the end user. It happens that in this case the user could have easily caught the problem, but that's not always (or frequently) the case. Many retailers make it explicit that climbing safety equipment are not returnable (or if they are, the price reflects the cost of destroying them when returned). So when selling these things, it is part of their responsibility to do so correctly: not cut 2 pieces of webbing taped together.


dagibbs


Jun 29, 2011, 1:11 PM
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cracklover wrote:
dagibbs wrote:
IANAL.

I don't think the webbing manufacturer is liable here. It sounds like it is normal manufacturing processes to have splices on the roll.

I think the retailer, though, does have liability. Maybe not complete -- but partial. If someone asks for a 20' section of webbing, they should expect a single 20' section of webbing and the retailer should sell them such. Not two (spliced) sections that are smaller.

Exactly. How much liability? The retailer owes her back the $3 (or whatever) she paid. And not a single red cent more.

GO

What the store sold her was not fit for the purpose it is sold for. It would not hold anywhere near the rated strength for that type of webbing.

She then proceeded to use it improperly -- that is, not properly redundantly -- through her own error.

But, if she had done a redundant anchor -- had one half fail (piece pull?) and had this webbing as part of the 2nd half -- the failed webbing would have been a major problem, without as clear an error on her part. Not the case, here, but could be another time.

Given the amount of discussion here, books written, etc -- setting up anchors properly is non-trivial. Someone who is new to climbing could easily get it wrong. People who are new to climbing do get it wrong. But, if the gear is what it is sold as. they will usually end up ok.

What %? I don't know. Hell, I don't even know if the US law system has the notion of fractional liability Did the woman identify herself as a beginner or someone just starting out when she bought the webbing? Even something like that could swing the %.

Hm... going and reading the underlying article (Aspend Daily News), they weren't climbers, but rappellers. I don't know the culture, and whether or not there is the same clarity about redundancy of anchors and such. Or, whether a single loop of webbing off a solid tree would, actually, be normal for such. And if, as the article suggests, they had confirmed with the store employee that what they were purchasing was fit for the purpose they were going to use it for -- that does suggest again more liability for the store.

And, sure, the tape is a different colour. Then again, the center of my climbing rope is also a different colour (center mark).


Speed4TheNeed


Jun 29, 2011, 2:25 PM
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Re: [dagibbs] Broken spliced webbing,climbing accident, lawsuit [In reply to]
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She seemed to be rappelling down into a cave it seems. American cavers tend to do what is called "indestructible rope technique." It is more complicated than this, but the short meaning is that American cavers tend to use one very long tough, static rope to descend into caves (even over "sharp" angles/edges) as opposed to the Euro technique of doing multi-pitch descents into caves and their ropes do not go over rough angles/edges.

Redundancy with cavers is pretty much only used at the anchor, although sometimes even this isn't accomplished and only one tree or one boulder is used (I got into rock climbing through caving). Although I do think the mountaineering shop should sell an unbroken piece of webbing, I still maintain that the ultimate responsibility lies with the person using the equipment.

I think it would be different if the damage was invisible, but in the case of spliced webbing presumably held together by tape..you HAVE to notice that. The fact that the climber/caver apparently did not even attempt to inspect or investigate her equipment and then turn around to blame someone else just speaks to the litigious nature of some people today. It holds no merit with me. It doesn't make it any less comforting to know that someone was hurt, it just doesn't mean I blame the manufacturer or retailer for it.


Partner drector


Jun 29, 2011, 4:18 PM
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Re: [majid_sabet] Broken spliced webbing,climbing accident, lawsuit [In reply to]
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If she went up to the counter and asked a guy to cut off a 20 foot long piece of webbing and he instead gave her two ten foot pieces without telling her, he sure did make a mistake.

Suppose she asked for webbing rated for climbing and he gave her something that he said was for climbing and looked like it was for climbing and ended up being made of bubblegum. Isn't the store then liable since they misrepresented what they were selling?

On the other hand, if she walked up and bought the spool, I don't think the store is at fault although the manufacturer might if they don't label what the spool actually contains. Again, does it contain bubblegum?

This is an issue of representation and misrepresentation. We need to know what she asked for, what they told her she was getting, and what she actually got. All we know now is that it was webbing and it was spliced with tape. There is no way to do any sort of armchair evaluation of the case with this tiny bit of possibly incorrect info.

If I were a judge, I could never find the store or manufacturer 100% at fault since the climber does have some responsibility. I apply that to all things people do, not just climbing.

Dave


jt512


Jun 29, 2011, 4:36 PM
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Re: [drector] Broken spliced webbing,climbing accident, lawsuit [In reply to]
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drector wrote:
If she went up to the counter and asked a guy to cut off a 20 foot long piece of webbing and he instead gave her two ten foot pieces without telling her, he sure did make a mistake.

Suppose she asked for webbing rated for climbing and he gave her something that he said was for climbing and looked like it was for climbing and ended up being made of bubblegum. Isn't the store then liable since they misrepresented what they were selling?

I'd speculate that the store will be held liable for violating the warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. I'd be interested in hearing a lawyer's opinion on this.

Jay


Speed4TheNeed


Jun 29, 2011, 4:37 PM
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Seems like something is already taking effect. If I add "climbing" do to any Ebay search it returns 0 results. Been trying for the past hour, all other searches work normally as long as I do not add "climbing" to it. (For instance, I can search for "holds" but not "climbing holds").

EDIT--can search climbing now.


(This post was edited by Speed4TheNeed on Jun 29, 2011, 5:09 PM)


Partner j_ung


Jun 29, 2011, 4:38 PM
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The lesson here isn't that tape on webbing equals a splice, it's that if you careen through your climbing life expecting everybody else to watch out for you, you'll end up hurt or worse.


Partner j_ung


Jun 29, 2011, 4:48 PM
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Last Sunday, I had two clients, a father and son, who wanted to learn how to build toprope anchors. They're in the process of transitioning from guided climbing to being self sufficient, so we spent several minutes in the beginning of the day talking about self sufficiency and what that means. I ended up giving them a little pop quiz of sorts, which involved me describing several accidents and, in each case, asking who was responsible for the injured climber's situation.

Every single correct answer was, "the climber." Some were obvious, such as a climber decides to free solo and falls. Others were less obvious, like a belayer drops his climber. One was a piece of equipment fails due to a manufacturer defect.

I'll spell it out, just in case anybody here finds it unclear. If you choose to climb, then you choose to accept a wide variety of risks, including your own ignorance, spliced webbing, exploding cams, and bizarre one-in-a-billion occurrences that have never happened before and nobody can predict.

I hate that this woman is hurt and suffering, but a lawsuit can never fix the root of her problem, and I hope she loses.


(This post was edited by j_ung on Jun 29, 2011, 4:50 PM)


notapplicable


Jun 29, 2011, 5:51 PM
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j_ung wrote:
Last Sunday, I had two clients, a father and son, who wanted to learn how to build toprope anchors. They're in the process of transitioning from guided climbing to being self sufficient, so we spent several minutes in the beginning of the day talking about self sufficiency and what that means. I ended up giving them a little pop quiz of sorts, which involved me describing several accidents and, in each case, asking who was responsible for the injured climber's situation.

Every single correct answer was, "the climber." Some were obvious, such as a climber decides to free solo and falls. Others were less obvious, like a belayer drops his climber. One was a piece of equipment fails due to a manufacturer defect.

I'll spell it out, just in case anybody here finds it unclear. If you choose to climb, then you choose to accept a wide variety of risks, including your own ignorance, spliced webbing, exploding cams, and bizarre one-in-a-billion occurrences that have never happened before and nobody can predict.

I hate that this woman is hurt and suffering, but a lawsuit can never fix the root of her problem, and I hope she loses.




MS1


Jun 29, 2011, 6:34 PM
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jt512 wrote:
drector wrote:
If she went up to the counter and asked a guy to cut off a 20 foot long piece of webbing and he instead gave her two ten foot pieces without telling her, he sure did make a mistake.

Suppose she asked for webbing rated for climbing and he gave her something that he said was for climbing and looked like it was for climbing and ended up being made of bubblegum. Isn't the store then liable since they misrepresented what they were selling?

I'd speculate that the store will be held liable for violating the warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. I'd be interested in hearing a lawyer's opinion on this.

Jay

As this is a sale of goods case, the UCC rule would apply, and it provides as follows regarding available damages for a breach of warranty:

UCC wrote:
Consequential damages resulting from the seller's breach include

(a) any loss resulting from general or particular requirements and needs of which the seller at the time of contracting had reason to know and which could not reasonably be prevented by cover or otherwise; and

(b) injury to person or property proximately resulting from any breach of warranty.

And the drafters provide this comment regarding subsection 2b:

UCC wrote:
5. Subsection (2)(b) states the usual rule as to breach of warranty, allowing recovery for injuries "proximately" resulting from the breach. Where the injury involved follows the use of goods without discovery of the defect causing the damage, the question of "proximate" cause turns on whether it was reasonable for the buyer to use the goods without such inspection as would have revealed the defects. If it was not reasonable for him to do so, or if he did in fact discover the defect prior to his use, the injury would not proximately result from the breach of warranty. (Emphasis added.)

So I think a warranty theory would be just as hard to pursue as a tort theory. In either case, you would have to convince a judge or jury that it is reasonable for a climber to trust their lives to a single, non-redundant strand of uninspected webbing. Most climbers would find such an idea ridiculous (at least where the defect was easily noticeable), but as others have noted, the chances of a climber being on the jury are negligible.

Sadly, this is not such an outlandish claim that I think the case has no settlement value, especially given how ignorant courts are about basic climbing safety protocols. In the few cases in this area I've read, courts seem very reluctant to dismiss these sort of claims in pretrial, and jury trials are so risky that most companies would rather settle than risk a large jury award.

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