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Old 10-07-2014, 18:31   #151
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Re: Rebel Heart Crew Suing.....

Dave, I think I agree with another poster who said they wouldn't buy an Iridium product right now.


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Old 10-07-2014, 18:35   #152
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Re: Rebel Heart Crew Suing.....

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Originally Posted by Oronoco View Post
Any (sleazy) lawyer would love to take their case. It will end in a settlement. Just flood the discovery with everything including all the comments on SA, CA, and the RH blog. Sure, there are some bad facts in there (rotten boat for example). But the bad publicity for Iridium is such a costly factor that a confidential settlement is in that corporation's best interest.


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The settlement is in their interest if RH can keep the media interested and if that media goes against SSS.com - BTW this isn't Iridium's fight yet. It is the "reprovider" satphonestore.

Eric and his lawyer probably need to eat every week. SSS has lawyers on staff. They are already doing the math. "evil" satphone company? Reckless parents?

It is no cost to them to drag this out for years. RH must keep this in the media if they want a "quick" settlement.

Eric and his gang are talking - they have to. SSS is not talking, they don't need to.

Other than a few hundred (thousand?) sailors jabbering on some forums I don't think SSS is in a credibility crisis yet.

If they do make a press release, it will be interesting to see what they say.

- RH are poor victims of God's will (sympathetic)
- RH are reckless parents who should not have gone to sea (attack mode)
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Old 10-07-2014, 18:56   #153
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Rebel Heart Crew Suing.....

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Dave, I think I agree with another poster who said they wouldn't buy an Iridium product right now.


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Why. I see no issue, RHs issue was using a reseller of a reseller of iridiums products. No proper iridium authorised reseller has to " change service providers " ever. There is only one Iridium

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Old 10-07-2014, 19:00   #154
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Re: Rebel Heart Crew Suing.....

I also wonder if the question in insurance will come up. (Shall we assume the boat had no insurance?)

If I choose not to purchase insurance on an item, and I suffer the complete loss of that item, would that make a difference in a law suit or a settlement?

ETA: another point would be: were they ever denied insurance or couldn't meet requirements such as a 3rd competent crew member...

Just some thoughts... I've recently been through a settlement (I was the defendant) and all of this stuff will come into play.. EATA: (not related to boating, but a liability issue/umbrella insurance issue)
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Old 10-07-2014, 19:01   #155
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Re: Rebel Heart Crew Suing.....

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Even if it was wrong, are they really responsible for the loss of the boat? Whos' to say something else may not have happened? That a Dr. may have simply said they could give any further recommendations without seeing the child?

I just hate that we are in a society where it is always about finding someone to blame. Sometimes you just need to look in the mirror.
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Old 10-07-2014, 19:09   #156
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Re: Rebel Heart Crew Suing.....

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I think, depending on all the facts (of which I repeat we know probably less than 1%), the loss of Eric's boat might really have been proximately caused by his inability to use the satphone. I would not rush to judgment as many of you have.
I too am a lawyer and I am a litigator. The failure of the Satphone likely necessitated the need to evacuate the child, perhaps both children and one parent at that particular time, but at law, it is far from clear that Eric had to scuttle the boat and also leave. His story has changed a bit, but going by his statements that the damage was not particularly threatening, Eric could have mitigated his damages by staying aboard and sailing back to SoCal. Stating that the phone failure was the proximate cause of the scuttling does not match with statements given on this site by Rebel Heart to the best of my memory.
I would not have taken this case based upon what I currently know.
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Old 10-07-2014, 19:23   #157
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Re: Rebel Heart Crew suing.....

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If you're going to rely on a telephone working anywhere in the world to get yourself out of difficulty then you have no right to call yourself a bluewater cruiser or whine to the courts when it goes pear shaped. If you want the luxuries of life then stay at home. If you want to test yourself, explore what life has to offer and not be a burden on your fellow man then yes, go cruising.
In fact, they didn't rely on their telephone to get them out of difficulty. The phone was one of many tools they had at their disposal in case of emergency. It didn't work but they made it home anyway because other things did. It's possible that things might have worked out even better had they had the use of the phone service they had payed for. But whether you believe that or not, it shouldn't be difficult to concede that a company that sells a product touted for use in emergencies, should be held liable when that product fails through gross and easily prevented company negligence.
Say you hire a security firm to protect your house and family, and then your daughter is raped and murdered by an intruder when the guards were playing poker rather than watching cameras. You sue?
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Old 10-07-2014, 19:27   #158
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Re: Rebel Heart Crew Suing.....

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Originally Posted by Spleen View Post
I also wonder if the question in insurance will come up. (Shall we assume the boat had no insurance?)

If I choose not to purchase insurance on an item, and I suffer the complete loss of that item, would that make a difference in a law suit or a settlement?

ETA: another point would be: were they ever denied insurance or couldn't meet requirements such as a 3rd competent crew member...

SNIP
There is insurance and there is insurance. Most policies have some types of limitations. My insurance is only for coastal US and the Bahamas, but that is where I sail so it is all good.

On the other hand I doubt I would be able to get insurance to round the great capes, not so sure about crossing the Atlantic.

Making a passage longer than say twenty four hours requires sufficient crew to stand watches for the duration. I am not sure how RH's wife would be viewed as crew capable of standing a watch. So even if there was insurance it might be void for that reason. Same for crossing the Pacific as opposed to sailing coastal Mexico.

My insurance required a survey and I would be interested to know if RH's boat had any recent survey. Doubt any policy would be issued without one.
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Old 10-07-2014, 19:31   #159
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Re: Rebel Heart Crew Suing.....

Well, from reading this thread, it looks like the jury has decided. Most of you feel that Rebel heart and crew were wrong from the start, and have no right to expect a paid communication service to function.

This is sad. I would expect better from sailors who claim to be "out there doing it".

I'm out, Bill
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Old 10-07-2014, 19:34   #160
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Re: Rebel Heart Crew Suing.....

NoPlans?
"Eric could have mitigated his damages by staying aboard and sailing back to SoCal."
Very interesting, but wasn't he ordered to sink the boat, by the US Navy? Ordered to abandon ship & sink it, because leaving it afloat would create a hazard to navigation, and remaining onboard and conducting a 2-3 week solo voyage back to the Americas would have violated the international safety requirements for keeping a proper watch at all times?
IOW, you're forgetting that under national and international law, the USN pretty much HAD TO require him to abandon ship & sink it. To do anything otherwise would have contradicted watchkeeping requirements and been a substantial safety issue.

And while everyone may turn a blind eye to solo world racers, they're something else again. You can't expect the USB to condone a grossly unsafe operation of a manifestly unsafe vessel. (No crew, no watchkeeping, no navigation lights....grossly unsafe.)

Smackdaddy, there are reasons that even lawyers won't deal with contract law. They'd sometimes rather defend whores and thieves. The problems with contract law begin (BEGIN) with questions of venue and jurisdiction. The contract may say it is to be enforced in the courts of X, but the corporation may reside in Y, and Eric...well, he may not even have a US residence for the purpose of contract laws, we just don't know. Then there's the contract. In some states, a contract that was written solely by one party, with no negotiations, is an adhesion contract and it can be thrown out of court. In others, it is held and enforced strictly AGAINST that one party who did all the writing.
The lawyers here can argue over the details, but the problem is that "contracts" are rarely all black and white. Some lawyer, who supposedly has the same quality professional license, same degree, same experience, as all the rest, thinks Eric has a case. And in every case, one of the lawyers wins, while the other loses, so they're pretty much all wrong half the time.

Come back in around three years, maybe five years. A contract suit can take that long to get a court date, so it may be that long before we hear any end of this. Unless, of course, someone decides they'd be better off settling now and getting past it that much faster.
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Old 10-07-2014, 19:34   #161
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Re: Rebel Heart Crew Suing.....

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Sure, there are some bad facts in there (rotten boat for example).
What do you mean this is a "bad fact"?
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Old 10-07-2014, 19:42   #162
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Re: Rebel Heart Crew Suing.....

There is just so much to talk about here and it is interesting to consider these things without holding judgment.

Many things have been stated.

- Eric is a trained first responder
- Eric is a professional Captain

What would a prudent professional Captain do when

- A passenger is sick
- Passenger has not responded to 3-days of treatment and is in fact getting worse
- The boat has been compromised
- Power is failing
- HF not working
- Sat Phone not working

Note I used the term "Professional Captain" illustratively - Eric was not performing in a professional sense - i.e. he was not getting paid and it was a "pleasure" cruise. Presumably professional operations have procedures to follow in emergencies.

He states in his blog or somewhere

- The rescue guys boarded and in 24 hours stabilized the crewperson - (Had they not stabilized the crewperson I am sure they would have figured out how to 'copter her off)
- The rescue guys "turned" the boat back towards the US coast

I don't remember nearest landfall but over 3 days in bad weather with a compromised boat and a deteriorating crewperson, the dream was still alive.

I am sure one of the reasons the SAR/Coast Guard don't let the "Skipper" vote on the rescue plan is the Skipper is biased by his emotional investment in the journey, the boat and all kinds of other things.

In a compromised boat with zero communications (EPIRB has been used) I doubt SAR would have let him stay aboard if he wanted to.

When does a Skipper call the game off and head for nearest landfall?
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Old 10-07-2014, 19:42   #163
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Rebel Heart Crew Suing.....

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
NoPlans?
"Eric could have mitigated his damages by staying aboard and sailing back to SoCal."
Very interesting, but wasn't he ordered to sink the boat, by the US Navy? Ordered to abandon ship & sink it, because leaving it afloat would create a hazard to navigation, and remaining onboard and conducting a 2-3 week solo voyage back to the Americas would have violated the international safety requirements for keeping a proper watch at all times?
IOW, you're forgetting that under national and international law, the USN pretty much HAD TO require him to abandon ship & sink it. To do anything otherwise would have contradicted watchkeeping requirements and been a substantial safety issue.

And while everyone may turn a blind eye to solo world racers, they're something else again. You can't expect the USB to condone a grossly unsafe operation of a manifestly unsafe vessel. (No crew, no watchkeeping, no navigation lights....grossly unsafe.)
I don't beleive Eric was " forced" to abandon ship. In his immediate recollection , he chose to accompany his family ( not an unreasonable decision) . Hence given that voluntary abandonment , the advice is to scuttle to avoid a nav hazard.

Certainly on this side of the pond , SAR agencies take no notice of the single handed issue. If you want to stay onboard they will let you do so.

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Old 10-07-2014, 19:42   #164
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Re: Rebel Heart Crew Suing.....

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Originally Posted by montenido View Post
Well, from reading this thread, it looks like the jury has decided. Most of you feel that Rebel heart and crew were wrong from the start, and have no right to expect a paid communication service to function.

This is sad. I would expect better from sailors who claim to be "out there doing it".

I'm out, Bill
From what I've read here, it seems they got a notice before they left that from the company that the sim needed to be changed? Did they have a conversation with the company before leaving - stating they'd be at sea X days and would need the phone and make sure there would be no issues? Kind of like making sure you are topped up one fuel and water before leaving port?

Bottom line is **** happens. You make a decision to go off shore like that, live with the consequences. Whether they should have left or not, that could be debated - I don't fault them for that, but when things do go wrong, you don't always have to blame someone else.

Had they stayed at home or near shore, things would be fine. They decided to do a crossing and things went wrong and they lost the boat. If they wanted to insure they didn't lose the boat, they should have insured the boat for that crossing..
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Old 10-07-2014, 19:45   #165
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Re: Rebel Heart Crew Suing.....

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Smackdaddy, there are reasons that even lawyers won't deal with contract law. They'd sometimes rather defend whores and thieves.
Hey, c'mon, it's a good living. And the parties are awesome.
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