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Old 09-07-2014, 20:26   #1
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Rebel Heart Crew Suing.....

Interestingly, The Kaufmans are in the news again, with information about a lawsuit that they are filing:

"The Kaufmans are suing the makers of the satellite phone they used to call their doctor, saying the reason they had to activate an emergency beacon is because the phone stopped working and they were unable to get full instructions on how to treat their daughter."

I do not see how they could sue the makers of the phone... and suspect that there is an error in the news copy.

There is also a new interview....
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Old 09-07-2014, 20:37   #2
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Re: Rebel Heart Crew suing.....

Yes more likely would be the service provider/reseller that allegedly cut off service after snail-mailing new data cards. Which obviously weren't received since as Eric put it- satellite phone owners aren't really the type to be sitting around waiting for the mailman.
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Old 09-07-2014, 20:39   #3
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Re: Rebel Heart Crew suing.....

Agreed. Story must be messed up.
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Old 09-07-2014, 20:42   #4
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Re: Rebel Heart Crew suing.....

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Yes more likely would be the service provider/reseller that allegedly cut off service without notice after snail-mailing new data cards.
I think they have a damn good case seeing that they actually contacted the provider to make sure their service contract was good and up to date before leaving on the trip, only to have the provider cut off their SIM card and mail them a new one while they were out to sea. Of course just like the GPS units say "not for navigation" to protect themselves from liability, I'm sure burried on line 345a there is a clause in the service provider contract that says they can cut off your service at any time and they are not responsible for "incidential" loss due to the failure of their product.
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Old 09-07-2014, 21:10   #5
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Re: Rebel Heart Crew suing.....

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I do not see how they could sue the makers of the phone... and suspect that there is an error in the news copy.
...
I am not so sure it is a mistake, assuming of course that "maker" means Iridium. I suspect they will sue both Iridium and the call plan reseller. Iridiumīs pockets are deeper.. In addition, if there was forced replacement of SIM cards (which are provided by Iridium) that was initiated by Iridium and arguably poorly managed by the reseller in the middle then these trial lawyers would sue both Iridium and the reseller (plus anyone else with deep pockets in a 1000-mile circle)..
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Old 09-07-2014, 21:11   #6
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Re: Rebel Heart Crew suing.....

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I think they have a damn good case seeing that they actually contacted the provider to make sure their service contract was good and up to date before leaving on the trip, only to have the provider cut off their SIM card and mail them a new one while they were out to sea. Of course just like the GPS units say "not for navigation" to protect themselves from liability, I'm sure burried on line 345a there is a clause in the service provider contract that says they can cut off your service at any time and they are not responsible for "incidential" loss due to the failure of their product.
And I'm equally "sure" that Eric consulted an attorney who, one would think, read the entire service contract before heading to the courts.

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Old 09-07-2014, 21:12   #7
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Re: Rebel Heart Crew suing.....

This will get interesting. David and Goliath.

There is no way this is going to be about the service provider, or the phone.

This is going to be about the terrible parents putting their infant daughter in harms way.

The daughter had been previously ill and that will come into play. He's a professional skipper will come into play. Why not sue the HF maker?

Also everything Eric has ever written here about self sufficiency and safety at sea will be on the table.

Read the comments - Public favor is not with them on this one.

I predict undisclosed, private settlement - which is probably exactly what they are after.

I am conflicted over this one. I like Eric but I am not in favor is suing when one's self-chosen plans don't work out.

Everyone lived, they lost some property. Write a book...
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Old 09-07-2014, 21:27   #8
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Re: Rebel Heart Crew suing.....

After watching the 25 minute interview I am also frustrated and conflicted.

No mention of the broach that opened the hull to deck joint, no mention of lost steerage and engine trouble. Now a Good Morning America interview. If I was their lawyer this is exactly the media blitz I would be recommending to threaten the deepest pocket with the most amount of negative publicity.

This is not how self-sufficient cruising sailors gets back on their feet. The most disingenuous comment comes at 22:30 when we hear the old saw "I just don't want this to happen to any of my friends......" oh, and pay me!

Disappointed.

Family rescued at sea says satellite cell phone service provider left them in a life-or-death crisis - 10News.com KGTV ABC10 San Diego
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Old 09-07-2014, 21:35   #9
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Re: Rebel Heart Crew suing.....

God bless America
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Old 09-07-2014, 21:39   #10
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Re: Rebel Heart Crew suing.....

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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
SNIP

Read the comments - Public favor is not with them on this one.

SNIP
The comments I have seen may not be the best gauge of public opinion. Most of them have been from folks who are sailors, or at least wanna be sailors. Many of the folks making comments have a dream of sailing off into the sunset.

Any jury will be composed of mostly landlubbers who may be terrified of getting on a boat and going out of sight of land. My sister-in-law will not even walk on the floating dock at the marina, she does not know how to swim.

Discovery will open up a can of worms. What ever anyone thinks about the phone card mix up it will not look good that Eric's boat had issues with rot/leaks before leaving. Who knows what else discovery will turn up.

It may well be that the case will be dismissed in pre trial hearings.
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Old 09-07-2014, 21:41   #11
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Re: Rebel Heart Crew suing.....

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SNIP

If I was their lawyer this is exactly the media blitz I would be recommending

SNIP
Standard legal advice from lawyers to clients is two words, "shut up".
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Old 09-07-2014, 21:42   #12
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Re: Rebel Heart Crew suing.....

Oh. And I think he directly quotes on CF somewhere that the boat damage was irrelevant. He had a sick child so the EPIRB activation was inevitable.

He had already completed a 3-day course of recommended treatment. The leap of faith that needs to be made is that further treatment could have been advised that would "save the journey."

One paid doctor will say no, the other will say yes.

He has to connect loss of boat to the sat phone outage.

This will never get in a court room - Now back to LA Law reruns...
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Old 09-07-2014, 21:54   #13
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Re: Rebel Heart Crew suing.....

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Standard legal advice from lawyers to clients is two words, "shut up".
Glad to admit I'd be a crappy lawyer
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Old 09-07-2014, 22:01   #14
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Re: Rebel Heart Crew suing.....

From what I can see, this is an easy win:

In addition to the medication issue, which is cut-and-dried right there, the satphone also apparently caused the deck-rot the captain apparently knew about (according to his posts) prior to departure (though that didn't come up in the interview, of course), which then apparently caused the deck failure, which then caused the water intrusion, which then caused the failure of the batteries/electronics, which then caused the inability to make drinking water...and also obviously caused the lack of tankage for fuel (for power generation or propulsion)...etc...which left them without power or comms (except for the EPIRB and handheld VHF if I recall correctly - I'll have to look that up).

Yep. Had they only known the medicine technique - none of this other stuff would have been an issue for the remaining 3-8 weeks of that leg of their journey. They were just fine.

Damn phone.
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Old 09-07-2014, 22:02   #15
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Re: Rebel Heart Crew suing.....

What a role model for us (wannabe?) sailors: fail your dreams? sue someone!

Sailors know you never put your eggs on one basket. You always plan contigencies.

So because he believed his SATPHONE would work, but did not, his family assumed undue risk?

Wait, were there capable global sailors before satphones? Guess not...
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