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Old 23-09-2011, 10:49   #91
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Re: Who Pays when Accidents Happen

Now you have problems, and NOT a joke. Get thee to a lawyer, a real maritime lawyer, ASAP.

This may be completely wrong but I think in Canada the plaintif in a law suite pays leagle fees if the suit is found to be unwarrented.

This is also why it was said before that you should not offer anything to the skipper, his lawyer will constru that to be an admission of liability on your part.

BTW, you said the skipper was conversing in the cockpit, was he also consumeing adult beverages? That will kill his case if nothing else does.
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Old 23-09-2011, 10:51   #92
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Re: Who Pays when Accidents Happen

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Originally Posted by mtembene View Post
Hi all

Another update for you in this on going saga. The owner of the boat has engaged a lawyer to come after myself and the other crew member in an effort to force each of us to pay for 1/3 the costs of the repairs. It's not a huge amount of money but now I am just pissed off. What a dick this guy is turning out to be.

Are there any maritime lawyers out there who don't like a..holes and want to give me some free advice? Heck you don't even have to be a lawyer. -. This is turning out to be quite a joke.

FYI the accident happened in Canadian waters.

M
Hopefully they haven't a case but anyone can get a lawyer and try to sue. Find a lawyer and get an opinion, the first consultation is free and they will tell you how it should be handled.
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Old 23-09-2011, 10:52   #93
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Re: Who Pays when Accidents Happen

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"This is Capt. Stubing, welcome to "The Love Boat"; I hope you all have a wonderful time. Oh, by the way, on the way out of port we ran over a rock and put a little ding in the side. It will cost $100,000 to repair so your portion will be added to your bill. Don't worry, it won't be that much since the crew has graciously said they will chip in."

Take it to the absurd to see the fallacy of the people that think the guests/crew on board should pay.
In the OP's scenario, I agree with you and the others that the skipper should do the right thing and the guest / crew should not be expected to pay anything.

But I'm afraid your hypothetical situation is not right. Courts have allocated blame dependent on who did what...........especially for paid crew.

As an example, a few years back local to us, a skipper was contracted to move a big powerboat and he paid his pal a nominal amount to come along as crew. It was only a short trip, but they hit a buoy, sunk the boat, and the insurance company took them to court for $(???? - a lot).

Both skipper AND crew were judged to be at fault about 70/30 or 80/20 (can't recall what it was) but between them, they had to pay up. They couldn't. It bankrupted both of them.

But it demonstrates a court might not always find the skipper 100% at fault.

Cheers
JOHN
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Old 23-09-2011, 10:56   #94
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Not sure how you are set financial wise - but you can always ignore every piece of paper he pays his lawyer to send you.

If they think they have a real case - they will end up suing you - and then you just show up and present your side to the judge

That way you won't have to spend thousands of dollars letting lawyers argue back and forth and generating fees.

Or if they really don't have a case - eventually they will just drop it.

Anyone can pay a lawyer all kinds of money to draw up documents and send them to you. It's really annoying - but in reality they will have to go before the court to force any money of you.
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Old 23-09-2011, 10:58   #95
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Re: Who Pays when Accidents Happen

My guess it is a bluff...he probably got a lawyer to write a letter for a couple hundred in hope to recover many times that.

To take it to court might cost well in excess of what the damage costs were...especially if you keep asking for extensions/postponements which in the US the courts seem to grant way too easily.

Also counter with a threat of countersuit based on all sorts of stuff including his improper vetting of crew, improper safety gear and briefing, no proper watch training or scheduling, posting a backup lookout for the helmsman, etc...etc...

Pay my way for a nice trip to CA and I'll blow this guy out of the water...he'll be paying you before it's all over.

I'm not a lawyer... but after 2 divorces...I'm doing much better than my real estate lawyer these days...
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Old 23-09-2011, 11:06   #96
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Re: Who Pays when Accidents Happen

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Originally Posted by swagman View Post
In the OP's scenario, I agree with you and the others that the skipper should do the right thing and the guest / crew should not be expected to pay anything.

But I'm afraid your hypothetical situation is not right. Courts have allocated blame dependent on who did what...........especially for paid crew.

As an example, a few years back local to us, a skipper was contracted to move a big powerboat and he paid his pal a nominal amount to come along as crew. It was only a short trip, but they hit a buoy, sunk the boat, and the insurance company took them to court for $(???? - a lot).

Both skipper AND crew were judged to be at fault about 70/30 or 80/20 (can't recall what it was) but between them, they had to pay up. They couldn't. It bankrupted both of them.

But it demonstrates a court might not always find the skipper 100% at fault.

Cheers
JOHN
With a paid crew, skipper on the bridge (or in the cockpit), the helmsman may as well be a machine, he does exactly what the skipper says. I don't know about your ancidote but I do not believe that the helmsman on the Exxon Valdez was ever charged with anything. The captian and the watch officer, yes. The captian wasn't on the bridge but responsible, the watch officer was directly responsible (he had the charts and plotted the course.)
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Old 23-09-2011, 11:16   #97
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Re: Who Pays when Accidents Happen

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.......

Pay my way for a nice trip to CA and I'll blow this guy out of the water...he'll be paying you before it's all over.

I'm not a lawyer... but after 2 divorces...I'm doing much better than my real estate lawyer these days...
LOL best laugh I have had in days. Thanks for that.
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Old 23-09-2011, 13:09   #98
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Re: Who Pays when Accidents Happen

Your offers to pay have only encouraged him to see you as a soft touch (he does know better).

I hope they were only verbal offers, which you therefore can later claim were simply discussions about how the situation could be remedied (and not an actual offer / admission of liability by you)......and that goes for the Insurance deductible "Offer" as well.

Not sure if his lawyer has actually written to you (or he is just threatening a case - in which case call his bluff and say you await his lawyer's letter with interest. his cost $$$). and in the meantime suggest he get a reality check

Obviously if things get more serious (and is heading for court) then you should get a lawyer............but in the meantime no reason not to have some fun (and adding costs for him $$$ ) by writing to the lawyer (making no admissions) and simply asking for documents / evidence / information............I would expect that the damage will have been surveyed before the repairs undertaken, a report written with Photos (and not simply a boatyard quote before fixing).......the not wanting to claim on his insurance company seems a strange one, is he insured? does he need to be in Canada / for his mooring? (marina?).....ask for the Insurance Company name and policy number.

Might also want to say that your household insurer provides FREE legal cover and you are happy to let the 2 sides slug it out, including the counter suit How's the whiplash and mental trauma?
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Old 23-09-2011, 13:28   #99
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Re: Who Pays when Accidents Happen

It is absurd that he'd want compensation from the helmsman, and laughable that he'd expect a dime from another passenger.

If I was in this situation I would tell the guy I'm not paying him a cent, then stop talking to him at all any more.

I wouldn't waste money on a lawyer yet. If he sends or his lawyer send you scary looking letters, feel free to ignore it.

The only thing you need to respond to is an actual lawsuit, it which case you can get a lawyer and counter-sue for legal costs.

What an idiot.
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Old 23-09-2011, 13:31   #100
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Re: Who Pays when Accidents Happen

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FYI the accident happened in Canadian waters.
In that case, it was clearly the log's fault.

The timber industry should pay.
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Old 23-09-2011, 13:36   #101
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Re: Who Pays when Accidents Happen

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In that case, it was clearly the log's fault.

The timber industry should pay.
The log was a victim in all this. It was the tides that was the instigator but then they are just pawns to the Laws of Nature!
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Old 23-09-2011, 13:39   #102
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Re: Who Pays when Accidents Happen

it was actually a whale that nudged it in the path of the yacht.
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