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Old 21-12-2014, 01:29   #241
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Re: Rebel Heart Lawsuit

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.... To state that the plaintiff must sue in Florida when their service was purchased in California is unfair. How is an individual supposed to go up against a company with vast (in comparison) resources when one not only has to engage attorneys but also wage war on the other side of the continent? The company may as well be in India for Pete's sake.

I say if you do business in my state/county/city, I should be able to bring suit here..
I take it you expect a company providing a service to comply with the contract? Why then should the other party not comply?
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Old 21-12-2014, 03:34   #242
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Re: Rebel Heart Lawsuit

I am not saying the court is at fault in their judgment. She signed the contract etc...

What I am saying is the principle that a company can sell good and service in my state and I have to go to their jurisdiction to sue is wrong.

Imagine a product liability suit against a foreign manufacturer having to be brought in China?

The law and the structure is wrong because companies get away with this crap all the time.

what I am saying is that if a company sells goods and services in my jurisdiction they should be held accountable in my jurisdiction. The fact that it is not so is understood by me but it is wrong.
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Old 21-12-2014, 04:17   #243
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Re: Rebel Heart Lawsuit

Only in America
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Old 21-12-2014, 12:40   #244
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Re: Rebel Heart Lawsuit

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Supposing there was no problem with the Kaufman's phone service, what do you think would have happened if they called 911 from 400 mi offshore?
No idea. You surely know 911 better than I. Now if I was to dial 000 I have no doubt that duty or not, my fellows Australians will try to help. The further away the more. By the way, as tested, and contrary to the advice given to me by the local Telco, Iridium does not consider 000 to be an emergency number. Now you can tell me how 911 would provide help to the rest of the world. I have faith that 911 will try to help mostly if it involves children’s. There are good peoples all around the world.
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Old 21-12-2014, 12:47   #245
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Re: Rebel Heart Lawsuit

where is my popcorn.....
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Old 21-12-2014, 13:18   #246
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Re: Rebel Heart Lawsuit

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That's most likely already calculated in the cost of providing such service. Putting all questions of their semanship aside if they contracted for a satellite service, legally speaking - was it foreseeable for the satellite co. that the customer will rely upon their service for his survival? I say in the case of a satellite telephone loud yes. And that's reliance and its consequenses are already priced into their fee structure, or it should be. This is no different than automobile manufacturer providing subpar brakes or seat belts and than having to pay for the failures resulting in losses/damages to the drivers or their passengers.
Sorry, but I disagree. The satellite company isn't guaranteeing your survival, or even 100% connectivity. They're selling a telecom service that comes with some risk of disconnects. If they were guaranteeing your survival, or even 100% connectivity, they'd have to charge more for service.

So if you're betting your life on a boat, they're not guaranteeing that the boat can make it across the Pacific, no matter what great advice you might have been able to get via your satellite phone. You're responsible for the boat condition, health of your family, decisions regarding crew, and boating knowledge.

You're responsible for the risks you take, not your phone company, even if a disruption in service comes at an inopportune moment.
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Old 21-12-2014, 13:42   #247
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Re: Rebel Heart Lawsuit

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Sorry, but I disagree. The satellite company isn't guaranteeing your survival, or even 100% connectivity. They're selling a telecom service that comes with some risk of disconnects. If they were guaranteeing your survival, or even 100% connectivity, they'd have to charge more for service.

So if you're betting your life on a boat, they're not guaranteeing that the boat can make it across the Pacific, no matter what great advice you might have been able to get via your satellite phone. You're responsible for the boat condition, health of your family, decisions regarding crew, and boating knowledge.

You're responsible for the risks you take, not your phone company, even if a disruption in service comes at an inopportune moment.
Sorry, but I disagree with you on this one.


The entire selling point of satellite phone service is global connectivity. Sure cell phone providers have holes in their coverage, but a satellite phone is purchased with the specific intent of using it as part of one's bag of emergency tools to be used when necessary and the expectation is that it will work when needed.

That's why they go to the expense to launch satellites into low earth orbits - to provide global coverage and overcome the vagaries of HF communications.

But this isn't about coverage, it's about a flawed method they used to switch over from one SIM to another. The provider should have kept the old SIM in service until they were positive the customer had made the switchover.

That's just plain sloppy, and I expect far better than that from a company that provides a service that they know is being used as an emergency method of communication. Big corporations think they can screw up and they don't have to answer to anyone. I hope a judge in FL sends them a nice expensive wake up call.
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Old 21-12-2014, 14:17   #248
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Re: Rebel Heart Lawsuit

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Sorry, but I disagree. The satellite company isn't guaranteeing your survival, or even 100% connectivity. They're selling a telecom service that comes with some risk of disconnects. If they were guaranteeing your survival, or even 100% connectivity, they'd have to charge more for service.

So if you're betting your life on a boat, they're not guaranteeing that the boat can make it across the Pacific, no matter what great advice you might have been able to get via your satellite phone. You're responsible for the boat condition, health of your family, decisions regarding crew, and boating knowledge.

You're responsible for the risks you take, not your phone company, even if a disruption in service comes at an inopportune moment.
You are totally off my point. I believe they have a good chance of winning not because Irridium guaranteed them survival but because the company did not live up to their contract. One of the selling points of any satellite service is that unlike regular cell phone it is operable worldwide and away from land. If the company can get out of its contract by inserting small print to the effect "screw worldwide service, we'll provide it as we feel like it" than they are liable under "false and deceptive business practices" or some such laws. Either way you sell me a service or a thing and I expect it to work as intended. Just like when a company sells you a fire extinguisher it does not guarantee that you will survive the fire, only that it will work as intended in case of a fire. And the satellite phone did not work as intended. That's all.
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Old 21-12-2014, 14:25   #249
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Re: Rebel Heart Lawsuit

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This decision does not make sense. The plaintiff was Mrs K who did not sign the contract and so was suing the company in tort rather than contract. As I see it only Mr K can be sent to Florida because only he signed the contract.
Their CA attorneys may have bungled that one.

I also believe HER suit has nothing to do with FL as it is clearly not a contract claim but rather general liability one. To hold otherwise is just plain absurd as it would require say going to Japan to sue Japanese car maker over some vehicle defect. Your product or service causes damage in jurisdiction X you should be answerable in jurisdiction X. That's different than contractual agreement for a agreed upon venue which apparently HE agreed to.
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Old 21-12-2014, 16:38   #250
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Re: Rebel Heart Lawsuit

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You are totally off my point. I believe they have a good chance of winning not because Irridium guaranteed them survival but because the company did not live up to their contract. One of the selling points of any satellite service is that unlike regular cell phone it is operable worldwide and away from land. If the company can get out of its contract by inserting small print to the effect "screw worldwide service, we'll provide it as we feel like it" than they are liable under "false and deceptive business practices" or some such laws. Either way you sell me a service or a thing and I expect it to work as intended. Just like when a company sells you a fire extinguisher it does not guarantee that you will survive the fire, only that it will work as intended in case of a fire. And the satellite phone did not work as intended. That's all.
In your fire extinguisher analogy, if it was proven that your extinguisher didn't work as advertised and if it had, it might have prevented the fire from spreading and burning down the whole house, would you expect the fire extinguisher company to buy you a new house or give you a free replacement fire extinguisher?

It doesn't sound to me like Iridium did anything that was intentionally false and deceptive, more like an oversight with unintended consequences. I'm not a lawyer so make no claim of knowing how this will end, but my feeling is that I'd be surprised if the Kaufmanns get anything. There were too many other, contributory factors involved in this debacle for a very big part of the blame for the loss of the boat to be put on a satphone company.
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Old 21-12-2014, 17:29   #251
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Re: Rebel Heart Lawsuit

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In your fire extinguisher analogy, if it was proven that your extinguisher didn't work as advertised and if it had, it might have prevented the fire from spreading and burning down the whole house, would you expect the fire extinguisher company to buy you a new house or give you a free replacement fire extinguisher?

It doesn't sound to me like Iridium did anything that was intentionally false and deceptive, more like an oversight with unintended consequences. I'm not a lawyer so make no claim of knowing how this will end, but my feeling is that I'd be surprised if the Kaufmanns get anything. There were too many other, contributory factors involved in this debacle for a very big part of the blame for the loss of the boat to be put on a satphone company.


In 1992, a 79 yr old woman named Stella Liebeck dumped a cup of hot McDonald's coffee in her lap and successfully sued McDonald's for her injuries in 1994. The lawsuit centered on the fact that the coffee was served at 180-190*. The initial jury verdict was for $2.86M, later reduced by a judge to $640,000 and they settled for an undisclosed amount.

I had the opportunity to speak with an attorney who claimed to be one of the attorneys for the plaintiff. She was very proud of her role in that case, but the point I made to her, and she conceded the point: McDonalds did NOT dump the coffee in her lap, nor did they serve it to her in a defective container that leked or anything of the sort. There was even a warning label on the cup stating the coffee was very hot, but that wasn't enough, the jury still felt sorry for the idiot and initially awarded her $2.86M.

Now if I spilled a cup of hot coffee on my lap as a kid, my mom would have yelled, "That's what you get for being stupid and opening a hot cup of coffee on your lap! Stupid should hurt, I hope you learned your lesson!" It seems compassion wasn't exactly her biggest virtue. I'm more compassionate, but still... he/she who dumps hot coffee on their lap doesn't deserve to blame anyone else for their pain, welcome to my world.

So if a jury is willing to blame McDs for hot coffee scorching a 79 yr old Whooha even though they didn't spill it on her, I'm thinking the punitive damages for a negligent satellite phone company could be much higher, especially when you consider a family of four's lives hung in the balance. Throw some really cute pics of the toddler and the baby up on the usual social media sites, get some righteous indignation going from all of the mothers and fathers who can identify and soon you have entire families lying in the streets screaming, "Don't disable my SIM card you faceless, heartless corporate greed monsters!! White lives count, too!!"

I'm not advocating rioting in the streets or anything, I'll leave that to less refined leadership, shall we say. I strongly feel that precedent has been set and if this attorney knows how to work the court of public opinion, they could conceivably get a huge, outlandish settlement. Not because they deserve it, but because this is America, land of the Lottery mentality, where juries hand out corporate America's money like it was Halloween candy - only in much larger sums.

Summary: McDs NOT negligent in serving hot coffee = $2.86M settlement.

Greedy satellite company that shut off a sat phone that was purchased as emergency equipment while switching a SIM card = LOTS of negligence = BIG punitive damages.
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Old 21-12-2014, 19:02   #252
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Re: Rebel Heart Lawsuit

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Neither you nor I nor anyone else other than Charlotte can say for sure that she wasn't "actively suicidal." But she surely was entertaining the idea or she wouldn't have written about it. I'm no more her shrink than you are, so neither of us have any special insights into her minds inner workings, but lots of folks who eventually commit suicide do talk to others about the possibility as a way for calling out for help, and only after it happens does everyone suddenly realize he/she was actually serious about it. Frequently when it happens it's a surprise to even those who knew the victim quite well. "I knew he/she was upset or traumatized but..." is a refrain commonly heard after a suicide. "


I was going to avoid the fray but as a Psychiatric Mental Health NP, I feel the need to clarify that if Charlotte did indeed post the piece that is quoted in this thread, she was very much actively suicidal. The definition of being actively suicidal is considering suicide. I would treat someone in that frame of mind by at a minimum weekly appointments. I would not allow them to take off on a 3 week arduous journey across an ocean. If she recently had a medication change then she needed to be closely monitored. The way we treat that level of trauma and depression is a combination of therapy and medication. A pill alone and a run won't solve it.
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Old 21-12-2014, 19:36   #253
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Re: Rebel Heart Lawsuit

We are closing the thread temporarily as this has strayed into personal and legal issues beyond the scope of the phone lawsuit. The moderators will discuss the matter and seek advice regarding the situation and either open the thread again or keep it closed.

Thanks.
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