Clarifying Misconceptions/Legal Concerns

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Posted by Ken Kurtis on February 13, 2001 at 12:06:14:

Michael Kane (MHK) has asked me to explain (again) the legal issues that have me concerned. So . . .

I’ll start off by freely conceding that many agencies teach nitrox and will certify you as a diver, DM, or Instructor to supervise/train nitrox divers. That’s not my concern. My concern is when you take a non-nitrox person (like myself or many of my staff people) and put them in a position of supervising nitrox divers.

The simple question is: How can I be qualified to SUPERVISE a type of diving I’m not qualified to DO?

And when I posed this question to both Pat Fousek in the PADI Legal Department and Matt Monroe at Monroe & Shapiro, NAUI’s legal reps, they BOTH said I raised an interesting point, one that hadn’t received much attention, and one which was legally untested.

Given that some courts have held DMs and Instructors to ridiculous standards of care, my position is simply that I will not put my store or my staff into a position to be the “test case” on this issue. Simple as that. I’m happy to let someone else be the guinea pig. It’s a business decision.

And I believe in your 2/12 post (second paragraph) you state, “I’ll stipulate for the record that I do NOT question your right to run your shop in any manner that you see fit.” So maybe we can give this one a rest.

Ken Kurtis
NAUI Instr. #5936
Co-owner, Reef Seekers Dive Co.
Beverly Hills, Ca.

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