Top 10 Reasons a Diving Pro Gets Sued

Great Dive Trips at Bargain Prices with the Sea Divers

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ California Scuba Diving BBS ] [ FAQ ]

Posted by Ken Kurtis on November 26, 2001 at 12:03:17:

In light of all the non-lawyers (myself included) advancing various legal theories lately, I thought the BBS might be interested in these notes I ran across this morning.

This is a from a lecture that Rick Lesser of Lesser & Associates (PADI's retained law firm) gave at DEMA in 2000 during a Risk Management seminar.

Bear in mind that "reasons you get sued" and "winning/losing" are two entirely different matters. It may well be that the diving professional can prevail in all these instances. But I think Rick's point was that these are the things you can do, not do, say, or not say that might prompt someone to initiate an action against you. Also remeber that these are instances where a diver has suffered some sort of an injury, perhaps fatal, perhaps not.

(with due respect to David Letterman, starting from the top)

1. Giving false statements
2. Leaving a resort or student diver unattended
3. Missing or unsigned release from victim
4. Making comments to the press
5. Diving in poor conditions/bad judgement calls
6. Deviating from standards (during training, any level)
7. Leaving boat divers behind
8. Medical statements (I think this referred not getting a medical history prior to training that could have alerted you to a potential medical problem)
9. Technical diving
10. Product liability (generally relates to rented or serviced gear)

Anyhow, thought you might all be interested in seeing this. I have no idea what the raw numbers are or what the percentages of overall cases that each represents.

I do know that Pat Fousek, head of the internal legal department at PADI, has said the biggest complication they have in defending cases is the absence of paperwork (waivers, etc.) or paperwork that's incorrectly or not fully filled out.

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

Follow Ups:

Post a Followup




[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ California Scuba Diving BBS ] [ FAQ ]