“The nearest hospital is 62km away”

“Never stand on the edges or close to the hot springs….Don’t test the temperature with your hands, it will burn. The nearest hospital is 62km away.” Assumption of risk, the Iceland way [TortsProf]


  • I loved that about Iceland. My wife and I visited there a few years ago. We were able to be as crazy as we wanted with no park rangers looking over our shoulders to tell us we couldn’t do it. Our thought was if we were injured doing something that was risky, the Icelanders would laugh at us if we tried to sue. It made for a great holiday.

  • The rules about not touching or walking on hot springs formations in Yellowstone National Park in the US is not just about preventing injury to tourists. The mineral deposits can be delicate and a tourist can damage formations that took hundreds of years to form.

    On the safety front, the water from the Yellowstone hot springs in addition to being very hot is corrosive and toxic.

  • In America, the lawsuits would force the government to either close the site – or build a hospital adjacent to it.

  • My wife and I celebrated our 25th anniversary in Ireland in June. At the cliffs of Moher, large signs warning us that the cliffs were unstable were in evidence. However, no protective barriers of any sort. It was refreshing to be treated as an adult.

    On a side note, ADA would be disastrous for Irish pubs. Most would have to close, as it would be cost prohibitive to modify the buildings.

    • Some of those pubs are older than this country is.

  • Two years ago, I saw some small eateries in Manhattan and a nearby part of Queens that did not look at all ADA-compliant. Does NYC get a pass because of a space shortage? Do small barely-getting-by ethnic restaurateurs have a reputation for breaking the necks of professional plaintiffs? Or is something else going on?

    • Something else is going on.

      The ADA only requires reasonable accommodation. There is a vast difference in the level of reasonableness for any specific accommodation between new construction and 100 year old buildings in a dense neighborhood with minimal set backs from the street.

      For example, a wheelchair ramp is not reasonable where it would either have to block other pedestrian traffic or be too steep.

      Having to tear a building down and build a new compliant building is generally not considered reasonable.

      So old buildings, especially buildings that pre-date the ADA generally get a pass unless / until a major remodel is needed.

  • One possible difference is state law. For example California has something called the Unruh civil rights act which one if the things supporting ADA filing mills in CA. This allows suing in state court instead of federal court.