“Penn State recently decreed that three student-led outdoor adventure groups—the hiking club, the cave exploration club, and the scuba club—would have to disband due to safety liability concerns, even though none of the long-running clubs had ever reported a problem.” In the case of hiking, a “key issue for administrators was that the Outing Club frequently visit locations with poor cell phone coverage.” [Lenore Skenazy and Robby Soave, Reason]
“Timothy D. Hoffman broke his neck when he sprinted down a dock and slammed headfirst into the bottom of the shallow river. Good luck collecting, though: The defendant, C&D Dock Works, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy because of the incident.” According to those present, Hoffman jumped in on a dare to win money from co-workers; the owner of the dock works said there had been a rail at the dock’s edge. [Obscure Store; Orlando Sentinel]
Philip James Dederer acknowledges seeing a “No Diving” sign on the Foster/Tuncurry Bridge in New South Wales, but dove anyway, and the 14-year-old became paralyzed as a result. He sued: “[The sign] just told me I shouldn’t dive – it did not put any danger into it.” The court bought the argument, and Australian taxpayers are now on the hook for A$1,050,000. (Dederer v. Roads and Traffic Authority, 2005 NSWSC 185; “Bridge diving victim awarded $1m”, Sydney Morning Herald, Mar. 18). An Australian blawger, David Starkoff, defends the judgment.