Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 56
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Sandy
    Posts
    4,740

    Family of dead Mt. Hood climber sues for $10 million for delayed helicopter rescue

    The family of a 32-year-old fallen climber who died after waiting several hours for a helicopter rescue on Mount Hood filed a $10 million lawsuit Monday against Clackamas County.

    http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/i...d_climber.html
    When life gives you haters, make haterade.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Colorado Front Range
    Posts
    2,046
    Quote Originally Posted by sfotex View Post
    The family of a 32-year-old fallen climber who died after waiting several hours for a helicopter rescue on Mount Hood filed a $10 million lawsuit Monday against Clackamas County.

    http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/i...d_climber.html
    Wow! Before linking to the article, my thoughts went to how rescuers risk their lives, the difficulty in landing a chopper in bad weather in the mountains ... things like that.

    If the accounting of the sheriff's office's responsiveness accurate however, they really screwed the pooch.

    ... Thom
    Galibier Design
    crafting technology in service of music

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Methow Valley
    Posts
    560
    Quote Originally Posted by galibier_numero_un View Post
    Wow! Before linking to the article, my thoughts went to how rescuers risk their lives, the difficulty in landing a chopper in bad weather in the mountains ... things like that.

    If the accounting of the sheriff's office's responsiveness accurate however, they really screwed the pooch.

    ... Thom
    I kind of agree on this one. Usually I'm pretty skeptical about that sort of lawsuit. Plus spring time accidents on Hood are not exactly a rare event so I would have thought the response would be slightly more dialed.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    PNW
    Posts
    369
    Quote Originally Posted by John_B View Post
    I kind of agree on this one. Usually I'm pretty skeptical about that sort of lawsuit. Plus spring time accidents on Hood are not exactly a rare event so I would have thought the response would be slightly more dialed.
    While this situation is certainly sad, I have no right or expectation of a prompt rescue when I go climbing.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Sandy
    Posts
    4,740
    I wonder what the initial patient assessment was, and what the patient died from? Everyone seems pretty calm on the calls, like broken ankle territory. Being able to do a good patient assessment, and communicate it to EMS can make the difference between a carry out and launching a Black Hawk.

    Around here we had the all kinds of problems with call center dispatchers 'not getting' the backcountry, like getting hung up on street addresses. "Oh my god, my friend got caught in an avalanche." "What is your address" "We're on the north side Mount Awesome" "What is your street address" "Mount Awesome" "Do you know the address" "I'm in the fucking mountains!!!" Now dispatch immediately transfers the calls to a Canyon Sargent.
    When life gives you haters, make haterade.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Colorado Front Range
    Posts
    2,046
    Quote Originally Posted by Bronco View Post
    While this situation is certainly sad, I have no right or expectation of a prompt rescue when I go climbing.
    That's my philosophy as well (no expectation of a prompt rescue), and factored into my initial reaction before reading the article. I didn't mean to imply otherwise.

    ... Thom
    Galibier Design
    crafting technology in service of music

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    3,825
    Quote Originally Posted by Bronco View Post
    While this situation is certainly sad, I have no right or expectation of a prompt rescue when I go climbing.
    But how about your surviving family members?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Wet and Mild
    Posts
    3,949
    Quote Originally Posted by Bronco View Post
    While this situation is certainly sad, I have no right or expectation of a prompt rescue when I go climbing.
    I see your point, but Mt. Hood isn't exactly the Fairweather Range. Your attitude perpetuates the notion held by many non-outdoorsy types who see something like this and think "he got what was coming to him for going up there."
    Be good, or be good at it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    northern BC
    Posts
    15,054
    Quote Originally Posted by sfotex View Post
    I wonder what the initial patient assessment was, and what the patient died from? Everyone seems pretty calm on the calls, like broken ankle territory. Being able to do a good patient assessment, and communicate it to EMS can make the difference between a carry out and launching a Black Hawk.

    Around here we had the all kinds of problems with call center dispatchers 'not getting' the backcountry, like getting hung up on street addresses. "Oh my god, my friend got caught in an avalanche." "What is your address" "We're on the north side Mount Awesome" "What is your street address" "Mount Awesome" "Do you know the address" "I'm in the fucking mountains!!!" Now dispatch immediately transfers the calls to a Canyon Sargent.
    he fell 600 ft so must have got pretty banged up, I'm not saying its ok or that he got what was coming but that is how it happens up here too, in that itsa pretty standard response for a 911 call to get transfered around and before you know it SAR the RCMP are calling you on yer phone
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    the vails
    Posts
    1,624
    Quote Originally Posted by glademaster View Post
    I see your point, but Mt. Hood isn't exactly the Fairweather Range. Your attitude perpetuates the notion held by many non-outdoorsy types who see something like this and think "he got what was coming to him for going up there."
    So? Non-outdoorsy people will think just as negatively if people are constantly rescued with helicopters.

    Anyone that participates in wilderness activities should understand that they are responsible for themselves, public perception be damned.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Eburg
    Posts
    12,061
    Hmmmm. This will be an uphill struggle for the plaintiffs. OR has hard damage limits (around $1,000,000, as I recall) for tort claims against local govt. There likely is a relevant immunity. Also, a jury might be hesitant to make a big award against people who risked their lives to rescue this guy because, among other things, it would provide a disincentive for govt officials to ever get involved in rescue operations.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Beer:30
    Posts
    5,543
    The brief transcripts of the 911 calls in the video really highlight the importance of clearly relaying complete and accurate information about the nature of the emergency and the type of response required when you're on the line with dispatch.
    Quote Originally Posted by Norseman View Post
    All ye punterz! Leave thine stupid heavy skis in the past, or at least in the resort category, for the age of lightweight pussy sticks is upon us! Behold! Keep up with the randocommandos on their carbon blades of shortness! Break thine tibias into spiral splinters with pintech extravagance!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Park City
    Posts
    2,065
    Couple of thoughts

    1. Personal responsibility. You have accepted risk by going out there.

    2. Injuries. Would the outcome have been different if he had been evacted sooner?

    3. If this flies then I believe responders should have the right to sue victims/families if the rescuers are injured in the rescue.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    I rip the groomed on tele gear

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    PNW
    Posts
    369
    Quote Originally Posted by glademaster View Post
    I see your point, but Mt. Hood isn't exactly the Fairweather Range. Your attitude perpetuates the notion held by many non-outdoorsy types who see something like this and think "he got what was coming to him for going up there."
    Sorry if that's how it came across, that certainly wasn't my intent. Let me try again -

    There are no professional climbing rangers at Mt. Hood. Portland Mountain Rescue (and most other SAR organizations) is comprised of volunteers who have family, work and other obligations going on when they get the page out for a rescue. They will do their best to conduct a safe attempt at helping people who need it but there are no guarantees they can get there in time and without endangering their team members. Most of these folks are probably dropping whatever they're doing and driving some distance to get to the rescue scene. It's tragic the subject died in the litter but the point is, we all take on risk when participating in these activities and there are no guarantees of an immediate rescue.

    Nobody is more heart broken for the loss of this family than the rescue folks who attempted to save the young man. Be safe out there.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Sandy
    Posts
    4,740
    Quote Originally Posted by glademaster View Post
    I see your point, but Mt. Hood isn't exactly the Fairweather Range. Your attitude perpetuates the notion held by many non-outdoorsy types who see something like this and think "he got what was coming to him for going up there."
    There's also more and more people going into the mountains that seem to think they can call 911, and a helicopter will show up in a few minutes.

    Last summer we had a guy that called 911 on Mount Olympus (local peak that attracts lots of inexperienced hikers) saying he was lost and cliffed out, and was about to fall to his death. We had the helicopter going for another rescue in the area, so we flew up within a few minutes of getting the call, and found him leaning against the trail sign. There was this awkward moment of 'What's going on here?' his response was 'Well, my legs got crampy, and I was worried I was going to fall off the trail, but now I feel better now' He never thought that calling 911 and saying he was about to fall to his death would result in a SAR rescue....
    When life gives you haters, make haterade.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    320
    Just to be clear - the family isn't suing the rescuers (National Guard folks), they are suing the Sheriff, 911 folks and the Sheriff dispatchers - who may or may not have screwed up with dispatch.

    I was visiting the Hoover dam in my youth. A lady was having chest pains and shortness of breath, I called 911 and the dispatch asked for my address. I am not from there, I didn't really pay much attention to the road signs etc, I just replied with leave Vegas going East, when you get to a big dam - you are there. (eventually another Samaritan was able to tell the dispatcher what parking lot etc.) - I am sure dispatch has to be one of the hardest jobs to do well.

    But, if you are being paid to do a job, any job really, you should be expected to do that job to a reasonable standard or your employer may have to talk to their insurance company.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Posts
    646
    Oregon probably has something to the effect of sheriff et. al. have a duty to take reasonable steps to act. Which it sounds like they did. What they need is blanket immunity for failure to rescue in the case of outdoor recreation, because anything less leads to access issues down the road.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    hell, CA pop 4
    Posts
    2,207
    Quote Originally Posted by sfotex View Post
    I wonder what the initial patient assessment was, and what the patient died from? Everyone seems pretty calm on the calls, like broken ankle territory. Being able to do a good patient assessment, and communicate it to EMS can make the difference between a carry out and launching a Black Hawk.

    Around here we had the all kinds of problems with call center dispatchers 'not getting' the backcountry, like getting hung up on street addresses. "Oh my god, my friend got caught in an avalanche." "What is your address" "We're on the north side Mount Awesome" "What is your street address" "Mount Awesome" "Do you know the address" "I'm in the fucking mountains!!!" Now dispatch immediately transfers the calls to a Canyon Sargent.


    Our county forced 911 addresses on us for rural areas. Sure as shit give them a call and give the 911 address, and then spend 20 minutes trying to explain their fucking address.

    Oh well, it will be farmed out to India someday.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Vancouver BC
    Posts
    2,586
    Quote Originally Posted by GhostofSeasonsPast View Post
    Oregon probably has something to the effect of sheriff et. al. have a duty to take reasonable steps to act. Which it sounds like they did. What they need is blanket immunity for failure to rescue in the case of outdoor recreation, because anything less leads to access issues down the road.
    Agree. Should not be any expectation/reliance on rescue or liability regardless of negligence IMO. You accept the risk of death when you undertake these activities. Sucks for surviving family, that's what life insurance is for (without exclusions for activities you do).

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    2,365
    Quote Originally Posted by gramboh View Post
    Agree. Should not be any expectation/reliance on rescue or liability regardless of negligence IMO. You accept the risk of death when you undertake these activities. Sucks for surviving family, that's what life insurance is for (without exclusions for activities you do).
    Exactly this ^^^ x 3 or x 4 or whatever we're up to now.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Eburg
    Posts
    12,061
    Quote Originally Posted by gramboh View Post
    Should not be any expectation/reliance on rescue or liability regardless of negligence IMO. You accept the risk of death when you undertake these activities.
    One accepts risk of death -- and exposes his or her passengers to risk of death -- when driving on a 2-lane road with hundreds of vehicles coming the opposite direction within a few feet of one's vehicle at an approach velocity of >120mph. Is that voluntary exposure to risk of death distinguishable from climbing a very popular route? Should all law enforcement and 911 services be immune if they take 4 hours to reach a victim of 2-lane highway collision and the victim dies as a result of the delay? FTR, I don't have the answer, but I am certain that it defies black vs. white analysis.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Eburg
    Posts
    12,061
    I will be watching this development of this case. Defense counsel will, among other things (e.g., legal challenges re immunity doctrines), develop factual evidence re comparative negligence, specifically whether the victim's rope team placed protection at the point of the fall.

    I climbed Hood by the standard route >20 years ago. It was a shit show. There are several moderately steep spots with iffy footing and big exposure (i.e., a fall would result in death or grave injury). It was obvious to us that running pro was indicated, so we placed running protection (pickets and ice screws) on the ascent and descent. If a bold party elected to not place pro, they should have unroped. But most parties that day didn't place any pro yet stayed roped up, entering a de facto suicide pact with their rope team members: If one falls, they all fall. I later learned that such suicide pacts are common on the Hood standard route, likely caused to some degree by the frequency of inexperienced climbers. It's a heuristic trap: "Gee, nobody else is placing pro, so there's no reason for us to do so." IME, if the same conditions were present on a remote unpopular climb, virtually all experience parties would either place running pro or unrope and climb unprotected.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Shuswap Highlands
    Posts
    1,750
    I certainly canít speak to SAR in other jurisdictions, but there are certainly growing pains in backcountry SAR in BC. The use of the backcountry is growing by those that spend most of their time in urban settings. These people and their families have brought a different set of expectations of support with them. Our response capability has vastly improved. Not that long ago, a backcountry rescue required hiking several kms on foot to reach a subject, assuming their location was even known. Communication between the subject and emergency services has now also progressed significantly - far fewer are relying on a member of the party running out to get help.
    All this has caught tasking agencies, especially the RCMP and 911 services, flat footed. They just donít have the legacy of training and experience with the volume and complexity of the various tasks they are now faced with. I certainly donít think they are being negligent, but there are obvious many aspects that require improvement. My heart goes out to the family of the subject, but better funding and resourcing to those jurisdictions that have seen exponential upticks in backcountry use would be better than suing those agencies for their current level of expertise and readiness.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Posts
    646
    Quote Originally Posted by GeezerSteve View Post
    One accepts risk of death -- and exposes his or her passengers to risk of death -- when driving on a 2-lane road with hundreds of vehicles coming the opposite direction within a few feet of one's vehicle at an approach velocity of >120mph. Is that voluntary exposure to risk of death distinguishable from climbing a very popular route? Should all law enforcement and 911 services be immune if they take 4 hours to reach a victim of 2-lane highway collision and the victim dies as a result of the delay? FTR, I don't have the answer, but I am certain that it defies black vs. white analysis.
    Yes and yes.

    Motorists owe each other reasonable care on the road, but on a raceway it's recognized that things are a little different.

    As for climbing, the simple fact is that if people can sue for either injuries or a FUBARed rescue, you'll get less climbing and less rescue. Or, have to buy increasingly pricey rescue insurance to pay for rescues because without cash coming in, it makes no sense for 911 and law enforcement to even be in the rescue business if they can get sued for it.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Missoula, MT
    Posts
    18,985
    Quote Originally Posted by Bronco View Post
    While this situation is certainly sad, I have no right or expectation of a prompt rescue when I go climbing.
    Yeah, it sounds like a fuck up, but this. The suit would also have to prove that he'd most likely not have died of his injuries anyway, which is also possible.
    OTOH, there's an argument to be made that he DID call 911, and the response was essentially to make it someone else's problem. It's not like the emergency services didn't know he was there. If I had to call 911, I'd expect SOMEONE to try to get to me. And not the Guard.
    But again, I'd imagine there's some kind of immunity here. Hopefully they learned from the mistake.
    No longer stuck.

    Quote Originally Posted by stuckathuntermtn View Post
    Just an uneducated guess.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •