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Old 05-02-2010, 05:57 PM   #21
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The crosshairs mark Plattekill Clove....The dotted line to the left is the beginning of the Devils Path....It sounds as if they accessed the Clove from Platte Clove Road at some point. I've hiked down the Clove a ways from the DP and it gets scary steep real quick.
thanks for the information - looks like some very rugged country.
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Old 05-02-2010, 07:11 PM   #22
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http://www.meetup.com/hikingmates/members/11536218/

It looks like he had just joined the group, too.
It isn't fair that good people and their families suffer for years to come.
May their strength be in knowing unforeseen occurrences befall us all,
and God remembers even when a sparrow falls[Bible book of Psalms] Looncry
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Old 05-02-2010, 08:58 PM   #23
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My condolences goes out to the family....very sad.....just enjoying the beauty of the day....
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Old 05-02-2010, 10:04 PM   #24
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One of the key aspects of ADK chapter outings is that no fee is charged as there would be a greater anticipation of responsibility. ADK is confident its waivers would hold up in NYS except involving minors or unusual circumstances. And as mentioned, substantial liablility limits covering the organization and all leaders.
When ADK contracts with other organizations i.e. guide services, canoe outfitters, etc, the Club does not enter into reverse hold harmless agreements and requires the vendor to hold ADK harmless, be named on the vendor's liability policy as an additional insured and for the vendor to carry adequate liability limits.
It's good the ADK has insurance, because the waiver is useless insofar as the ADK charges membership fees that entitle members to participate in outings.

Here's what the ADKtravel.org website says:

"Recreation is a principal focus of ADK. It is experienced locally through the many outings sponsored and led each week by ADK's chapters. Outings are also sponsored at the Club level where all ADKers can participate regardless of chapter affiliation. They are open to Members-at-Large as well."

Here is what the court said in holding that a waiver of liability for the Ranch Parachute Club did not protect it because of GOL 5-326:

[T]he purpose of the club, organized under the Not-For-Profit Corporation Law, is "to promote sport parachuting. The purpose is exclusively a recreational purpose and all purposes and activities of the corporation are limited to those specified in § 501 (c) (7) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954."

So it would seem the ADK club falls squarely under GOL 5-326 and its waivers are "against public policy and wholly unenforceable."

And that is what insurance is for.

Leaders of outings for the ADK and its chapters can feel safe knowing there is an insurance policy covering them if something should happen that sucks them into a lawsuit. But they shouldn't put any reliance on outings waivers.

But I'll bet there are lots of hiking clubs and groups that have little or no insurance. In fact, Meetup tells people that it and those who organize meetups are protected by its TOS waiver - which is simply not true if a fee is charged and the activity is focused on recreation.
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:51 AM   #25
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"It's good the ADK has insurance, because the waiver is useless insofar as the ADK charges membership fees that entitle members to participate in outings."

We'll have to completely agree to disagree.
And hopefully neither of our views on the matter will ever be tested.

The point I wanted to make has more to do with informal hiking groups rather than organizations like the ADK. The ADK is big enough to fend for itself.

Many hiking groups start out as informal get togethers of a few friends, then grow through social networking until one day someone gets the bright idea that they should charge dues or request a small donation to participate in hikes. Soon after that someone copies a waiver from an organization like the ADK and thinks it will protect them from liability should something happen.

Before anyone agrees to lead a hike for an informal group they should ask: (1) are any fees or dues charged for participation? (2) If so, does the group have insurance (or do you have an umbrella policy that would cover claims against yourself.)?
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Old 05-03-2010, 11:28 AM   #26
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Another sad moment in time for the Cats.
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Old 05-03-2010, 11:29 AM   #27
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Speaking of waivers, I was counselled by a (US) lawyer that they rarely stand up in court anyway.

Much better to have lots of insurance. And even better to be diligent, responsible, well prepared and to be able to prove it if necessary.
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Old 05-03-2010, 02:43 PM   #28
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Interesting to note that because Meetup groups were mentioned in the news, all of my groups had a surge in memberships, today.

I am very diligent with regards to who joins my outings. I limit attendance to 12 in the Adirondacks; the harder the hike, the fewer the hike membership. In the Catskills the DEC has no limitations on hike participants, but I'd never hike with more than 10 especially off trail.

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Old 05-03-2010, 02:53 PM   #29
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Another sad moment in time for the Cats.
Very sad for us all.
My condolences to friends and family.
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Old 05-03-2010, 03:15 PM   #30
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Interesting to note that because Meetup groups were mentioned in the news, all of my groups had a surge in memberships, today.
I wonder how many people read the article, and the first thing they thought to themselves was, "you mean there's an online hiking message board/group that I'm not a member of?"
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Old 05-03-2010, 04:00 PM   #31
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In the Catskills the DEC has no limitations on hike participants, but I'd never hike with more than 10 especially off trail.

LRoar
Section 190.08(cc) of the regulations requires a permit for groups of more than 20 people on all state lands under the jurisdiction of the DEC.

The DEC is currently using the "temporary revocable permit" process for those permits, but is in the process of adopting a new process for such permits.

You can download a copy of the exiting permit application HERE

As I stated earlier, I wonder if that group of 29 obtained a permit. I'm guessing they didn't.
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Old 05-03-2010, 04:12 PM   #32
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Personally I am just saddened by this man's loss of life ...

Its too bad when something like this happens one immediately thinks of lawsuits.

My prayers to his family and all that knew him. God Bless you Bill....
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Old 05-03-2010, 05:47 PM   #33
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I'm just sorry for the family;

And glad I don't hike with a bunch of internet lawyers.
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Old 05-03-2010, 06:39 PM   #34
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Hopefully, reports of incidents like these help caution others from getting into similar situations. Decades ago we had no way of hearing about such incidents unless we lived near the event, or a local paper picked up the story because of some connection. Now, it seems like a day does not go by without reading of another hiker death due to falling. Here's another one:

Florida man swept over 60-foot southern Indiana falls

MADISON, Ind. (WISH) - A Florida man hiking in Clifty Falls State Park died Sunday after he slipped into Little Clifty Falls.

According to Indiana Conservation Officer Bill Beville, 43-year-old Michael Kelley and his wife were hiking along Trail Seven when Kelley left the trail to climb on a tree that was hanging over Little Clifty Creek.

While climbing out on the tree, Kelley fell into the fast moving water and was swept over the 60-foot falls.

Officials say Kelley and his wife had just gotten married last Friday.
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:13 PM   #35
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Have to agree with you there.

Another fellow fell 100' into the Hoosick river the same night as this accident.

Came across it when looking for additional details on an Albany news site.
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Old 05-04-2010, 03:13 PM   #36
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Check out the "Outdoors" blog in The Albany Times Union. Herb Terns and Gillian Scott are ADK members and do a nice job presenting all sides of hiking. There were comments about this accident recently, and they have a link to the Catskill Mountain Club write up of the hike to Black Chasm. That is where they think this incident happened.
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Old 05-06-2010, 11:14 PM   #37
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Following the decision, the runner attempted to convince our highest court, the Court of Appeals, to reverse the Second Department based on the Filson decision. His motion for leave to appeal was denied by the Court of Appeals, some evidence that the high court favored the Brookner reasoning over the Filson approach.[/B]


Neil F. Woodworth
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Niel will have to better than that.

First, there are 4 Appellate departments in NYS. The Second covers only Dutches, Orange, Westchester and Rockland Counties. There are 58 Counties in the other 3 Departments, the 3rd department being the physically largest covering all of the ADK Park and more.

A lawsuit can be commenced in the county in which the plaintiff resides, in the county in which the defendant resides, or the county in which the incident happened. Unless we are talking about hiking accidents in which all parties reside in the second department and the incident occured in one of those counties in the second department, the decisions of the second department are not precedent.

Second, a denial of leave to appeal is not a holding - it is a mere denial of leave to appeal. I wouldn't be betting my house and IRA on it.

The only relevant facts are the coverage and limits of the insurance policy.

Do you want to be the first person in the First, Third, or Fourth Departments to have to pay an attorney to find out if the position of the Second Department will be followed in those other Departments? Do you have any idea how much an appeal to an Appellate Division cost, and then the cost appeal to the Court of Appeals? Better be sure there insurance coverage.
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Old 05-07-2010, 04:23 PM   #38
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This thread has perplexed me for the past day or so.

It's on a slippery and unattractive slope so I reset the hands of time by a few posts.
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Old 05-07-2010, 04:37 PM   #39
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Back to the original subject for a second. Has anyone heard anymore actual information (facts). I've heard more rumors but thats of little consequence or use.
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Old 05-08-2010, 10:09 AM   #40
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Back to the original subject for a second. Has anyone heard anymore actual information (facts). I've heard more rumors but thats of little consequence or use.
What specific facts do you want to know?
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