REI shirks responsibility & appeals Monika Johnson case

Search
Go

Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 1 - 452 of total 452 in this topic
reddirt

climber
PNW
Topic Author's Original Post - May 19, 2011 - 09:10am PT
http://www.turns-all-year.com/skiing_snowboarding/trip_reports/index.php?topic=20872.0

scroll down for pictures.

FYI note the dedication of the website. Monika has since died in an unrelated incident (unless you consider how the fork failure may have contributed to cognitive function damage) this past season.

People need to know what kind of a company REI really is...
klk

Trad climber
cali
May 19, 2011 - 09:24am PT
tx for the thread.

rei is a big corporation, but we already knew that.

my takeaway from the thread is that the liability insurance industry is using this as a test case to prevent or at least limit future settlements and suits.

bigsteve's posts sound credible to me, given my limited experience with the subject.
Port

Trad climber
San Diego
May 19, 2011 - 09:25am PT
The OP.


I just learned that REI is appealing the most recent ruling in Monika's case.

For those who don't know, Monika was riding downtown in 2007 when the carbon fiber fork on her bike sheared off from the frame and caused her to face plant onto the pavement. Broken jaw, broken teeth, trauma to the brain. She was going about 5 mph on the sidewalk when it happened. Forensic testing showed that the failure was due to a manufacturing defect. Monika had to pay for the test herself, but was never reimbursed by REI. (REI issued a recall based upon the test results.)

REI has denied responsibility, maintaining that the company who manufactured the fork is responsible, not REI, even though REI sub contracted that company and sold Monika the bike under REI's brand name, Navaro. REI even went so far as to suggest that Monika was to blame for the fork's failure because the bike wasn't clean. As though it was Monika's responsibility to notice a manufacturing defect. The superior court sided with Monika, ruling that REI is responsible to Monika and that REI could pursue legal action against the manufacturing company if it wished. REI appealed, and the appellate court ruled in Monika's favor the day she died. And now REI is appealing again. Wasting the time and energy of Monika's lawyer (and friend) and family.

The whole thing makes me sick. REI never reimbursed Monika for any of her medical or dental expenses, nor for her lost wages. Monika never wanted to crucify REI. She just wanted compensation for her expenses and for not being able to work full time on account of her brain injury. (She managed to sleep only about 3 hours a night)

And yet Monika still managed to get by, despite all those expenses and side effects. She did better than get by. She managed to be happy.

REI boasts about being a co op. Pretty swell treatment of one its nicer members.

f*#k REI.
jfs

Trad climber
Upper Leftish
May 19, 2011 - 09:26am PT
Please also note Big Steve's reasoned responses in the same thread. Useful information regardless of your opinion of REI.

Sad story and as much an indictment of our legal and insurance system as anything else.
Port

Trad climber
San Diego
May 19, 2011 - 09:26am PT
rei is a big corporation, but we already knew that.


I dont think the size of REI dictates its response. A small gear shop would probably react the same way (if it had the resources)..... Not that its a good thing, just greedy people being greedy.
locker

Social climber
CO
May 19, 2011 - 09:27am PT



Did REI manufacture the bike...

Or just SELL it???...



fattrad

Mountain climber
GOP Convention
May 19, 2011 - 09:29am PT
reddirt,

Why do you think I refused to buy a Facelift shirt last year with REI's logo. This year, no REI.



The evil one
reddirt

climber
PNW
Topic Author's Reply - May 19, 2011 - 09:30am PT
REI is/owns Novarra...

Did BP create the oil spill or its subcontractors?
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Run like the wind.
May 19, 2011 - 09:30am PT
Did BP drill the well or just spill the oil?

DMT
weschrist

Gym climber
left sac
May 19, 2011 - 09:30am PT
Broken jaw, broken teeth, trauma to the brain. She was going about 5 mph on the sidewalk when it happened.

Unfortunate, but WTF?!?! Was she not wearing a helmet? How could anyone sustain that much damage at 5mph?
Port

Trad climber
San Diego
May 19, 2011 - 09:32am PT
Damn.....That's a shitty bike!

Credit: Port
Credit: Port



locker

Social climber
CO
May 19, 2011 - 09:32am PT


BP by pushing the subcontractors to substandard limits???...

I DON'T actually know...

Why not SUE the people that MADE the bike???...

Is it not ultimately THEIR mistake???...

Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Run like the wind.
May 19, 2011 - 09:33am PT
REI either stands behind its brand or it does not.

It does not, that is obvious. Same as BP.

DMT
atchafalaya

Boulder climber
May 19, 2011 - 09:35am PT
The position that REi should "just pay" is pretty ridiculous. Product liability cases turn to the manufacturer (not REI). The fact they re-labeled under the name Novaro does not mean the manufacturer should not bear ultimate responsibility for a design defect. There is strict liability for manufacturers. That standard should not be applied to a consumer like REI.

That being said, they may still be liable for negligence, or under a different theory.
jfs

Trad climber
Upper Leftish
May 19, 2011 - 09:35am PT
typical interweb responses...
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
May 19, 2011 - 09:40am PT
You can't necessarily blame REI for what has happened. In these cases, it's often the insurer that's in control of the defence, not the insured (REI). As long as the insurer mounts a credible defence, and acts in good faith (hard to prove otherwise), it decides how the case will be fought - not the company that's insured. And as someone mentioned, the insurance industry may be worried about a precedent.

"Hard cases make bad law". A very sad business.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
May 19, 2011 - 09:40am PT
How could anyone sustain that much damage at 5mph?

I wound up with major orthopedic surgery and a full year of painful rehab following an accident that occurred when I was going about 2 mph. (No head damage, though). So her outcome, while unusual, is hardly impossible.

REI's repsonse on the other hand, while hardly unusual, is inexcusable.

Mangy Peasant

Social climber
Riverside, CA
May 19, 2011 - 09:44am PT
REI has denied responsibility, maintaining that the company who manufactured the fork is responsible, not REI, even though REI sub contracted that company and sold Monika the bike under REI's brand name,

REI haters gonna hate, but there may actually be two sides to this story.

The above argument does seem reasonable.

Would the mom and pop bike shop have responded any differently?
FortMental

Social climber
Albuquerque, NM
May 19, 2011 - 10:06am PT
.
.
.
.
FortMental

Social climber
Albuquerque, NM
May 19, 2011 - 10:07am PT
REI came to ABQ and all the mom and pop (3 at the time) climbing/outdoor shops closed down.

Forest Service proposed Fee system, REI was all on board; now sells the forest service pass from the customer service desk.


REI parking lot is always jammed on the weekends, filled with people buying cheap chinese crap to hang in their "lifestyle closets". If Walmart sold gear, I'd go there.... only cuz it'd be more honest.
stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
May 19, 2011 - 10:09am PT
I obviously don't know all the details about how this case worked, but if it was a manufacturing defect, I would think that the fault is with the fork manufacturer, not with REI. The Novara bikes are REI's house brand, but I don't think they make them. I'm sure they are made at some factory in China, and I'd bet that the CF forks are made in China or Taiwan as well. I'd imagine a small shop would act the same if this was a Specialized bike they sold.

The exception to this would be if the failure was due to an assembly problem...i.e. an REI employee cranked the headset down too much or accidentally cut the steerer tube carbon fiber. But if it was an actual manufacturer defect, I'm not sure it would be appropriate to hold REI liable.
FortMental

Social climber
Albuquerque, NM
May 19, 2011 - 10:13am PT
But if it was an actual manufacturer defect, I'm not sure it would be appropriate to hold REI liable.
It would be perfectly appropriate. Afterwards, REI would be free to sue their supplier for failure to provide components as per spec.
John Moosie

climber
Beautiful California
May 19, 2011 - 10:18am PT
I don't understand not holding REI liable. So if a Sears brand breaks in a dangerous manner, you don't hold Sears responsible? I don't understand this. Can someone explain this? What about a Vons brand food product? If it kills someone? Vons has no responsibility? They get to put their name on it, get all the benefits but have no responsibility if it goes bad? Something about that sounds like baloney to me. So explain it to me please.

And this business about it being part of the contract that the insurer gets to decide. That sounds like more big business bullshit to me. What happened to the "customer is always right"? If a big company like REI stood up to the insurance industry, then we would have less of this bullsh#t.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
May 19, 2011 - 10:25am PT
John, you have mandatory third party liability insurance to cover operation of your vehicle, right? The not so fine print in your policy clearly states that in the event of a claim or suit, the insurer (not you) has the right to appoint the lawyer who will defend it, and the right to decide what the defence will be. There are few limitations on the insurer's right to conduct the defence.

That's standard in the world of insurance, and part of the trade offs. And given that it is the insurance company that is likely to be paying any decision or settlement, doesn't it make sense if they hold the reins?
John Moosie

climber
Beautiful California
May 19, 2011 - 10:30am PT
I agree that they insurer should hold the reins. And I am aware that I don't get to decide on my car insurance. My insurance settled in one case, which actually hurt me. I think the insuree should have some control. If that means their rates go up because of the decision they make, then thats what it means. But even REI has to know that if this case goes viral, then they will lose a lot of goodwill. I just don't like the whole notion of the insurance industry being the decider which absolves the big companies from any decision making or responsibility once it is in the hands of the insurer.

So what about my question about companies like Sears and Vons? Do they hold no responsibility?

Edit: Sears, Vons, REI, and other major companies decide who will represent their brand. They chose the manufacturer and decide the parameters. So why doesn't this make them at least partially liable?
couchmaster

climber
pdx
May 19, 2011 - 10:31am PT
I challenge you to find a "Novara" brand bike for sale new by any Mfg anywhere that is not REI. "Novara" is REI's house brand. Had this been a "Trek" or "Giant", I'd have some sympathy, but it's their brand which they import and control and theirs alone.

F*#kers.
Mangy Peasant

Social climber
Riverside, CA
May 19, 2011 - 10:33am PT
John,

Not a lawyer, but I took a business law class once. So I know just enough to give bad advice...

What I did learn is that there are some very established rules for product liability and negligence. Probably millions of people have been injured using manufactured products that originate through complex manufacturing chains. There are thousands of these types of cases and many decades of precedent. A lot of smart people (i.e. judges) have analyzed these types of issues over the years and developed rules for determining who is responsible.

Like any part of the legal system, the rules are imperfect, but a tremendous amount of logic and reasoning has gone into developing them.

In this case, it may seem reasonable to blame REI since they sold the product. But think about the practical realities: How could REI really ensure everything they sell is safe? Do they have to test every single product they purchase for resale? Does every distributor or reseller along the production chain have to do the same?

Does the mom and pop climbing shop test every piece of climbing gear they put on their shelves? Should they be required to do so?

Is this case different because REI owns the Novara brand, but it is manufactured by a third party?

So maybe the managers of REI are being jerks, or maybe they have a legitimate legal foundation for their position. I honestly don't know. That's why we have courts. Let them decide.

Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Run like the wind.
May 19, 2011 - 10:35am PT
I challenge you to find a "Novara" brand bike for sale new by any Mfg anywhere that is not REI. "Novara" is REI's house brand. Had this been a "Trek" or "Giant", I'd have some sympathy, but it's their brand which they import and control and theirs alone.

F*#kers.


Brave men step up at personal risk to sell you a bike which you would rather not pay someone else to build and this is how you thank them? You're welcome I'm sure, BTW.

DMT
Gene

climber
May 19, 2011 - 10:39am PT
MP asks,
In this case, it may seem reasonable to blame REI since they sold the product. But think about the practical realities: How could REI really ensure everything they sell is safe? Do they have to test every single product they purchase for resale? Does every distributor or reseller along the production chain have to do the same?

Is this case different because REI owns the Novara brand, but it is manufactured by a third party?

Two courts have already ruled that REI is liable.

From OP link (snipped)
REI has denied responsibility, maintaining that the company who manufactured the fork is responsible, not REI, even though REI sub contracted that company and sold Monika the bike under REI's brand name, Navaro. The superior court sided with Monika, ruling that REI is responsible to Monika and that REI could pursue legal action against the manufacturing company if it wished. REI appealed, and the appellate court ruled in Monika's favor the day she died. And now REI is appealing again.
John Moosie

climber
Beautiful California
May 19, 2011 - 10:40am PT
Mangy, I think that it is one thing to sell a brand like Trek, but another to brand your own item. If you brand something, you are saying that it has the REI quality, and that should mean that you hold some responsibility to whether it is well made or not. If they sell a Trek brand bike, they don't decide where it is manufactured. But if they sell an REI brand bike, they do. So they could decide to go with the lowest bidder, and they should be held responsible for that decision if it goes bad.

The courts are where that should be decided. If REI can show they they did their level best to buy from a reputable manufacturer, and that they didn't push in any way to cut corners, but instead looked for a solid build, then they should have less liability. But they still put their name on it, and that is the crux. It is much different to sell someone elses brand, like Trek, or Bianchi. Its doubtful if any mom or pop outfit would have their own brand. If they do, then they are responsible for how it is manufactured, because they chose the manufacturer.

They don't have to test every piece of gear that isn't their brand. But they do hold responsibility for what they put their name on. You get a benefit, you should have the liability.
Chango

Trad climber
norcal
May 19, 2011 - 10:43am PT
I would think that when a company starts paying medical bills, it then assumes liability for the incident. REI has the best return policy in the industry. It's unfair to make claims that they don't stand behind their product. Do you honestly think an indepent shop wouldn't do the same?Assuming responsibility would destroy a small shop. And if REI took this one on, it would set a precedent for future lawsuits...and potentially destroy the company.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 19, 2011 - 10:45am PT
"REI makes top-rated Novara bikes for all types of cycling including mountain, commuting and road." www.rei.com/brand/Novara

REI stands behind their products or it doesn't.






In November 2007, Monika Johnson was riding her bicycle along a
downtown Seattle sidewalk when the front carbon fiber fork of the bicycle, which attaches the bicycle’s front wheel to its frame, “sheared from the steer tube suddenly and without warning.” Clerk’s Papers (CP) at 57. The fork and front wheel detached from the frame of the bicycle, and Johnson fell face first onto the sidewalk, sustaining serious injuries.

http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/02/11/rei.pdf

In this case, REI is not standing behind their products.
locker

Social climber
CO
May 19, 2011 - 10:46am PT


This thread appears more like an opportunity to bash REI than anything else...

atchafalaya

Boulder climber
May 19, 2011 - 10:46am PT
I do not want to interfere with all the speculation and jailhouse lawyering, but thought some might enjoy the opinion.

http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/02/11/rei.pdf
kunlun_shan

Mountain climber
SF, CA
May 19, 2011 - 10:47am PT
As jfs mentioned, there are some very informative posts on the original thread by Big Steve about how REI is beholden to their insurance company. It would be much cheaper for REI to settle with Monika Johnson, but they are unable to do so.

In addition to the REI case, Steve mentions Yvon Chouinard's "frustration with the litigation control exerted by the insurance carriers" and Chouinard Equipment's forced bankruptcy. Interesting reading about a situation which affects us all, in the USA, whether we know it or not.

http://www.turns-all-year.com/skiing_snowboarding/trip_reports/index.php?topic=20872.0;all
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 19, 2011 - 10:47am PT
What is VERY clear is that REI does not claim to be reselling another manufacturer's product. They hold themselves out as making the bicycle.
stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
May 19, 2011 - 10:52am PT
OK, after having posted, I went through and read the linked thread in the initial post. I stand corrected. Apparently, there is a WA law that holds coompanies that privately label stuff (REI/Novara) responsible even though they are not the mfg. So legally it sounds like holding them responsible is correct.
There are also some good posts from a lawyer on that thread indicating that REI may be in the position of being somewhat bound by their contract with their product liability insurance carrier. They may have been unable to settle and forced to fight this in court.
Sucks all the way around.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 19, 2011 - 10:53am PT
Thank your for posting the link.

IN THE COURT OF APPEALS OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON
DIVISION ONE
No. 65463-2-I

MONIKA JOHNSON, )
Respondent,

v.

RECREATIONAL EQUIPMENT, INC.
(REI), a Washington corporation,

Petitioner.
FILED: February 7, 2011


PUBLISHED OPINION


Accordingly, we affirm the trial court’s ruling that Recreational Equipment,
Inc. (REI) is not entitled to seek to allocate fault to the manufacturer of the No. 65463-2-I/2
defective product that REI branded as its own. We also conclude that the trial
court erred neither by finding REI strictly liable for the injuries caused by the
defective product
nor by ruling that any third party claim by REI against the
manufacturer would be severed for trial
Gal

Trad climber
a semi lucid consciousness
May 19, 2011 - 10:55am PT
Yes, don't know how many more times the courts have to say REI is liable. Also, I read the other thread on the ski/snowboard site, and someone asks the question that I really think needs answered-who is REI's insurance provider (maybe someone already said who)? If they (REI) really have no control in this litigation, let the bad press point to where it should: The giant, apparently inhumane, Insurance company. Maybe this was already answered, but if enough people begin to point their frustration toward the insurance company (that apparently is propelling this litigation), it would (hopefully) make a difference/put pressure in the right spot.

So who is their insurance provider...? Where/who does one send a letter to?

I wish things had gone better for Monika... :(
She should have been compensated for all medical/dental without hesitation. I don't like to see the "little guy" (girl) get screwed. I do recongnize how how these giants apparently need to fight it out to establish the way future cases go, but in the meantime, Monika clearly needed to be compensated.

Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Run like the wind.
May 19, 2011 - 11:01am PT
Feeling sorry for a corporation is like feeling sorry for that piece of paper there on your desk.

DMT
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 19, 2011 - 11:01am PT
Another thread: http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=7991033&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0&sid=906d4d334702f7fbb6cf984322bb72e5
reddirt

climber
PNW
Topic Author's Reply - May 19, 2011 - 11:01am PT
REI's product liability representation exists at the behest of REI, not the other way around.

Mine is a simplistic view but if an entity is going to reap the rewards of a product that is their brand, they must also own up the the liabilities of their brand.

This would be way different if it were Trek or Cannondale (or BD for that matter) equipment purchased from REI that malfunctioned. In which case I would imagine Trek, C'dale, BD would be on the hook.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 19, 2011 - 11:04am PT
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2014151086_skier07m.html?prmid=related_stories_section

Monika Johnson, experienced mountaineer, killed near Snoqualmie Pass


By Carol M. Ostrom
Seattle Times staff reporter


Monika Johnson
Monika Johnson, who died last week on a mountain peak near Snoqualmie Pass when a shelf of snow broke off beneath her feet, was not only an awesome backcountry skier and mountaineer, friends and family said, she was a generous, thoughtful friend and co-worker.

Ms. Johnson, 40, was killed when a cornice broke off on Red Mountain, dropping her hundreds of feet and burying her in snow.
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
May 19, 2011 - 11:05am PT
Those who blame REI need to read Mighty Hiker's posts again. In most states, the seller of a defective product is liable jointly and severally with the manufacturer, for any defective merchandise, regardless of whether or not the seller was negligent. For that reason, most sellers, including REI, do the responsible thing and buy insurance.

I'm unaware of any insurance contract that allows the insured to force the insurance company to settle for a specific sum. Instead, if the injured party makes a settlement offer within policy limits, the insured can instruct the insurance company to settle. If the insurance company fails to do so, it is legally on the hook for all damages ultimately awarded, regardless of whether the damages exceed policy limits.

The only exception of which I am aware are certain professional errors and omissions (i.e. malpractice) policies, that allow the insured to prevent the insurance company from settling. Again, I know of no policy where the insured can force the insurance company to settle.

Thus, those blaming the insurance company are on target. While I have plenty of issues with REI, which is rapidly becoming a supplier I love to hate (despite being a member since 1967 or '68), I don't think REI could do too much here.

John
Rokjox

Trad climber
Boys I'dunno
May 19, 2011 - 11:08am PT
REI is NOT A CO-OP.

It hasn't been for several DECADES.


Why would anybody think they were? Because they SAY they are? They also say their board is elected. Yet none of the positions ever have a challenger. Or ALMOST never, I think I saw one ONCE, likely to keep the fake image in place for the lawyers and the regulators.

That is a tax scam if anything.


REI hasn't been a Co-op since the original owners sold out.







People are stupid, but I never thought they were THAT stupid. REI is a mega corporation. Has EVERYBODY forgotten what REAL co-ops were like? REI is a Capitalistic ripoff of the term and the image. They show NONE of the real characteristics of a REAL co-op. Just that fakey refund that is built into the image that can ONLY be used to buy MORE REI products... Look at the price tags, they code the "dividend" into the price.

Port

Trad climber
San Diego
May 19, 2011 - 11:10am PT
Tha is a tax scam if anything.


It's a marketing scam. And I totally agree.
reddirt

climber
PNW
Topic Author's Reply - May 19, 2011 - 11:13am PT
If the fork was another company's other than REI (Novara), then that company should be liable....

liable for all physical damages, including head trauma, which may have contributed to her ultimate passing.

edit to add "Novara", an REI house brand.
atchafalaya

Boulder climber
May 19, 2011 - 11:13am PT
Rox, are you saying that REI is not a COOP?
reddirt

climber
PNW
Topic Author's Reply - May 19, 2011 - 11:15am PT
atchafalaya, ROX, the point of this thread is not the co-opiness of REI. It is their LIABILITY for selling their own defective product. Plenty of other threads to take that convo to.

John Moosie

climber
Beautiful California
May 19, 2011 - 11:16am PT
John, I prefer to agree with what Reddirt posted.

REI's product liability representation exists at the behest of REI, not the other way around.

Just because no such insurance exists at this time, doesn't mean that it can't. It might cost more to have some say in what happens, but thems the breaks when you put your name on something.

Maybe REI should announce that they are seeking a more responsive insurer.
Mangy Peasant

Social climber
Riverside, CA
May 19, 2011 - 11:17am PT
REI is NOT A CO-OP.

So what is it then?

A public corporation? Nope.

A privately owned corporation? If so, then who owns the assets?

Are the profits distributed to anyone other than the co-op members?

Perhaps their management is overpaid...I don't know. If their compensation is extreme, that would be fraud. Even so, it still doesn't change the definition of their corporate structure.

The reason the board never changes is because, beyond the occasional fleeting internet outrage, no one ever really cares enough to run and/or vote.

Gene

climber
May 19, 2011 - 11:18am PT
If the fork was another company's other than REI, then that company should be liable....

The appeals court appears to disagree.
Thus, by imposing liability on sellers of branded products for manufacturing defects—which, inevitably, are caused by acts of the manufacturer—our legislature created a statutory form of vicarious liability that enables the claimant injured by a defectively manufactured product to recover fully from the product seller where the seller branded the product as its own.
locker

Social climber
CO
May 19, 2011 - 11:20am PT


There MUST be STANDARDS for manufacturing the bikes etc...

You can bet that REI would INSIST on those standards being met...

IF they weren't and someone is injured as a result...

why shouldn't the manufacturer be held responsible???...





I only ask out of ignorance NOT to argue with anyone...
reddirt

climber
PNW
Topic Author's Reply - May 19, 2011 - 11:22am PT
Locker: because "the seller branded the product as its own"
locker

Social climber
CO
May 19, 2011 - 11:26am PT

reddirt...

I KEEP seeing that posted...

Still not buying into it fully however...

It seems MORE complicated than that...





EDITED:

What would be interesting to me is to see how many of those that are posting against REI here, were ALREADY against REI in the first place...

Mangy Peasant

Social climber
Riverside, CA
May 19, 2011 - 11:28am PT
atchafalaya, ROX, the point of this thread is not the co-opiness of REI. It is their LIABILITY for selling their own defective product. Plenty of other threads to take that convo to.

The courts have already determined liability. We can agree or disagree with the courts but, unless anyone here is lawyer specializing Oregon product liability, we are just arguing from the perspective of our personal ignorance of the law.

Of course there is always the court of public opinion, which is what this thread is really about. And the perceptions of the co-opiness, and the size of the stores, and the nature of the products, etc. have a big influence on how people personally judge this situation.

Tell the same story and with the same facts, but change the name of the company, and you might get a very different set of opinions.


reddirt

climber
PNW
Topic Author's Reply - May 19, 2011 - 11:29am PT
Gene: "If the fork was another company's other than REI, then that company should be liable...."

I meant if it were a non-Novara brand fork on a non-Novara brand bike... even if purchased from REI... then that non-Novara brand would/should/could be liable & REI is merely a conduit, not the owner of that brand.
Gene

climber
May 19, 2011 - 11:30am PT
Reddirt,

Gotcha!

g
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
May 19, 2011 - 11:35am PT
Thus, those blaming the insurance company are on target. While I have plenty of issues with REI, which is rapidly becoming a supplier I love to hate (despite being a member since 1967 or '68), I don't think REI could do too much here.

John, even assuming that you (and others) are correct in assuming that REI's hands are tied with regard to the insurance company's decision to appeal, I disagree with your last comment.

While REI may not have been able to prevent its insurer from acting as it did, REI certainly could have done many things to show that it actually cared. If it could not legally pay the woman's medical bills, it could have started, or backed, some kind of campaign to help her. Or taken any number of other steps to show that it understood the difference between legal and moral obligations.

By hiding behind its insurance contract it has made a very public statement that it doesn't give a sh#t about what happened to Monika Johnson. Something which could just as easily have happened to your daughter, btw.

I'm no REI hater, but this is not right.
Port

Trad climber
San Diego
May 19, 2011 - 11:41am PT
A privately owned corporation? If so, then who owns the assets?

Are the profits distributed to anyone other than the co-op members?


If it were a true COOP, there would be a true profit sharing program. It would come in the form of a dividend. What REI has cleverly done is to call their "profit sharing program" a "dividend." BUT it's neither. The "dividend" is based ONLY on what YOU bought, not the profits in total. In a true COOP, members share in profits and income is reinvested, or issued in a dividend depending on the goals of the organization. They may even choose to cut prices. In reality, REI does not distribute profits. Unless you consider 10 percent to be "profit sharing". It sounds more like a marketing budget to me.


My understanding is that REI uses the "member fees", the initial $20, to expand the company as rapidly as possible. The 10 percent you get back, is really not that much considering that prices at REI are high is comparison to online retail and other shops.
Dolomite

climber
Anchorage
May 19, 2011 - 11:52am PT
I'll defer to Big Steve, whose comments on the original poster's link are far better informed than any here. No dog in this fight one way or the other, but how is dying when a cornice breaks off causally connected to a bike accident?
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
May 19, 2011 - 11:54am PT
Isn't it all Obama's fault? :-)
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
May 19, 2011 - 11:55am PT
John M,

The only other option for REI would be to self-insure, which I think would be irresponsible. Insurance companies don't allow third parties the right to direct them to settle because of moral hazard issues. If I like the plaintiff that I injured, I could collude with the plaintiff and force the insurance company to overpay. And yes, that sort of thing still happens.

I think as a matter of responsibility and good business, the better approach for REI would have been to pay Monika from its own funds, at least for her medical expenses, immediately and without question, then sue the manufacturer for reimbursement.

As far as I can tell, the appeal is over the trial court's decision to sever the case of damages that Monika suffered from the issue of who pays. Doing so does two things: It gets Monika the right to recover her damages sooner, and it puts both seller and manufacturer on the hook for paying her, which is essentially the proper outcome under standard tort law.

It seems to me that the appeal, in attempting to force one trial rather than two, is really either an unconscionable attempt to delay the payment of damages, or an attempt to change product liability law to parallel modern comparative negligence law in California, where the plaintiff can recover from the defendant only that amount caused by that particular's conduct. This would be a change in current law, and would, IMHO, be to the detriment of consumers generally.

The philosphy behind strict liability for defective products (whose seminal case in California arose in my home town [Escola v. Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Fresno]), is to spread the cost of injuries suffered from product defects among all users of the product. Thus, in a case where we are not sure who was really at fault, we allocate the cost to the seller and manufacturer, thus making the cost of those injuries a cost of making and selling the product. This cost gets reflected in the price.

If we, instead, tried to parcel out fault when, by assumption, we don't know for sure who is at fault, all we do is delay recovery for the injured party, and increase the administrative cost by adding another layer of lawyering. REI (and its insurer) lost deservedly, based on what I read.

John
locker

Social climber
CO
May 19, 2011 - 11:56am PT

THREAD DRIFT:




Compare Camalot™
The gold standard for camming units, Black Diamond Camalots' double-axle design allows retraction of larger cam lobes, giving them a much larger expansion range than traditional single-axle units. They are lightweight, the cable loop and trigger are easy...

$59.95 - 119.95 USD




Prices above from NON REI store...

Prices below from REI...


Compare Camalot™
The gold standard for camming units, Black Diamond Camalots' double-axle design allows retraction of larger cam lobes, giving them a much larger expansion range than traditional single-axle units. They are lightweight, the cable loop and trigger are easy...

$59.95 - 119.95 USD




I DON'T see ANY difference...

Mangy Peasant

Social climber
Riverside, CA
May 19, 2011 - 11:58am PT
In reality, REI does not distribute profits.

Either the profits go to the members, or they go somewhere else. There is no evidence that anyone but members are receiving profits (which would be fraud.)

Is there a big pile of money accumulating somewhere that should be going back the the members?

So they use their excess cash to grow the business, open more stores, and solicit more members. Which means the dividend amount per member doesn't change, but the number of members grows. But it's still members that get the dividends.

It almost sounds like you are suggesting that they try to pay a bigger dividend to existing members every year. Would that be any more fair?

The dividend system based upon member purchases is transparent and equitable. All members have input into the board selection, and thus ultimately the management decisions.

Somehow people think that once a co-op reaches a certain size, it is no longer a co-op. Why?

In a true COOP, members share in profits and income is reinvested, or issued in a dividend depending on the goals of the organization.

The way you describe REI in your post sounds like it matches the above requirement. What are they doing differently than a "true" co-op?

It's a co-op. A very large co-op that is managed much like a large department store chain, but it's still a co-op.

BTW: I don't have any relationship with REI, have never worked there, and don't really even shop there very often. Just think a lot of the hate is based upon myths.






originalpmac

Mountain climber
Anywhere I like
May 19, 2011 - 12:05pm PT
"REI came to ABQ and all the mom and pop (3 at the time) climbing/outdoor shops closed down.

Forest Service proposed Fee system, REI was all on board; now sells the forest service pass from the customer service desk."

Pretty spot on there. I didn't know about the fees with the FS, but they put an REI in downtown Santa Fe, which for some reason allowed a big chain in, when all of the rest are out on Cerrillos. The SF REI is within a minute walk to the local shop Sangre de Cristo mountain works, a fine shop owned a run by fine people, not to mention the other shops that specialize in downhill skis, or all the local bike shops.

Not trying to drift the thread away from REI's liability, but I think they overall manner in which they do business tells us a lot about what kind of company they really are. I personally haven't shopped there in a couple of years, since I saw them move in on Santa Fe. The Wal-Mart of the outdoors.

And yes, with my limited (understatement) understanding if liability insurance for corporations, I think they should stood by there sh#t. Flaunting all the co-op bullshit and their down to earth image, then not helping out a human with a legitimate claim.. just bull sh#t.
Anastasia

climber
hanging from an ice pick and missing my mama.
May 19, 2011 - 12:09pm PT
I am just really sad about Monika Johnson... What horrible bad luck. First to suffer from this accident and later to lose her life in the mountains. If anything, we should at least sit still for five minutes in her honor.
AFS
rectorsquid

climber
Lake Tahoe
May 19, 2011 - 12:16pm PT
I DON'T see ANY difference...

At the end of the year, members get 10% of that money back.

Beyond that, corporate and insurance law and techniques are not within my grasp so I can't comment beyond saying that REI probably gets sued tens or hundreds of times per year and if they just settled everything, they would go out of business. Business is business and that's how it works.

I think every one bashing REI should investigate all of the businesses with whom they do business. I would guess that they would find that lots of companies that they don't bash have the same problems and do the same things in court.

Dave
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
May 19, 2011 - 12:24pm PT
My disgust with REI might be more style than substance. I just dislike the yuppification that occurred to its product line.

I like to keep my old REI catalogs to compare with the modern ones. The old ones show a company that sold a bit of clothing, and lots of climbing and backpacking equipment. The new ones show a company that sells lots of clothing, along with a smattering of other stuff. The local REI devotes more space to suitcases (called by it travel packs) than it does to climbing.

Lots of hat, but very little cattle.

John
Port

Trad climber
San Diego
May 19, 2011 - 12:25pm PT
Hey Mangy,

Here's a good piece on REI in the seattleweekly.

http://www.seattleweekly.com/2003-06-18/news/who-owns-rei/

It explains that REI is only a partial coop, thus they do not have to release any financial statements. There is no way to tell who owns the company, but it is a company with profits that are not fully distributed to members.

I think its very telling that REI wont release who owns the company, or the salaries of their executives. Why not?
Mangy Peasant

Social climber
Riverside, CA
May 19, 2011 - 12:38pm PT
Yeah I read that years ago and failed to become outraged. Lots of personal backstory and very few facts.

It's possible that there are some mild shenanigans going on - but there is not much hard evidence in the story to support even that idea.

But where the article completely fails is that it does not answer the title question: "Who owns REI?" Same question I have been asking in this thread.

Who's to say this one journalist didn't embellish some facts? They do that sometimes. Can't sell a story about the "scandal" he didn't discover.

The references to Enron are ridiculous, btw.

Until someone proves that there is fraud taking place, I'm not changing my shopping habits.
Gene

climber
May 19, 2011 - 12:38pm PT
Hey Port,
It explains that REI is only a partial coop, thus they do not have to release any financial statements. There is no way to tell who owns the company, but it is a company with profits that are not fully distributed to members.

Check these out:

http://www.rei.com/pdf/aboutrei/2010REIFinancialStatements.pdf

http://www.rei.com/pdf/aboutrei/2010_Summary_Compensation_Table.pdf

Port

Trad climber
San Diego
May 19, 2011 - 12:40pm PT
Thanks Gene!, looks like they responded.
Rokjox

Trad climber
Boys I'dunno
May 19, 2011 - 12:54pm PT
REI is NOT a CO-OP.


AS pointed out, a COOP is OWNED by the members, it redistributes its PROFITS into either the business or the members, and it has an OPEN membership structure. REI does NOT do this. Its PROFITS go to UNKNOWN places and people.

HOW DO YOU KNOW nobody wants the board jobs? There is no way of challenging a board supported position in an election. WHERE are the challengers? NOWHERE!

Hell, RUSSIA had the SAME kind of elections back in the cold war. Who gives a damn who votes for who when the party in power selects the candidates?











REI charges enough to pay a rebate off EVERY sale, but as noted, ONLY to the purchaser who made the purchases. If it were a COOP, you might expect a larger or smaller "rebate", according to how business was going. People would get a dividend based on their participation AND the health of the Co-op. This you NEVER see. But THAT is Exactly WHAT A DIVIDEND is.

They (REI) offers a REBATE on your INDIVIDUAL purchases, NOT a dividend. And its ALL marketing. The voice of the membership is not required, and the "vote" is a sham. NO vote is made on the size of hte dividend or its alternatives to issuing a dividend. THEIR "DIVIDEND" IS NO MORE A "DIVIDEND" THAN THE "CASH BACK" A CAR MANUFACTURER OFFERS WHEN YOU SIGN UP FOR A NEW TRUCK.







You guys are either too young to remember real Co-ops, or you were too straight to understand them when they existed.


You want a co-op, you want to know what a co-op IS? Go and study the history of the original Co-ops in America. Go look up the history of the "Grange". It had to do with farmers pooling resources to buy large scale farm equipment that would be used, in turn by each member, to produce larger crop yields than a single poor dirt farmer could on his own, especially when a banker would NEVER give him a loan to actually purchase his OWN combine or motorized tractor and plow.

It was a way to circumvent the Bankers and their mad grip on the farmers production and posistion in society!





A Co-op is a shining example of Socialism in practice. As socialism was practiced and known in America during the 1800's and earlier 1900's. It was recreated in the 60's and 70's as a method to break the hold of the mega grocery stores at that time, to provide a source of cheap food locally for poor people, and to benefit the local small farmers and the local workers of those farms by giving them a larger profit from their efforts, by cutting out the middle man who was (and still is) gouging the end user of the produce.



This is BASIC American history. Wonder why it isn't taught in the Federally controlled local schools? You newby kids are being carefully mis-and-under-educated.


REI is NOT a Co-op!
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 19, 2011 - 12:54pm PT
I think as a matter of responsibility and good business, the better approach for REI would have been to pay Monika from its own funds, at least for her medical expenses, immediately and without question, then sue the manufacturer for reimbursement.

REI, are you paying attention?
Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
May 19, 2011 - 01:01pm PT
the problem, as far as I can tell, is the American system that requires a co-op like REI to go for profits as much as it does.

Their response, seems to be in line with many businesses in the US (check out BP for "who is responsible when things go bad" for further discussion on the subject).

I believe that had there been adequate quality controls in place at the manufacturers this would not have happened.
I believe that if REI had sub-contracted the work for their Named bikes to a reputable manufacturer this may not have happened.
I believe that if REI really wanted to resovle the issue, they would have paid the costs associated with the medical/dental/wage expenses and then purued the manufactures for reimbursment of their losses, since REI and the manufacturer have all the time in the world to hash out their differences, while humans do not.

Shameful action by REI, horrible/shoddy manufacture of the bike, sad new for the end user.
stinkeye

Gym climber
shytehole known as reno
May 19, 2011 - 01:02pm PT
GC, REI wrote down your suggestion right after its notes on RJ's opinion regarding their coop status. Any other non-lawyers want to give REI legal advice?
fattrad

Mountain climber
GOP Convention
May 19, 2011 - 01:03pm PT
Hey, did our Mighty Hiker get elected to the MEC board????


The evil one
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 19, 2011 - 01:06pm PT
There are plenty of companies that will pay actual expenses. There is more resistance when victim asks for pain and suffering, emotional damages or punitive damages.

Rokjox

Trad climber
Boys I'dunno
May 19, 2011 - 01:11pm PT
REI is a Co-op in NAME ONLY.



Some of you guys still don't understand. You are falling for a trick in semantics, and as I have noted other places, if you let THEM define the terms and the "talking points" you will LOSE every time. EVERY TIME.





REI is NOT a Co-op.


Not at ALL, not in ANY WAY.


They got a marketing scheme, and you have fallen for it. You are NOT recieving a "dividend", not at all. If your were, you would have STOCK and be able to SELL it, based on the earnings of the company and based on its history of issuing REAL dividends based on its PROFITS, not its SALES.




Sorry this seems so damn hard to understand, but its BASIC business terminology, BASIC business practice and BASIC business concepts. If you don't understand what I am saying, you don't understand BASIC American business.


Not that THAT is surprising, you aren't suppose too. You are SUPPOSE to think of Socialism as EVIL and NOT as the peoples response to the miscarraiges and power control structures of American businesses. Its like derivitives, it was DESIGNED to confuse you into making bad decisions, against your OWN BEST INTERESTS.

REI is an ANTI Co-op. It's a perversion and a misdirection of the original concept, and of the very word itself.





Mangy Peasant

Social climber
Riverside, CA
May 19, 2011 - 01:12pm PT
I think as a matter of responsibility and good business, the better approach for REI would have been to pay Monika from its own funds, at least for her medical expenses, immediately and without question, then sue the manufacturer for reimbursement.

REI, are you paying attention?

There are thousands of small-time ambulance-chasing hucksters out there who are paying attention. They would be pretty excited to hear about a company that pays "immediately and without question" to someone that claims an injury.

In this case, the injury was legit - but the only way to know that for sure is to investigate - which requires specialized resources.

REI, and most companies, are not in the business of investigating accidents. If they tried to do it, they would do a very poor job. Insurance companies are in that business. That's a big reason why REI, and every other company, has insurance for this sort of situation.





atchafalaya

Boulder climber
May 19, 2011 - 01:14pm PT
Rox, still not clear and about to head over to the Co-op for some gear. Are you saying they are not a CO-OP?
stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
May 19, 2011 - 01:20pm PT
As was pointed out on the other thread, it is possible that REI would have wanted to settle and pay out of its own funds to take care of her.
But their contract with their liability insurer might have prevented them from doing so.
Rokjox

Trad climber
Boys I'dunno
May 19, 2011 - 01:26pm PT
Only 10% of you could have ever made it through the 70's. You are SO controlled and manipulated by your misconceptions. You guys got the idea about as much as my parents had of what a co-op was.


Compare a REAL market co-op to a Kibbutz. They are the same idea. Compare REI to a kibbutz. NOTHING similar! Compare REI to a Mexican Communal Farm, a Cooperativa like in Baja 20-30 years ago. Can you make ANY comparisons?

A co-op is run for the BENEFIT of the MEMBERS and of the PRODUCERS, exclusively. REI is NOT!








Thanks for the troll, Atch. (Like I need it ...)
atchafalaya

Boulder climber
May 19, 2011 - 01:28pm PT
Alright, to recap:

REI never "shirked responsibility", but was insured and the insurance policy most likely requires that they tender all claims to the insurer for defense.

Since it is the insurer's money, they control the defense. They choose the attorneys and they work with the attorneys/insurer throughout the case.

The insurer is advised throughout the litigation and instructs its attorneys to fight the various legal battles and appeals.

The attorneys must pursue all legitimate or possibly meritorious arguments, or they may face liability in the form of a malpractice suit.

Summary: Everything is working just the way it should and it is REI's legal right to appeal an adverse ruling they disagree with.
locker

Social climber
CO
May 19, 2011 - 01:28pm PT

"Only 10% of you could have ever made it through the 70's."...

How MANY of US are REALLY...

HERE???...

LOL!!!...




EDITED:

"Most Co-ops had provision for you to work the registers, or in the back, if you had no money, and they would pay you with grub for you and your kids. Volunteer 3-4 hours a week, and you could feed your family."...



I remember them WELL...

The idealistic, unrealistic, surrealistic, 70's...

LOL!!!...

Kumbya!!!...




Rokjox

Trad climber
Boys I'dunno
May 19, 2011 - 01:31pm PT
Co-ops were a great resource when they were available. They fed MANY people when the economy was putting millions out on the street. Most Co-ops had provision for you to work the registers, or in the back, if you had no money, and they would pay you with grub for you and your kids. Volunteer 3-4 hours a week, and you could feed your family.

Can you offer REI to work off your cams?
Gene

climber
May 19, 2011 - 01:36pm PT
Thanks you, Mr. Atchafalaya!
John Moosie

climber
Beautiful California
May 19, 2011 - 01:41pm PT
Alright, to recap:

REI's product liability representation exists at the behest of REI, not the other way around.

In my opinion, there is something wrong with a system that doesn't allow for the insuree to take some control of the situation. Blaming the delays on the insurance industry seems a bit convenient to me.

Gene

climber
May 19, 2011 - 01:50pm PT
John,
I understand what you're saying but that would be impractical since the insured would be spending the insurer’s $$$.
g
blahblah

Gym climber
Boulder
May 19, 2011 - 01:50pm PT
The insurer is advised throughout the litigation and instructs its attorneys to fight the various legal battles and appeals.

No, the attorney represents the insured, not the insurance company, although the attorney and insured may be required to report to the insurance company according to the terms of the policy.
atchafalaya

Boulder climber
May 19, 2011 - 01:55pm PT
Agreed, the attorney represents the insured, but it is the claims adjustor (insurer) who calls the shots during the litigation.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 19, 2011 - 01:55pm PT

REI never "shirked responsibility", but was insured and the insurance policy most likely requires that they tender all claims to the insurer for defense.

Since it is the insurer's money, they control the defense. They choose the attorneys and they work with the attorneys/insurer throughout the case.

The insurer is advised throughout the litigation and instructs its attorneys to fight the various legal battles and appeals.

The attorneys must pursue all legitimate or possibly meritorious arguments, or they may face liability in the form of a malpractice suit.

Summary: Everything is working just the way it should and it is REI's legal right to appeal an adverse ruling they disagree with.

Sure they are shirking responsibility. REI has more and legal responsibilities to its members. Those exist regardless of any relationship that REI may have entered into with its insurance companies. That is why REI is being sued, not the insurance company. That is why the court is saying that REI (again, not the insurance company) is responsible.

If the insurance company is involved, it is because REI chose to involve them, by entering into a contract with them to begin with, and then by having them handle this claim. If REI wished to settle directly with victim, the insurance company would not stand in their way. But REI would have to pay out of pocket.

As things stand, REI has already lost twice and will lose a third time. They have the legal right to appeal an adverse ruling, but they are going to have to pay anyway, and now when they do, the perception will be (quite correctly) that they did kicking and screaming with a gun to their head.
fattrad

Mountain climber
GOP Convention
May 19, 2011 - 02:01pm PT
At least REI won't be on FaceLift 2011 shirts.......

replaced by Fattrad, Inc.




The evil one
Rokjox

Trad climber
Boys I'dunno
May 19, 2011 - 02:06pm PT
REI doesn't have members, except in the twisted world of its own definitions. It has CUSTOMERS, who have no ACTUAL, meaningful voting rights.

That is a greatly different relationship with the patrons of its stores.
blahblah

Gym climber
Boulder
May 19, 2011 - 02:11pm PT
I haven't read any of the underlying documents--is there really a reason to think that the insurance company is driving things, or is this just speculation?

This isn't the type of stuff I do, but it seems to me that the claim would be so slow in this case that it would be below REI's deductible (I may be wrong, no doubt). For example, I work for a large law firm--we have malpractice insurance, but it only kicks in at a VERY high deductible (I think one million, may be more, that's not my department).
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 19, 2011 - 02:19pm PT
I haven't read any of the underlying documents--is there really a reason to think that the insurance company is driving things, or is this just speculation?

It's speculation, albeit, informed speculation.

This isn't the type of stuff I do, but it seems to me that the claim would be so slow in this case that it would be below REI's deductible (I may be wrong, no doubt). For example, I work for a large law firm--we have malpractice insurance, but it only kicks in at a VERY high deductible (I think one million, may be more, that's not my department).

When REI's general counsel meets with its outside litigation counsel, how likely are they to say, "hey, just pay it" as opposed to "hey, we have grounds for an appeal"? $600 an hour is a good reason for litigation counsel to recommend once course of action over the other.

Also, maybe they were too stupid to get high-deductible coverage.
reddirt

climber
PNW
Topic Author's Reply - May 19, 2011 - 02:20pm PT
I think the original claim was rather low. Definitely not punitive, only compensatory.

Noteworthy repost from turns all yr:

What's more, one of the reasons that REI is even attempting to excuse itself from responsibility is the result of the forensic bike test that revealed a manufacturing defect in the Aprebic fork. Monika paid for the test out of her own pocket without so much as a dime in reimbursement from REI. Think about that, whoever reads this. Monika paid close to 10k out her savings to pay for a test that REI requested, and never received reimbursement. What's 10k to REI? To Monika it meant not being able to fly to Germany for her grandmother's funeral last year.

Libby stated in that mass email she sent to people who voiced concern that REI stands by its products and has been committed to its co-op values throughout its defense. Libby, if you read this, are you aware that REI refused to reimburse Monika for the cost of her bike!?
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 19, 2011 - 02:33pm PT
She just wanted compensation for her expenses and for not being able to work full time on account of her brain injury.

This explains why they are fighting it. Paying for one-time medical costs isn't that much, but verdicts can get much more expensive when intended to cover living costs and ongoing medicial expenses for the rest of someone's life due to a brain injury.

When I read that she died in a mountaineering accident, I assumed that she had fully recovered.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 19, 2011 - 02:35pm PT
REI refused to reimburse Monika for the cost of her bike!?

I find that hard to believe. Did she take it to the customer service counter and try to return it? Wouldn't her lawyers want to keep it as evidence?
Mangy Peasant

Social climber
Riverside, CA
May 19, 2011 - 02:56pm PT
Summary: Everything is working just the way it should and it is REI's legal right to appeal an adverse ruling they disagree with.


atchafalaya nails it.

The system is imperfect. There may be ways to improve it, and we should always strive to do so.

But there is no evidence of evil. None at all.

malabarista

Trad climber
PA, then AZ, then CO, Now CA, soon OR
May 19, 2011 - 03:20pm PT
This really makes REI look bad IMO. Legal standards be damned, companies ought to have a human side as well. If they don't I'd rather not do business with them given choice. REI's conduct on this issue calls their values into question. At least they should they helped pay, better -they could have helped organize a fund raiser.
crunch

Social climber
CO
May 19, 2011 - 03:50pm PT
"Summary: Everything is working just the way it should and it is REI's legal right to appeal an adverse ruling they disagree with."

That's true, but it's also my legal right to shop elsewhere, and to suggest to my friends that they do likewise.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 19, 2011 - 03:52pm PT
Summary: Everything is working just the way it should and it is REI's legal right to appeal an adverse ruling they disagree with.

The legal system is working as it should. REI has the right to appeal adverse rulings they disagree with. So does anyone else including Bernie Madoff, Charles Manson and the Unabomber.

The fact that they have a legal right to appeal that they exercise and the fact that the legal system is working just the way it should does not imply that what they did is right or that are good citizens.



The 2010 REI board of directors. Back row: left to right — Cheryl Scott, José Ignacio Lozano, Joanne Harrell, Brenda Davis, Anne Farrell, Charles Katz, Jr., Stephen Lockhart, Michael Smith. Front row: left to right — Jesse King, Sally Jewell, John Hamlin

REI is the nation's largest consumer cooperative with more than 4 million active members. A professional management team and staff operate REI, and a board of directors selected from REI's membership oversees the company.
Mangy Peasant

Social climber
Riverside, CA
May 19, 2011 - 03:58pm PT
So anyone that files an appeal can be lumped into the same group as Bernie Madoff, Charles Manson and the Unabomber?

Hope you never get sued or accused of a crime.
fattrad

Mountain climber
GOP Convention
May 19, 2011 - 04:00pm PT
REI must be pretty pissed that I knocked them out of Facelift.



The evil one
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 19, 2011 - 04:01pm PT
I'm simply ridiculing the idea that just because they have the legal right to appeal, and are availing themselves of it, "everything is working just the way it should."
Gene

climber
May 19, 2011 - 04:02pm PT
The legal system is working as it should. REI has the right to appeal adverse rulings they disagree with. So does anyone else including Bernie Madoff, Charles Manson and the Unabomber.

Not to put too fine a point on this, but I suspect that Bernie and Ted K cannot file appeals under the terms of their plea deals with the Feds.

I understand your point.

g
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 19, 2011 - 04:09pm PT
Obviously "everything" did not work just the way it should, or this wouldn't have happened.





If you borrow a friends No. 4 Camalot and drop it of the tenth pitch of Royal Arches, the honorable thing is to apologize and buy him a new one. But if you want to be a complete bastard you can tell him to sue you in small claims and then try to appeal all the way to the Supreme Court. You are within your legal rights to do so, but that does not make it morally right, nor will it win you new friends.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Run like the wind.
May 19, 2011 - 04:10pm PT
This really makes REI look bad IMO. Legal standards be damned, companies ought to have a human side as well.

Corporations are not people. They are legal constructs. There is no humanity on a piece of paper.

DMT
Captain...or Skully

climber
or some such
May 19, 2011 - 04:12pm PT
Not much in a Boardroom, either. ANY Boardroom.
Port

Trad climber
San Diego
May 19, 2011 - 04:12pm PT
REI should have taken care of this member's medical bills, then gone after the manufacturer for any additional claims. The title of this thread is dead on. REI shirked its responsibility.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Run like the wind.
May 19, 2011 - 04:12pm PT
That's true, but it's also my legal right to shop elsewhere, and to suggest to my friends that they do likewise.

Yep. In fact that's your sole card to play - to shop or not to shop, that is the American question.

DMT
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 19, 2011 - 04:18pm PT


Gene, check the headlines. Ted K. filed some papers with a court just last week. He's now a suspect in the 1982 Tylenol poisonings.

Also, it's possible to file appeals attempting to set aside plea bargains, but there chances of succeeding is unlikely.
Gene

climber
May 19, 2011 - 04:35pm PT
GC,

We're way OT here but I like to understand these kind of things. I thought Ted K’s recent filings were to prevent the Feds from auctioning his things. Hopefully someone much smarter than me will weigh in.

Of course, any filings made by Ted regarding Tylenol are beyond the scope of his plea bargain.

Cheers,
g
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Run like the wind.
May 19, 2011 - 04:39pm PT
Next up is to sell tickets to executions as well as Prison Sex Reality TV.

This auction is completely misguided - the theater of the absurd. Maybe they should auction photos of the carnage?

DMT
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 19, 2011 - 04:40pm PT
Many of us have cams from respected companies such as Black Diamond, Wild Country or Metolius. Pretend that the next time you are out climbing, the axle of one of these cams fails under body weight. Analysis reveals that the axle was defective. The manufacturer accepts the analysis enough to issue a recall.

How would you expect the manufacturer to handle the situation:

1. Apologize for distributing defective cams and offer to replace your's.

2. Tell you that although they hold themselves out as "making" the cam and sell it under their brand, they are not truly the manufacturer. Explain that they are just outsourcing production of the parts to the lowest bidders and assembling them. The axle was made by some sweatshop in an Asian country which undercut the next prospective supplier by 20%. Claim that they are not responsible and that you need to go after the sweatshop that made the axle.

blahblah

Gym climber
Boulder
May 19, 2011 - 04:40pm PT
Corporations are not people. They are legal constructs. There is no humanity on a piece of paper.

DMT

It is true that a corporation is a legal construct. So are things like your "rights" under the constitution. Purely legal constructs, nothing more.

The fact that a corporation is a juristic entity is largely irrelevant to whether it is good, bad, legally responsible for certain conduct, whatever.

By the way, a "partnership" is also a legal construct. Those lacking humanity too?
Gene

climber
May 19, 2011 - 04:42pm PT
I couldn't agree more with the two most recent posts from DMT and GC.

Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Run like the wind.
May 19, 2011 - 04:43pm PT
Yes legal constructs lack humanity. Any other questions?

DMT
blahblah

Gym climber
Boulder
May 19, 2011 - 04:47pm PT
^ ^
Nope, just checking if two or more people acting in concert lack humanity.
Seems to me that acting in groups is an fundamental characteristic, but glad you cleared things up again.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 19, 2011 - 04:48pm PT
We're way OT here but I like to understand these kind of things. I thought Ted K’s recent filings were to prevent the Feds from auctioning his things. Hopefully someone much smarter than me will weigh in.

Of course, any filings made by Ted regarding Tylenol are beyond the scope of his plea bargain

Gene, you're right about Ted K's recent filing. But I found this.


http://www.justice.gov/usao/eousa/foia_reading_room/usam/title9/crm00626.htm

A sentencing appeal waiver provision does not waive all claims on appeal. The courts of appeals have held that certain constitutional and statutory claims survive a sentencing appeal waiver in a plea agreement. For example, a defendant's claim that he or she was denied the effective assistance of counsel at sentencing, United States v. Attar, supra; that he or she was sentenced on the basis of race, United States v. Jacobson, 15 F.3d 19 (2d Cir. 1994); or that the sentence exceeded the statutory maximum, United States v. Marin, 961 F.2d 493, 496 (4th Cir. 1992), will be reviewed on the merits by a court of appeals despite the existence of a sentencing appeal waiver in a plea agreement.

Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Run like the wind.
May 19, 2011 - 04:49pm PT
Dude (you ARE a dude, correct?) contracts are to SHIELD people from humanity.

DMT
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 19, 2011 - 04:53pm PT
Next up is to sell tickets to executions as well as Prison Sex Reality TV.

This auction is completely misguided - the theater of the absurd. Maybe they should auction photos of the carnage?

DMT

DMT nails it. How tacky is that?

How would people react if the government started auctioning off the stuff they captured in the Bin Laden raid on the excuse of raising funds for the 9/11 victims?

This may be thread drift, but it's interesting thread drift.
blahblah

Gym climber
Boulder
May 19, 2011 - 04:59pm PT
No DMT, contracts are simply the mechanism by which we set forth legally binding obligations with one another.
Corporations and other legal entities exist because society has found that encouraging forms of collective action promotes the common good.

But this looks like one of your "religious" issues, so no reason to get into it.
James Wilcox

Boulder climber
Santa Barbara
May 19, 2011 - 05:10pm PT
The sad thing (besides her passing) is that she wasn't asking all that much from them in the first place; just reimbursement for expenses. It sure got out of control fast. I'll bet the billing for phone time from the lawyers alone surpassed her request.
blahblah

Gym climber
Boulder
May 19, 2011 - 06:49pm PT
James, you are jumping to conclusions.
According to what's been posted above, she claimed to suffer a disability that prevented her from working (perhaps permanently), and she wanted to be compensated for that. While that may be perfectly reasonable, I don't know how any of you conclude that she was just asking for peanuts.

It's been alleged that she spent a considerable amount of money out-of-pocket to have the bike tested--that's not consistent with a small demand.

So far we've seen the insurance company blamed (without a shred of evidence that an insurance company has even been involved in this case) and the lawyers (who may in fact be at least patially blameworthy--after all, they've lost at both the trial and appellate level so far).

But as long as we're just making stuff up, I'd throw out another profession as the likely wrongerdoers: accountants.

Yep, it's the bean counters who make the important decisions in most businesses today. Probably fair to blame them for the collapse of American industry, corporate shenanigans, and pretty much everything else wrong with America.
FortMental

Social climber
Albuquerque, NM
May 19, 2011 - 06:57pm PT
Corporations and other legal entities exist because society has found that encouraging forms of collective action promotes the common good.

I think you meant to say "government" in that sentence.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 19, 2011 - 07:01pm PT
According to what's been posted above, she claimed to suffer a disability that prevented her from working (perhaps permanently), and she wanted to be compensated for that.

I haven't seen any cash amount listed anywhere, so I wonder whether any verdict was issued. If not, and it still needs to be issued, I wonder if it will take into account Johnson's death in the skiing accident. Because of the accident, supporting her "for the rest of her life" would presumably be a lot less expensive.
Silver

Big Wall climber
Nor Nev
May 19, 2011 - 07:03pm PT
f*#king a people REI like any other big corp sucks f*#king balls big time.

Bottom line it for you those MFer's should pay and pay for all the pain and suffering. REI note this I am never ever going to shop at your f*#king retarded store ever again. Go f*#k yourself. Same goes to all the muther f*#kers who put my local fly shop out of business. I went to that sh#t hole Cabelas the other day to get a few things I needed for some salt water fishing I was off to do and not a f*#king thing was available. F*#k THe box store and f*#k REI I hope this poor girls family gets a lawyer that puts both feet in the ass of REI.

Do you know the difference between a carp and a lawyer? One is a bottom feeding scum sucker and the other is a fish.

F*#k you lawyer turds go f*#king back to the sh#t tube you came from.

ranting but I'm in hawaii drinking my balls off and fishing LOL.

REI f*#k you long live Reno Mountain Sports

graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 19, 2011 - 07:03pm PT
how is dying when a cornice breaks off causally connected to a bike accident?

No one has claimed that it was causally connected. But now that you ask this, I wonder if it's possible that the brain damage in the bicycle accident led to her having impaired judgment.


ranting but I'm in hawaii drinking my balls off and fishing LOL.

LOL!
Rankin

Social climber
Greensboro, North Carolina
May 19, 2011 - 07:15pm PT
I haven't read all of the posts, but from reading page one I'm a little bothered that people are so quick to spew such venom at REI when their level of fault is unclear. It is clear, however, that the manufacturer is to blame. I guess REI is an easy target because, for many here, all big corporations are evil. Seems like the venom should be more directed at the known bad guy. I see no reason to pass such judgment on REI from I've read so far.
reddirt

climber
PNW
Topic Author's Reply - May 19, 2011 - 07:17pm PT
the bike fiasco left her
1. some head trauma, potentially impaired judgement
2. needing to wear a full face helmet, potentially reducing her field of view when she was on Red Mtn
reddirt

climber
PNW
Topic Author's Reply - May 19, 2011 - 07:24pm PT
I guess REI is an easy target because, for many here, all big corporations are evil. Seems like the venom should be more directed at the known bad guy. I see no reason to pass such judgment on REI from I've read so far.

REI is the bad guy. They are not backing equipment of their own brand. They said fuk off by refusing to accept her initial request for compensatory damages, and taking it to court. The court said REI is liable for their own branded equipment. REI once again said fuk off by appealing. They are beholden to no one, not their insurance company, not that insurance companies attorneys.

I can only hope that the chances of the success of their appeal is as small as some think it is:

as posted on t-a-y
"They're saying they can't pay proven damages established at trial, because of the terms of a commercial contract (which is all an insurance policy is). That argument may have had some relevance before REI's liability was established at least 3 separate times (e.g., on summary judgment, at trial, and on appeal), but not at this stage. REI's probability of success at this point is incredibly small. By appealing this time, they're electing a tactic intended to limit their liability (by delaying payment and increasing Monika's estate's costs). "
habitat

climber
grass pass
May 19, 2011 - 07:47pm PT
"I'm a little bothered that people are so quick to spew venom at REI when their level of fault is unclear."

Rankin,

Did you click on the link in the very first post and read some of what is written there?

The superior court ruled in Monika's favor.
REI appealed it.
The appelate court ruled in Monika's favor.
REI is again appealing it.

What is so hard to understand?

Boycott REI and their MADE IN CHINA junk.
apogee

climber
May 19, 2011 - 07:50pm PT
As a dedicated REI hater, I'd love to pin this on them, but in this case, MH & JE nail the reality right between the eyes.

If you want to hate anyone in this tragic situation, hate the insurance industry.
habitat

climber
grass pass
May 19, 2011 - 07:58pm PT
Who's talking about hating anyone? What is at issue here is that a company many of us have supported for so long has demonstrated so clearly that they no longer deserve our support.

No, REI does not get a pass because they have insurance. Did the courts find the insurance company at fault? NO - they found REI at fault.
Hankster

Social climber
BASE!
May 19, 2011 - 08:01pm PT
Silver, that was excellent.

caylor
The Chief

Trad climber
from the Land where Free Mongols still roam!
May 19, 2011 - 09:07pm PT
Very sad deal for Monika. I hope REI gets smeared all the way to the bank and Monika breaks their back.

But, and a bigass but, no one on this thread has mentioned how this is indeed the forecast of the crystal ball for any Company that has their equipemnt manufactured in CHINA with Chinese materials.

Ah, Black Diamond Eq. LLC ring a bell?

Pretty amusing to read all these REI haters. I got ten bucks that says how most of yall's rack is BD or ski on BD sticks or just plain ole use BD products.

Ding Ding!



PS: No REI around my neck of the woods nor do I have/own any BD cams etc.

MMS and Wilson's Eastside Sports ONLY for this dude.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 19, 2011 - 09:16pm PT
I'm a little bothered that people are so quick to spew such venom at REI when their level of fault is unclear. It is clear, however, that the manufacturer

REI is the manufacturer. They held themselves out as making the bike. They did this using parts that they had build for their use. They selected the parts, the specs of the parts, and the suppliers for the parts.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 19, 2011 - 09:24pm PT
I haven't read all of the posts, but from reading page one I'm a little bothered that people are so quick to spew such venom at REI when their level of fault is unclear. It is clear, however, that the manufacturer is to blame. I guess REI is an easy target because, for many here, all big corporations are evil. Seems like the venom should be more directed at the known bad guy. I see no reason to pass such judgment on REI from I've read so far.

This is funny, two courts have already passed judgment against REI. REI is trying to argue that the first two courts are wrong.

Also, don't blame the lawyers. Don't blame the insurance companies. Full responsibility for the decisions made by REI lies with the people in this picture.




The 2010 REI board of directors. Back row: left to right — Cheryl Scott, José Ignacio Lozano, Joanne Harrell, Brenda Davis, Anne Farrell, Charles Katz, Jr., Stephen Lockhart, Michael Smith. Front row: left to right — Jesse King, Sally Jewell, John Hamlin

REI is the nation's largest consumer cooperative with more than 4 million active members. A professional management team and staff operate REI, and a board of directors selected from REI's membership oversees the company.
Port

Trad climber
San Diego
May 19, 2011 - 09:26pm PT
a board of directors selected from REI's membership oversees the company.

yea right!
Rankin

Social climber
Greensboro, North Carolina
May 19, 2011 - 09:30pm PT
reddirt,

REI is strictly liable for the bike accident under Washington Products Liability Act, even though they did not manufacture the fork. The WLPA holds sellers responsible for manufacturing defects if their brand name is on it. That is not so much at issue in this case.

The trial court held for Johnson on her motion for summary judgment. REI appealed, requesting to join the actual manufacturer to the suit or to allow a jury to allocate damages between the two parties. The Ct. of App. affirmed, holding that the WLPA was intended to deny joint and several liability to sophisticated business parties like REI, since it is more than likely that REI has already allocated the risk of manufacturing defects by contract.

Washington is a comparative fault jurisdiction. Normally, REI's request would be granted, and the other manufacturer would be joined and liability would be apportioned by jury. However, the WLPA is an exception to the general rule of comparative fault in Washington. It was enacted to favor the quick and speedy resolutions for plaintiffs like Johnson, who I remind you, has won on summary judgment. It's not like her estate is not going to get paid. They will, and more than likely, with costs.

I'll be curious to see if the Supreme Court of WA will hear the case. Regardless, this is much more of a legal issue than a moral one. I'd suggest taking your moral outrage somewhere else, where you may have more of an understanding of what's going on.

There's much more to it than REI is evil, all corporations are evil. You make a childish strawman argument. And it begs the question, how many corporate products have you used today?

edit: By the way, when you win at summary judgment, the case doesn't go to a jury. So, in reality, they lost on summary judgment, lost on appeal to summary judgment, are now appealing again to the Supreme Court, who may or may not grant certiorari.
blahblah

Gym climber
Boulder
May 19, 2011 - 09:35pm PT
No that was not excellent, you fools should get down on your hands and knees thanking the first lawyer that you see for protecting you from the ravages of large corporations and their insurance companies!

Poor Ms. Johnson (now her estate) would have got NOTHING from REI but for the effective assistance of her attorney, who was able to prevail over REI's evil insurance company (according you some of you--there's actually no evidence of any insurance company involvement, but why let facts intrude into your fantasies) at both the trial and appellate courts. Yes the attorney will take 40% of any recovery, but that's still far better than the goose egg she would have got without her lawyer!

And you would do well to keep in mind there has no been finding whatsoever that REI has been at "fault" for anything in this process. The case was decided under the doctrine of strict liability, which does not require a showing of "fault."

I think REI should pay for Ms. Johnson's injuries (in an amount to be determined at trial or as settled by the parties), and because of a (I am sure) hard-working, diligent attorney, that is what will happen.

How the f*#k much did any you blowhards do for Ms. Johnson?! Have fun getting drunk you drunk as#@&%e!

Edit--I hadn't read the above post when I posted--that's a good summary of the legal issue decided by the Washington Court of Appeals.
reddirt

climber
PNW
Topic Author's Reply - May 19, 2011 - 09:40pm PT
Rankin, why personally attack me? why conflate the issue of REI dodging their responsibility as ruled by the court w/ other corporate issues?

rhetorical question... I don't actually care that you attack me personally, its just kinda curious thing to do.
atchafalaya

Boulder climber
May 19, 2011 - 09:42pm PT
"This is funny, two courts have already passed judgment against REI. REI is trying to argue that the first two courts are wrong."

Should we do away with the Supreme Court of the US because two courts are enough? The argument that the bike accident may have impaired her judgment resulting in her death is even more bizarre. That evidence would be barred as too speculative.

The appeals may have worked to lower the damages if those have not yet been determined. The argument that she suffered brain damage from her five mile an hour accident is an argument to raise damages, and possibly ask a jury to award past and future wages, past and future medical bills, and past and future pain and suffering. This wasn't about $5000. Surely, her attorneys have invested tons of money into making this very profitable for them.

What I would like to know is if a settlement amount has been offered, but rejected as too low. What if she already passed on six figures? Her case doesn't have that value now. Was her deposition videotaped?
John Moosie

climber
Beautiful California
May 19, 2011 - 09:44pm PT
There's much more to it than REI is evil, all corporations are evil. You make a childish strawman argument. And it begs the question, how many corporate products have you used today?

Show one place where Reddirt says "all" corporations are evil. Just one. That is your bias.

....

Blah blah.. So because REI has lawyers, we should bow down to all lawyers. hmmm. no thanks.
blahblah

Gym climber
Boulder
May 19, 2011 - 09:52pm PT
John M--yes, there are lawyers on both sides, but it is solely the existence of the legal system that allows people like Ms. Johnson to recover anything from REI or other powerful entities.
Without a legal system, I suppose we would be in a world of caveat emptor and might-makes-right, and REI's got a whole lot more might than Ms. Johnson.
reddirt

climber
PNW
Topic Author's Reply - May 19, 2011 - 09:52pm PT
The argument that the bike accident may have impaired her judgment resulting in her death is even more bizarre. That evidence would be barred as too speculative.

I'll totally grant that... I would never say "resulted"... more like "potentially contributed".

I've never condemned all corporations nor do I even condemn all manufacturing in in China. QA/QC Six sigma crapola determines manufacturing quality.

I do feel that it's important for entities & people live up to their word. And to not cause further damage by making unreasonable appeals just because they can.
Gene

climber
May 19, 2011 - 10:01pm PT
What I would like to know is if a settlement amount has been offered, but rejected as too low. What if she already passed on six figures? Her case doesn't have that value now. Was her deposition videotaped?

Curious about this. Why doesn’t her case have that value now? Because she can’t testify? Or because of her early death? Or what?

The defective part was manufactured by a Taiwanese owned company, not a Chinese firm.

Srbphoto

climber
Kennewick wa
May 19, 2011 - 10:10pm PT
For Locker:

let's say you use 5.10 Stealth glue (made by Sniffies Glues, but 5.10 says it is "theirs" on the label) for resoling. Since you don't have proper ventilation you generally get a nice buzz while "working". You get low and buy a new tube. You begin using the new tube and start really freaking out. 2 days later Cosmic comes by and finds you in a milk crate, crying. After testing the new tube you both figure out (3 days later) something is wrong.

Do you call 5.10 or Sniffies?
The user formerly known as stzzo

Social climber
May 19, 2011 - 10:10pm PT
Lots of hat, but very little cattle.

Holy moly. Love this saying!
Rankin

Social climber
Greensboro, North Carolina
May 19, 2011 - 10:10pm PT
reddirt, I don't intend a personal attack. I just call it like I see it. Sorry if you feel disrespected, but you're overly simplistic take on this case is childish. The appeal is about third party cross claims and joint and several liability under the WLPA. REI is not making much of an argument denying fault. They want the actual manufacturer to share in liability, and I don't blame them.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 19, 2011 - 10:14pm PT
Should we do away with the Supreme Court of the US because two courts are enough?

Should we do away with the first amendment and prohibit people from voicing their own person opinions because there are courts?

Also, they aren't appealing to the Supreme Court of the US. They are appealing to the Washington (State) Supreme Court.
Port

Trad climber
San Diego
May 19, 2011 - 10:18pm PT
I don't intend a personal attack
but you're overly simplistic take on this case is childish

He didn't make a legal argument in the first place, which you seem intent on making. He's saying REI f*#ked over this girl, which they did. End of story. I don't intend a personal attack, but you sound like a jackass.
reddirt

climber
PNW
Topic Author's Reply - May 19, 2011 - 10:23pm PT
they're fuking her over... twice... and they'll try a 3rd time if they can.

If REI wants to sell that fork as theirs, the onus is on REI to ensure the contractor manufactures the fork to spec.

REI could have cut their losses & just settle. They didn't.

Not sure how that's a jackass commentary.
Port

Trad climber
San Diego
May 19, 2011 - 10:25pm PT
My comment was directed at Rankin
John Moosie

climber
Beautiful California
May 19, 2011 - 10:38pm PT
Blah Blah..I agree that we need a legal system. I just don't like how it has come to the point where we need to spend so much money on lawyers. Where often your case stems on how competent your lawyer is. Where if you can't afford the best lawyer, then you have little to no chance against the big dogs unless your case is very black and white. I don't know what the solution is, I just don't like what we have now.

Plus I get really annoyed when lawyers play the.. you aren't a lawyer, so you couldn't possibly understand the complexities of this case.. argument. What a load. Rankin's explanation was not particularly hard to understand, though I realize that there are other complications. I'm not saying that you made that argument. It was made earlier.

Twice in my life I needed to sue a doctor, but didn't have the funds to hire one and couldn't get one on a contingency basis because my case was not black and white, though it felt like it to me.

And please don't think that I hate all lawyers, or all corporations. I have family members in Texas who are lawyers. A few are people I deeply deeply love. Another is someone that I will never talk to again because he has abused his power as an attorney and put my family through hell more then once. Thankfully I believe in karma, and know that I don't have to do anything to him. I wish more people believed in Karma, then maybe we wouldn't need lawyers so much.

....

reddirt, I don't intend a personal attack. I just call it like I see it. Sorry if you feel disrespected, but you're overly simplistic take on this case is childish. The appeal is about third party cross claims and joint and several liability under the WLPA. REI is not making much of an argument denying fault. They want the actual manufacturer to share in liability, and I don't blame them.

You call it like you see it?? where exactly did Reddirt say or imply that all corporations were evil? That was part of your attack on her. Wasn't it?


...

Atch brings up a good point earlier. REI might have made an offer which was refused. We don't know. I like what JohnE said about them paying up and suing the manufacturer. As Reddirt is saying, that shouldn't necessarily be the responsibility of the person who was injured. REI chose the manufacturer and chose to put their name on the product.


Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
May 19, 2011 - 10:56pm PT
Do we agree that we'd rather have Jeff (Pinnacle Capital Management) as lead sponsor of the FaceLift, instead of REI? Assuming it's actually going to happen and not just more Jeff-spew, that is?
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
May 19, 2011 - 11:10pm PT
Rankin,

Does the WLPA apply comparative fault in a strict liability tort? Wouldn't that make the liability something other than strict?

That's why REI's (or its insurer's) argument strikes me as contrary to established tort law. If the liability results from negligence, we don't need strict liability at all. The whole point of strict liability for defective products is to allocate liability where proving negligence is difficult, and would otherwise be a bar to recovery.

If this were a negligence case where comparative fault has relevance, then I don't see how the trial court could resolve it on summary judgment. It's almost always possible to manufacture some disputed issue of material fact.

John
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
May 19, 2011 - 11:14pm PT
whats with graniteclimber and linking pictures to people?????
locker

Social climber
CO
May 20, 2011 - 12:28am PT

"Do you call 5.10 or Sniffies?"...


Sounds like GOOD sh!t!!!...

I call which ever one has it in stock!!!...

;-)

Rankin

Social climber
Greensboro, North Carolina
May 20, 2011 - 06:44am PT
John,

You're exactly right.

It's hard to imagine comparative fault in a case of strict liability. However, given the legal fiction of the WLPA exception--that a seller is treated as a manufacturer--it's not surprising that the issue would be raised. REI argued that even if they are treated as strictly liable, causation is even more at issue because of the constructive nature of the WLPA and, therefore, the legislature must have intended for the defendants to bring in the actual manufacturer.

However, the Ct. of App. in Johnson's case was very clear using precedent and the statute's language that REI is deemed to be strictly liable as a manufacturer and causation need not be proven. Also, the court reasoned that joining 3rd parties or doing a comparative analysis would prejudice Johnson's case as much more would be needed in discovery. In essence, the ruling was much in line with your post's reasoning--that by deeming strict liability, the legislature intended the courts to attach all of the tenants of the doctrine. Creative lawyering getting shot down, and now I doubt the Supreme Court wil grant cert.

Neil
reddirt

climber
PNW
Topic Author's Reply - May 20, 2011 - 07:58am PT
given the legal fiction of the WLPA exception--that a seller is treated as a manufacturer

That's the crux of your argument?... REI is not merely the seller. They are the manufacturer (and decided to subcontract). REI is where the buck stops.

What you've deemed "legal fiction" the court has deemed legal reality.

In your world, where would the buck stop? how about with the provider of the carbon sheets... or even more upstream, whatever entity provided the raw carbon (or whatever the fck carbon sheets are made of)... or dissipate all responsibility & call it a freak of nature that the carbon molecules misbehaved & did not bond properly? That's just fcking fabulous for all future consumers...

The consumer should not have the burden of taking all this into account when buying a bike. The consumer should have faith in a company that claims to stand by & back all the products they make (& in REI's sales line, make & sell).

The buck stops at REI who, since branding the fork as theirs, should have done their due diligence when they contracted w/ the fork manufacturer.
fattrad

Mountain climber
GOP Convention
May 20, 2011 - 08:05am PT
Mighty Hiker,

Ken already has the cash, REI is out.




The evil one
EWG

Trad climber
Vermont
May 20, 2011 - 08:17am PT
"Problem is the way the legal system works. Say REI admits fault, and pays for the medical costs in an effort to be reasonable. Lawyers now have REI admitting fault, so they decide to go for a bigger suit w/ punitive damages, etc. Of course they sue the subcontractors and anyone peripherally related also..."

no.

too many of you think you're an expert on everything.

REI paying the medical costs would almost certainly not be usable as evidence of fault.

Federal Rule of Evidence 409: "[G]enerally, evidence of payment of medical, hospital, or similar expenses of an injured party by the opposing party, is not admissible, the reason often given being that such payment or offer is usually made from humane impulses and not from an admission of liability, and that to hold otherwise would tend to discourage assistance to the injured person." I'm too lazy to check which court system this case is in (with the apparent cross claims and efforts to indemnify it could very well be federal), but most jurisdictions have a rule like 409.

Unfortunately, REI has not shown such "humane impulses."
EWG

Trad climber
Vermont
May 20, 2011 - 08:26am PT
Chief sez:

"PS: No REI around my neck of the woods nor do I have/own any BD cams etc."

oh thank god you're safe you ridiculous fanatic.
reddirt

climber
PNW
Topic Author's Reply - May 20, 2011 - 08:33am PT
I am the absolute furthest thing from a lawyer so just curious if Federal rules of evidence applies to a WA state case. Further curiosity makes me wonder what the next court is.... and the court beyond that court?


(edited to expand question)
PAUL SOUZA

Trad climber
Clovis, CA
May 20, 2011 - 09:15am PT
REI came to ABQ and all the mom and pop (3 at the time) climbing/outdoor shops closed down.

Is it REI's fault? The city has to approve before a company can establish itself.
locker

Social climber
CO
May 20, 2011 - 09:21am PT

Obviously EVERYTHING is REI's fault...

Mangy Peasant

Social climber
Riverside, CA
May 20, 2011 - 09:23am PT
In your world, [...]

[reddirt proceeds to describe how the rules would work in his world]


How about the rules in the real world?

But let's keep the legal arguments to the lawyers. What about the ethical arguments? I say they are completely skewed by prior bias.

There are so many reasons to give REI the benefit of the doubt: REI sells thousands of products every day. How often are they sued? Do we judge them based upon the body of all their decisions, or only focus on one controversial one? Did the board ever even hear about this particular case? (They meet a few times a year.) Maybe the management actually believed their insurance company was dealing with the situation in an ethical way. Who actually made the decisions, and what were their reasons? Was it pure greed, as has been implied? If it was greed, how did the individuals actually intend to profit?

But forget all that. It goes like this: One person buys a product at REI. Product breaks. REI doesn't immediately dole out some cash, and therefore everything about REI is evil.

The way this story is presented and judged, one would think that the board had a meeting specifically to discuss this case, and they all yelled "f*#k her" in unison.

The actual chain of events, the people involved, the decisions that were made, and the reasons they were made, were possibly a little different.

This "outrage" is just a bunch of rationalization to support the fashionable opinion that REI is somehow "bad." A lot of climbers don't like REI because they make outdoor activities a little more mainstream. Climbing is not as "exclusive" as it once was, because now climbing gear is sold in in a department store in a shopping mall. So now we are a little less cool. And it's all REI's fault.

The hilarious and sad part is that people take this foundation based upon shallow elitism and build upon it - to extreme levels.

This woman's death is a result of REI's evil? (Can REI even be evil, if it is not a human?)

No, she died because she engaged in a dangerous activity and got a bad break from mother nature.

Trying to blame a climbing accident on a bike manufacturer is also "shirking responsibility."


fattrad

Mountain climber
GOP Convention
May 20, 2011 - 09:24am PT
I spit on the Berkeley REI last night. gf bought a couple of jackets at the TNF outlet (sale) and we ate at Chipolte.



The evil one
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 20, 2011 - 09:46am PT
just one comment.

The tactic of GraniteClimber is exactly what plaintiff attorneys do in court......bring out the photos to attempt to create sympathy beyond looking at the facts of the situation. Turn it into an emotional thing, and sway the verdict.

This is what happens, and you are all witnesses as to how the system works.
reddirt

climber
PNW
Topic Author's Reply - May 20, 2011 - 09:52am PT
Why must Mangy Peasant conflate my point (REI, court says you as the manufacturer are responsible, accept the courts decision & quit hiding behind insurance companies & attorneys drawing it out) with a bunch of sh#t I never said?

Would you still give REI the benefit of the doubt had this been the fork of your bike had to shell out $10K for the engineering tests & lived w/ the initial & lasting physical consequences of having your face suddenly & w/o warning impaled...

You are totally entitled to your opinions & they serve as a reminder & warning that people like you, Rankin, etc exist.

Taking this convo to the philosophical level, esp w/o stating your philosophical framework is a useless pedantic exercise.
EWG

Trad climber
Vermont
May 20, 2011 - 09:55am PT
Ken, that tactic doesn't matter here. Two summary judgements, and there is no jury for appeals. Unless this gets remanded, the plaintiffs lawyers won't even have a chance to use such heart-wrenching-emotionally-exploitative tactics.
mojede

Trad climber
Butte, America
May 20, 2011 - 09:56am PT
reddirt--do you honestly believe that lawyers (in this case and commenting) COULD have a philosophy?



Their impeccable training has "philosophy" steam-rolled out of them in Contracts 101 :-)
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Run like the wind.
May 20, 2011 - 09:57am PT
The tactic of GraniteClimber is exactly what plaintiff attorneys do in court......bring out the photos to attempt to create sympathy beyond looking at the facts of the situation. Turn it into an emotional thing, and sway the verdict.

This is what happens, and you are all witnesses as to how the system works.

Good because we can get faster cold blooded decisions using computer programs and dispense with juries entirely. Justice without emotion is a bloody stupid idea.

DMT
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 20, 2011 - 10:02am PT
John, even assuming that you (and others) are correct in assuming that REI's hands are tied with regard to the insurance company's decision to appeal, I disagree with your last comment.

While REI may not have been able to prevent its insurer from acting as it did, REI certainly could have done many things to show that it actually cared. If it could not legally pay the woman's medical bills, it could have started, or backed, some kind of campaign to help her. Or taken any number of other steps to show that it understood the difference between legal and moral obligations.

By hiding behind its insurance contract it has made a very public statement that it doesn't give a sh#t about what happened to Monika Johnson. Something which could just as easily have happened to your daughter, btw.

I'm no REI hater, but this is not right.

This is an unsophisticated understanding of the situation from REI's standpoint.

I serve on several corporate boards, and the realitity is that you MUST give your loyalty to the best interest of your corporation, as defined by the best information that you have. (now, that info may be faulty). So if your corporate atty, who you trust, explains to you that by taking action that supports this person, you place the corp at grave legal risk, your OBLIGATION would be to not do so. You have a legal, moral, and ethical obligation to do this, as a director of a corporation. This is what is meant by a fiduciary responsibility, in this case, of loyalty.



I am just really sad about Monika Johnson... What horrible bad luck. First to suffer from this accident and later to lose her life in the mountains. If anything, we should at least sit still for five minutes in her honor.

Beyond any doubt
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Run like the wind.
May 20, 2011 - 10:04am PT
I serve on several corporate boards, and the realitity is that you MUST give your loyalty to the best interest of your corporation, as defined by the best information that you have.

Yes this is the primary mechanism behind which corporations hide all personal and ethical responsibility.

We all know it. It has to change.

The owners MUST be held personally liable for the actions of their company, or this will get far worse before it gets better.

DMT
John Moosie

climber
Beautiful California
May 20, 2011 - 10:19am PT
Yes this is the primary mechanism behind which corporations hide all personal and ethical responsibility.

We all know it. It has to change.

The owners MUST be held personally liable for the actions of their company, or this will get far worse before it gets better.

Amen to that.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 20, 2011 - 10:21am PT
Co-ops were a great resource when they were available. They fed MANY people when the economy was putting millions out on the street. Most Co-ops had provision for you to work the registers, or in the back, if you had no money, and they would pay you with grub for you and your kids. Volunteer 3-4 hours a week, and you could feed your family.


And......they.......all.......failed..........
fattrad

Mountain climber
GOP Convention
May 20, 2011 - 10:24am PT
Ken M,

Exactly why capitalist enterprises succeed.


Greed, for want of a better word, is good.



The evil one
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 20, 2011 - 10:26am PT
The insurer is advised throughout the litigation and instructs its attorneys to fight the various legal battles and appeals.

No, the attorney represents the insured, not the insurance company, although the attorney and insured may be required to report to the insurance company according to the terms of the policy.

It's obvious you've never dealt with this. The insurance company is paying the attorneys. The insurance company selects the attorneys. The insurance company will be deciding if the attorney will be getting the next 50 cases, the insured will never see the attorney again.....
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 20, 2011 - 10:28am PT
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa5427/is_200804/ai_n25137559/
Mangy Peasant

Social climber
Riverside, CA
May 20, 2011 - 10:33am PT
[...] with a bunch of sh#t I never said?
You said in the OP that this bike accident contributed to her death. It is a bunch of sh#t, and you said it.

Would you still give REI the benefit of the doubt had this [...]

When something happens personally to me, I know all the facts, and I form my opinion based on the facts. None of us really have a complete understanding of "this" story, do we?

You are totally entitled to your opinions & they serve as a reminder & warning that people like you, Rankin, etc exist.
Yes, people who objectively consider both sides of a controversial story do exist.

Taking this convo to the philosophical level, esp w/o stating your philosophical framework is a useless pedantic exercise.

My philosophical framework? WTF?

Um...btw, perhaps you should re-read the title of your thread.

You started this thread with the intentions of declaring REI to be evil based upon a sketchy version of a story posted on the internet. You probably hoped to get a chorus of responses along the lines of "yeah man, they really suck!" What you got was a mix of agreement, along with some well-reasoned skepticism and dissent.

Sorry 'bout that. Welcome to the internet.

Not everyone who disagrees with you is a horrible person.

blahblah

Gym climber
Boulder
May 20, 2011 - 10:37am PT
It's obvious you've never dealt with this. The insurance company is paying the attorneys. The insurance company selects the attorneys. The insurance company will be deciding if the attorney will be getting the next 50 cases, the insured will never see the attorney again.....

Not much is obvious except you're generally clueless.
No one posting here has any idea what insurance involvement, if any, has been in this case.
You're writing as if the insured is Joe Blow car owner who gets into a crash. In that situation, I generally agree with your thoughts. But that has little if anything to do with a products liability suit when the insured is a megacorop such as REI.

This notion that REI has no control over how product liability suits filed against it are resolved is flat out absurd--I'm not going to waste time bickering with you about that.
John Moosie

climber
Beautiful California
May 20, 2011 - 10:47am PT
You said in the OP that this bike accident contributed to her death. It is a bunch of sh#t, and you said it.

Just to be clear, she said that it may have contributed to her death. In a later post she then pointed out her thinking behind this. It sounds possible. If you don't think it sounds possible, then argue that, but don't overstate her position which you have done more then once.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 20, 2011 - 10:49am PT

Mangy: You said in the OP that this bike accident contributed to her death. It is a bunch of sh#t, and you said it.

What the OP said was this:

" Monika has since died in an unrelated incident (unless you consider how the fork failure may have contributed to cognitive function damage) this past season."

Sounds reasonable to me.
reddirt

climber
PNW
Topic Author's Reply - May 20, 2011 - 10:53am PT
This notion that REI has no control over how product liability suits filed against it are resolved is flat out absurd--I'm not going to waste time bickering with you about that.

If you do happen to have time to waste, could be worth it to enlighten the enlightenable... as MANY on this forum & others believe it is now all out of REI's hands.

graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 20, 2011 - 10:53am PT
You're writing as if the insured is Joe Blow car owner who gets into a crash. In that situation, I generally agree with your thoughts. But that has little if anything to do with a products liability suit when the insured is a megacorop such as REI.

This notion that REI has no control over how product liability suits filed against it are resolved is flat out absurd--I'm not going to waste time bickering with you about that.

I agree with this, except that even Joe Blow the car owner has complete control over his defense except to the extent he voluntarily turns it over to the insurance company's lawyers. The insurance policy may have a clause specifying that he won't be covered unless he allows the insurance company to control his defense, but Joe Blow always has a choice.

And has already been pointed out, even if REI has turned this over to insurance company lawyers (but that is just speculation), they could still have assisted with medical costs without in any way undermining their case.
Mangy Peasant

Social climber
Riverside, CA
May 20, 2011 - 10:58am PT
Yes this is the primary mechanism behind which corporations hide all personal and ethical responsibility.

We all know it. It has to change.

The owners MUST be held personally liable for the actions of their company, or this will get far worse before it gets better.

Corporations, and the legal notion of limited liability, have been around for about 300 years or so. Mostly in the western world.

During that time, in the societies that have had corporations, have things gotten far better, or far worse?

What was the world like before corporations?

In what part of the world was climbing developed? Why did these folks have the time and economic resources to pursue these types of leisure activities? Is there any relationship to corporations? (so how id nylon and aluminum alloys come about, anyway?)

What would the world be like without corporations?

In the past century or so, some societies made efforts to rid themselves of corporations. How did that work out? Were these societies more ethical?

Are corporations really all about hiding ethical responsibility? So why do all credible business schools require training in ethics? (Is it really just window dressing?) MBAs and lawyers generally have put more effort into studying the rules of ethics than the rest of the population. Why are they paying expensive tuition to take business ethics class instead of a "how to screw everyone" class?

Sorry DMT. I know you're a smart guy, but this anti-corporate rhetoric lacks any substance. The history of the world proves it.






reddirt

climber
PNW
Topic Author's Reply - May 20, 2011 - 11:01am PT
You started this thread with the intentions of declaring REI to be evil based upon a sketchy version of a story posted on the internet. You probably hoped to get a chorus of responses along the lines of "yeah man, they really suck!" What you got was a mix of agreement, along with some well-reasoned skepticism and dissent.

Sorry 'bout that. Welcome to the internet.

Not everyone who disagrees with you is a horrible person.

Please recheck your powers of telepathy as you missed the mark w/ trying to articulate my intentions & hope. The mind reading machine you bought (from REI?) is obviously broken.

What would potentially make you a horrible person are your sketchy assumptions & inability to sac up & back up. And your annoying habit of misattributing words.
locker

Social climber
CO
May 20, 2011 - 11:11am PT

"The mind reading machine you bought (from REI?) is obviously broken."...

HOW do you KNOW he has a "Mind reading machine"???...

Did he tell you or did you...

READ HIS MIND???...

;-)



EDITED:

Mangy Peasant seems to be LEVEL HEADED and on Q in my opinion...

But it's ONLY my opinion...


Mangy Peasant

Social climber
Riverside, CA
May 20, 2011 - 11:30am PT
the bike fiasco left her
1. some head trauma, potentially impaired judgement
2. needing to wear a full face helmet, potentially reducing her field of view when she was on Red Mtn


I don't think I'm "misattributing."

Here's my issue with the reasoning:

#1 is a guess.
#2 is a pure speculation.

And there is an implied #3: The conclusion that REI contributed to her death.

Keep this in mind: REI did not force her to go alpine climbing. It's her decision to climb that was the overwhelming factor leading to her death.

If they had paid her bills, would #1 and #2 would still be true? Would she still have gone climbing?

I think it's a little ironic that you use the term "shirking responsibility" to describe REI's position.

I'm not trying to be callous. There is a tragedy in this story and we shouldn't forget that. But I don't think casting blame in the wrong direction and proclaiming it on the internet is a respectful way to deal with it.

Apologies for the sarcasm. I can get carried away.

Best wishes, climb safe.

 Dave





graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 20, 2011 - 11:51am PT
I am not an "REI basher." I consider REI to be a "good" organization, but in this case they are not being as good as I would like.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 20, 2011 - 12:00pm PT
the bike fiasco left her
1. some head trauma, potentially impaired judgement
2. needing to wear a full face helmet, potentially reducing her field of view when she was on Red Mtn

I don't think I'm "misattributing."

Here's my issue with the reasoning:

#1 is a guess.
#2 is a pure speculation.

Mangy, look at the language you quoted. It is not guesswork. It is not speculation. It is not reasoning. It consists of two factual statements.

But if those factual statements are CORRECT, then it is REASONABLE to state that the accident MAY HAVE indirectly contributed towards her fatal accident.

The way it was put in the OP was not unreasonable:

Monika has since died in an unrelated incident (unless you consider how the fork failure may have contributed to cognitive function damage) this past season.

In any case this is a red herring because no one is attempting to recover damages for wrongful death from REI, simply medical expenses and other costs directly attributable to the accident.




fattrad

Mountain climber
GOP Convention
May 20, 2011 - 12:01pm PT
I am proud to have never been an REI member.


The evil one
reddirt

climber
PNW
Topic Author's Reply - May 20, 2011 - 12:07pm PT
There's a difference b/t "contributed" & "caused". I stand by what I said. Stepping off a cornice is not a rare way to die.

You are crossing the line when you attribute #3 to me. Do you always shove words in other peoples mouths or more importantly, you really ought to quit for your own sake if nothing at all.

The fact still remains that REI has chosen to not pay claims, has been found responsible by the court in accordance w/ the law, and is SHIRKING that responsibility by choosing to appeal.

Even if you are playing devil's advocate Mangy, you are not doing a good job when you chose to focus on a tangential point & keep making false assumptions.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 20, 2011 - 12:13pm PT
The tactic of GraniteClimber is exactly what plaintiff attorneys do in court......bring out the photos to attempt to create sympathy beyond looking at the facts of the situation. Turn it into an emotional thing, and sway the verdict.

The pictures are relevant, but are only a factor with regard to REI to the extent REI is responsible. I believe that REI is responsible both legally and ethically. Two courts have agreed that REI is responsible legally, but it is now in the hands of the Wash. Supreme Court, and we have to wait for their determination.

Please view the REI Novara web site:

http://www.rei.com/novara/novara-bikes

REI uses pictures for their emotional impact to sell their bicycles for their business advantage. They will also use pictures in the lawsuit if it is to their advantage to do so. So why there the implication here that it is unfair for the victim to do so?
Mangy Peasant

Social climber
Riverside, CA
May 20, 2011 - 12:15pm PT
reddirt,

If her death after the bike accident is a "tangental point", then why do you mention it, more than once?

What was your motivation for starting this thread? To help recover financial damages for Monika's estate?

Or is it to spread negative information about REI in order to hurt their business?

I may be a poor devil's advocate. I may be the devil himself. But I'm afraid you are no saint either.






reddirt

climber
PNW
Topic Author's Reply - May 20, 2011 - 12:23pm PT
I bring up the case as it should be known that REI keeps refusing to do the right thing as dictated by the court of law.

I bring up her death b/c inevitably there may be people referring to her in the present tense. In various legal & outdoor industry blogs & newsletters they do the same. It is to prevent confusion.

atchafalaya

Boulder climber
May 20, 2011 - 12:51pm PT
"The fact still remains that REI has chosen to not pay claims, has been found responsible by the court in accordance w/ the law, and is SHIRKING that responsibility by choosing to appeal."

Whats the rush? There is no need to pay now reddirt, Ms. Johnson will never see a dime of the recovery. Let em sort out the legal issues fer chrissakes. If the court of appeal gets reversed, will you start a new thread apologizing to REI for exercising its legal rights?

I understand you and GC love to cry loudest for the alleged victim. But without any facts and a really weak understanding of our legal system, it's hard to take you two seriously.


graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 20, 2011 - 12:53pm PT
If her death after the bike accident is a "tangental point", then why do you mention it, more than once?

Because you and others keep bringing it up and asking him/her about this.

Edit: Reread all of reddirt's posts. Other then in the OP which called the accident "unrelated" reddirt is only responding to you and others on this.
fattrad

Mountain climber
GOP Convention
May 20, 2011 - 01:06pm PT
At least REI is out of FaceLift



The evil one
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 20, 2011 - 01:06pm PT
Whats the rush?

This is what I would expect a insurance defense litigator to say.

There's certainly no rush for REI's lawyers. They will continue to accrue billable hours.

There is also no rush for REI. "Never" would be good time for them.

REI is certainly within its legal rights to refuse to pay a dime and appeal the case all the way up to the Supreme Court. In this case, this is not hyperbole because that is exactly what they are doing.

Aatchafalaya, if you borrow your partner's rack to lead a pitch and then proceed to drop it while putting him on belay, what would you do? Would you offer to replace the gear you damaged and follow through? Or would you insist to litigate the matter all the way to the Supreme Court (or as far as the appellate courts will allow it to go)?

I believe you are confusing "doing the right thing" morally with "exercising all possible avenues of appeal" legally. Just because you CAN refuse to pay someone until absolutely forced to by the court of last appeal, does not mean that this is something you SHOULD do.

Edit: Point taken about her death reducing the urgency. But she only died a few months ago. What was there excuse before the accident?
Mangy Peasant

Social climber
Riverside, CA
May 20, 2011 - 01:14pm PT
If her death after the bike accident is a "tangental point", then why do you mention it, more than once?

Because you and others keep bringing it up and asking him/her about this.


Um..no..she brought it up in the very first post. Not only brought it up, but linked the two events.

But since you like simplistic climbing metaphors, let's try this one:

If you decide to lead a route at your limit, can't do the moves, take a fall and hurt yourself, do you blame the guy who caused the the rockfall that hit your head a few months earlier?


graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 20, 2011 - 01:21pm PT
Um..no..she brought it up in the very first post.

This is like arguing with, well, a mangy peasant. You asked why she mentioned it more than once. She only mentioned it once, calling it unrelated, but suggesting that there was a POSSIBLE link -- all very reasonable. The only other times she discussed this was in direct response to people putting words into her mouth - insinuating that she had argued a direct casual relationship when she did no such thing. No one is claiming that REI is "responsible" for Johnson's death ethically or legally. Stop trying to put words in her mouth.

If you decide to lead a route at your limit, can't do the moves, take a fall and hurt yourself, do you blame the guy who caused the the rockfall that hit your head a few months earlier?

Again, no one is blaming REI for the accident. When we go and do risky things in the mountains, we are responsible for our safety. This includes taking into account any weaknesses or limitations we have, regardless of how those weaknesses or limitations were acquired.

But to adopt your analogy to what REI is being held responsible for:

If your rope fails under bodyweight and the failure is due to manufacturing defect can you blame the manufacturer (or the company holding itself out as the manufacturer who subcontracted the manufacture of the rope overseas and sold you the rope using their good name and reputation, and which is legally responsible under the applicable product liability laws)?

Pretty easy question to answer.
atchafalaya

Boulder climber
May 20, 2011 - 01:37pm PT
I do defense work but not insurance defense. I also represent plaintiffs.

I think its important from both perspectives to slow the case down to address liability and damages. There was no rush while Ms. Johnson was alive, as healthcare providers serve liens and we are required to pay the bills (at a significantly reduced percentage) once the case settles or after judgment. There is no reason to pretend immediate payment should be required once someone alleges an injury. Too many questions need to be answered.

Now that she is deceased the urgency (which never existed) is surely gone.

Mangy Peasant

Social climber
Riverside, CA
May 20, 2011 - 01:48pm PT
gc,

Let's review:

FYI note the dedication of the website. Monika has since died in an unrelated incident (unless you consider how the fork failure may have contributed to cognitive function damage) this past season.

People need to know what kind of a company REI really is...


Allow me to emphasize a phrase:

"unless you consider how the fork failure may have contributed to cognitive function damage"

Why is that phrase included in the post? These are not my words - didn't "put them in anyone's mouth." They are the OP's words.

Don't try to argue that that phrase isn't about linking the bike accident with the climbing accident. You lose all credibility if you go there.

Clearly, the intention of this thread is to present one side of the story and cast judgement without any attempt to consider another point of view.

And the ultimate goal is to carry out the sentence - to hurt REI's business by spreading internet myths.

"Did you hear about that girl that REI killed...yeah, bogus!"

If this were really about $10K in medical expenses, I doubt anyone would find it so necessary for "People need to know what kind of a company REI really is..."

The whole point of this thread is to suggest that REI's "greed" got someone killed.

The user formerly known as stzzo

Social climber
May 20, 2011 - 01:52pm PT
I bring up the case as it should be known that REI keeps refusing to do the right thing as dictated by the court of law.

I'm not on board with the argument that failure to consent to the existing judgments is failure to "do the right thing".

From my perspective, a ruling isn't final until it's been exhaustively argued, and that means in all available courts.

Realistically, it hasn't yet been fully decided in a court of law that REI is responsible, because the full court process is not complete.

What's the point of having an appeals process if defendants are expected to not use it? How is this different than someone being convicted of a crime? Doesn't the defendant have the right to explore all legal avenues of opposition?
locker

Social climber
CO
May 20, 2011 - 01:57pm PT


"Doesn't the defendant have the right to explore all avenues of opposition?"...


Not HERE on SuperTopo the "CLIMBERS" forum...

;-)



happiegrrrl

Trad climber
www.climbaddictdesigns.com
May 20, 2011 - 02:07pm PT
"Now that she is deceased the urgency (which never existed) is surely gone."

I think a lot of people suffer greatly from the stress of having to deal with attornies, court dates, afadavits and all those matters which are part and parcel with lawsuits. As well, many people don't "know the ropes" such as the person working in the industry who made this statements. They may very well feel a sense of urgency. OR they might view the whole procedure as an ordeal they'd like to get through quickly, so they can close the door and move on.

From an industry-inside perspective, no urgency. But from a human side, it's not an unreasonable desire.


This is the first I have heard about this tragedy. I send condolences to the family and friends of Ms. Johnson.
blahblah

Gym climber
Boulder
May 20, 2011 - 02:15pm PT
I'm not on board with the argument that failure to consent to the existing judgments is failure to "do the right thing".

From my perspective, a ruling isn't final until it's been exhaustively argued, and that means in all available courts.

Realistically, it hasn't yet been fully decided in a court of law that REI is responsible, because the full court process is not complete.

What's the point of having an appeals process if defendants are expected to not use it? How is this different than someone being convicted of a crime? Doesn't the defendant have the right to explore all legal avenues of opposition?

As an abstract principle, I fully agree.
When you look at the uncontested facts, however, REI sold a defective bike under it's trademark and is denying liability, saying in effect that the plaintiff should recover from REI's Chinese manufacturer?!
(Apparently REI did rather meekly attempt to contest liability by providing an expert who speculated that perhaps a separate accident from years before could have caused the bike failure--the court found that REI's expert's testimony was so speculative that it was essentially useless and that there was no need for a trial to determine liability.)

Lots of misinformation on this thread, but I think the above is both accurate and explains why many people are rightfully pissed at REI for this. We don't need to indict the legal system, the insurance industry, the principles of limited liability upon which modern society is founded, etc. etc. to see that REI is acting like crap in this instance. I suppose if people want to wait until the judgment is final, that is fair enough, but remember the case will probably settle after REI loses the next appeal, and that will be that.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
May 20, 2011 - 02:16pm PT
The simple and incontrovertible fact in most of these cases is that the public tends to think of this as a moral or even a legal issue, but the entire mo fo is driven exclusively by finances.

REI's job is to limit their payout. That's what a company does for the most part. The attorneys will wrangle the cases this way and that so long as money is flowing their way. Cut the flow and they are gone, as is their "concern," which is a commodity, not a sentiment.

The reason REI doesn't "do the right thing" pay their claim is that involves money transferring from their hands to others, and REI is a ratailer who collects money. They do not disbuse it. Their whole business is set up like that. It's not personal. It's business. Expecting REI to be person is absurd. They won't pay a red cent till the last moment. Watch and see.

There's no morality play here. There should be, but as is, it's just dollars and cents.

JL
Rankin

Social climber
Greensboro, North Carolina
May 20, 2011 - 02:57pm PT
Well said Largo.

reddirt, when I describe a "legal fiction" it doesn't mean that I believe it isn't true or right. Rather, a "legal fiction" is the law deeming an event to meet a legal standard when it does not (ie REI is treated as manufacturer even though they did not manufacture the fork). The WLPA seems like a very good statute, as far as I'm concerned.

Washington state has two appellate courts: the Ct. of Appeals, and the Supreme Court. This appeal is the end of the line for REI and the Supreme Court is not obligated to hear the case. Since both parties are citizens of Washington and there is no federal issue, this case cannot be brought in federal court, because tort claims are substantive state law.

So, I don't think your argument is defying their legal obligations is a weak one. REI has the right to appeal. While it is hard not to feel sorry for Johnson, I don't think your assessment of REI is a fair one. As Largo has pointed out, they are acting as any business would.


fattrad

Mountain climber
GOP Convention
May 20, 2011 - 02:59pm PT
I wonder how the happy co-op feels about me booting them out of an advertising opportunity.



The evil one
locker

Social climber
CO
May 20, 2011 - 03:06pm PT

I am certain that if the ones here complaining so bitterly about how uncaring REI is had their own buisness and something similar happened...

that even IF it meant losing their buisness (along with their home, car, and everything else)

they'd for sure do the "RIGHT THING" and pay out IMMEDIATELY (even if they had insurance)...

Why even involve the insurance, right???...

Just GIVE your sh!t away!!!...

Sure thing!!!...


graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 20, 2011 - 08:33pm PT
As an abstract principle, I fully agree.
When you look at the uncontested facts, however, REI sold a defective bike under it's trademark and is denying liability, saying in effect that the plaintiff should recover from REI's Chinese manufacturer?!
(Apparently REI did rather meekly attempt to contest liability by providing an expert who speculated that perhaps a separate accident from years before could have caused the bike failure--the court found that REI's expert's testimony was so speculative that it was essentially useless and that there was no need for a trial to determine liability.)

Lots of misinformation on this thread, but I think the above is both accurate and explains why many people are rightfully pissed at REI for this. We don't need to indict the legal system, the insurance industry, the principles of limited liability upon which modern society is founded, etc. etc. to see that REI is acting like crap in this instance.

blahblah nails it.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 20, 2011 - 10:50pm PT
You're writing as if the insured is Joe Blow car owner who gets into a crash. In that situation, I generally agree with your thoughts. But that has little if anything to do with a products liability suit when the insured is a megacorop such as REI.


If you think that REI is a "megacorp", then you have never looked at the balance sheets of insurance corps.
The Chief

Trad climber
from the Land where Free Mongols still roam!
May 20, 2011 - 11:01pm PT
The simple and incontrovertible fact in most of these cases is that the public tends to think of this as a moral or even a legal issue, but the entire mo fo is driven exclusively by finances.

REI's job is to limit their payout. That's what a company does for the most part. The attorneys will wrangle the cases this way and that so long as money is flowing their way. Cut the flow and they are gone, as is their "concern," which is a commodity, not a sentiment.

The reason REI doesn't "do the right thing" pay their claim is that involves money transferring from their hands to others, and REI is a ratailer who collects money. They do not disbuse it. Their whole business is set up like that. It's not personal. It's business. Expecting REI to be person is absurd. They won't pay a red cent till the last moment. Watch and see.

There's no morality play here. There should be, but as is, it's just dollars and cents.

JL

Last time I heard, that is called Capitalism. I also heard that is what this modern American society is based on.

On the otherside of coin, we are a society that sues for anything and everything looking for the big payout.

Capitialism DOES NOT extend the hand of DOING THE RIGHT THING. That would surely be the king of the oxymorons. It thrives on taking and never giving. Welcome to America.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 20, 2011 - 11:52pm PT
I do defense work but not insurance defense. I also represent plaintiffs.

I think its important from both perspectives to slow the case down to address liability and damages. There was no rush while Ms. Johnson was alive, as healthcare providers serve liens and we are required to pay the bills (at a significantly reduced percentage) once the case settles or after judgment. There is no reason to pretend immediate payment should be required once someone alleges an injury. Too many questions need to be answered.

Now that she is deceased the urgency (which never existed) is surely gone.

I don't know what kind of plaintiffs you represent, but I can think of a dozen reasons why resolution would be urgent to the plaintiff in this case. Remember that there is more at stake than bills from healthcare providers--there is also expenses relating to her disability, including not being able to work.

How urgent is payment for you? When you invoice a client for services, do you hope to be paid promptly or in 2-3 years?
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 20, 2011 - 11:56pm PT
The simple and incontrovertible fact in most of these cases is that the public tends to think of this as a moral or even a legal issue, but the entire mo fo is driven exclusively by finances.

REI's job is to limit their payout. That's what a company does for the most part. The attorneys will wrangle the cases this way and that so long as money is flowing their way. Cut the flow and they are gone, as is their "concern," which is a commodity, not a sentiment.

The reason REI doesn't "do the right thing" pay their claim is that involves money transferring from their hands to others, and REI is a ratailer who collects money. They do not disbuse it. Their whole business is set up like that. It's not personal. It's business. Expecting REI to be person is absurd. They won't pay a red cent till the last moment. Watch and see.

There's no morality play here. There should be, but as is, it's just dollars and cents.

JL

So are we wrong to expect any sense of morality from REI or other companies?

If so, should REI expect us to exercise any morality in using its return policy?
slayton

Trad climber
Here and There
May 21, 2011 - 02:10am PT
REI f*#ked up by trying to be something that they're not. They sell stuff. They don't make it. As soon as you paste your name on a product (especially something that might get the user hurt) as a company you damn well better vet the manufacturer. It's YOUR name and your reputation that is at stake.

This is all about responsibility. REI screwed up when they put they're name on a product that they didn't make in an attempt to make money off of their own branding. To now shirk the responsibility of the quality of that product onto the manufacturer might be the responsible thing to do in terms of the company shareholders but any customer would disagree.

I know nothing of the law surrounding this. But if you put your name on a product and claim it as your own. .. . .STAND BEHIND IT. At some point REI called in the insurance company to deal with this shite. They didn't have to. They could have settled.

Now their name is soiled. Not that it matters because most people don't really give a shite.


Sean
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
May 21, 2011 - 04:11am PT
I base my criticism of REI on its business model, not on any morality. Frankly, when I saw this thread's title, I assumed that this was a construct of a plaintiff's lawyer. After all, it's within a defendant's right to appeal. Reading the comments made me think differently.

I think it's generally good business to stand behind the product you sell, and particularly so if it's your exclusive brand. Think of the Craftsman tool guarantee. Sears will replace a broken Craftsman tool for free, period. Dan Smith (for you Indian Rockers from 40+ years ago who may remember him) found a Craftsman screwdriver with a broken blade on the side of the road in Berkeley. It was rusted and had obviously been there a while. He took it to Sears, who replaced it with a brand new one, no questions asked.

REI's actions here tell me that it doesn't really stand behind Novarra bicycles. Forks and headsets shouldn't break like that. To the public, this looks like a defective product. REI, instead of taking responsibiity for the product it sold, is telling their buyers "get your remedy from the manufacturer. This isn't our problem." The comments on this thread demonstrate what a lot of the potential buyers think about that.

John
spidey

Trad climber
Berkeley CA
May 21, 2011 - 06:44am PT
All you people boycotting REI for this...go for it if you feel you must. It is very sad what happened to her. But know that:

1. They are busier than ever
2. They will not feel it, even a little bit.
3. DMT, Largo, etc are right - it's all about the money, the insurance co. gets to call the shots, and that is not going to change one bit if a bunch of climbers who shop on the internet anyway stop going to REI to check out their stuff before ordering it from some online retailer because its cheaper. (kind of like how REI has their bike parts made in china...because its cheaper).
4. They have to do what they can to limit their liability, otherwise they risk losing the entire business, which employs THOUSANDS of people.
5. In the end they will end up paying, most likely a very large sum.
6. Yes, REI is big. But they are a mom&pop shop in comparison to the mega-insurance corporations that as others have said, are really running sh#t in this country and probably calling the shots in this case.

spidey

Trad climber
Berkeley CA
May 21, 2011 - 06:51am PT
Also, REI's guarantee is to refund or replace any item they sell if you are not satisfied. It does not say anything about paying your medical bills or other expenses if it breaks on you. That is what the court system (however broken it may be) is for. If they just paid her, it would be considered an admission of guilt and would encourage a LOT more lawsuits that would quite conceivably put them out of business. But in the end they will have to pay so it is kind of a moot point. Hopefully they will learn from this and change/fix their outsourcing MO so as to prevent this from ever happening again.
spidey

Trad climber
Berkeley CA
May 21, 2011 - 06:56am PT
Also, does anyone else see the irony in Fattrad's apparent outrage at REI? His motto seems to be "Greed is Good", so one would think he would support a company's right to act in their own perceived self interest.
Mangy Peasant

Social climber
Riverside, CA
May 21, 2011 - 07:04am PT
I think it's generally good business to stand behind the product you sell, and particularly so if it's your exclusive brand. Think of the Craftsman tool guarantee. [...]

REI's actions here tell me that it doesn't really stand behind Novarra bicycles. Forks and headsets shouldn't break like that. [...]

John, that's an apples and oranges comparison. Sears will replace the old screwdriver, but if the screwdriver breaks and hurts someone, will they pay medical bills, etc?. We don't know.

That's the question here, not whether REI should replace the bike. We don't know if REI did replace the bike in this case, but REI's replacement policy is known to be just as liberal as Sears' - to the point the many people abuse it.

BTW, Returning a screwdriver you found on the road is an interesting example...is the warranty transferable through "finder's keepers?"...if so, could someone return climbing booty to REI for replacement? ;)



Tony Bird

climber
Northridge, CA
May 21, 2011 - 07:54am PT
i have to reiterate an incident i reported on another let's-rag-REI thread. i bought a thermos from them which had a loose rubber gasket and would frequently leak. i suffered with it for several months, finally brought it in to exchange. they were still selling the same thermos, but the price had gone up slightly. the clerk wanted to give me credit for the old price and have me pay the difference. it led to an unpleasant confrontation in which he called the manager and i threatened to take them to small claims court. it must have been very entertaining to others waiting in line. i did get the new thermos without having to pay more.

it was particularly galling to me, since i had had a pleasant conversation in the same store about a week previous in which a clerk boasted about their "guarantee" in order to get someone to sign up as a member, and i told about my long membership and how sweet the annual dividend checks are. yes, they have not become a very nice outfit.

god created insurance companies to cover cases like monika's, but insurance companies have become real hardasses. generally, you have to sue the insurance company to get a reasonable settlement in a big case. see y'all in court.

got time for another gripe? i splurged on a $10 bottle of australian red wine at the convenience store in downtown josh a few weeks ago. i went to pull the cork at the campground, and the neck of the bottle broke off. nobody wanted to risk drinking wine with glass in it, so i boogied down to the store and asked for another bottle. not her responsibility, said the hardass foreign lady running the joint. the distributor will be by next monday. if they will reimburse her, she might give me a refund.

enough to make a grown man cry.
Damn this looks high

climber
Temecula, CA
May 21, 2011 - 08:02am PT
The wine's an easy one--pour it through a coffee filter!

As for the bike, she sued REI because you sue EVERYONE including the ones with the deepest pockets.
blahblah

Gym climber
Boulder
May 21, 2011 - 09:25am PT
Time to shut down this nonsense about insurance once and for all.

I checked the law firm that handled this case: it's Perkins Coie.
That's REI's regular law firm

(REI may use other firms, but they regularly use Perkins Coie). It's a large, prestigious, "white shoe" firm. I recently saw it's name in another matter--when President Obama sent his lawyer to pick up the long firm birth certificate--guess what law firm his lawyer his with?

So all of you who think that REI turned this to over to an insurance company who got a lawyer beholden to the insurance co. and not REI--you're just flat out wrong. Time to move on.

I'm keeping this a polite post but if anyone posts anything further on this thread about an insurance company handling this rather than REI I'm going to call you out on it and it may get ugly.

By the way--to the smart ass who called me out on calling REI a "megacorp"--its last reported revenue was $1.45 billion in 2009. I suppose you can argue about what a "megacorp" is but I'm feeling pretty good about this, relative to the issue we're talking about (whether REI controlled this case or was at the mercy of the big, bad insurance company).
fattrad

Mountain climber
GOP Convention
May 21, 2011 - 09:31am PT
spidey,

"Greed is good", within limits. Smart coproations do damage control and in this particular case, REI should have coughed up money for the medical bills and then let court process take over. A public relations nightmare, how much in sales have been lost just due to this thread???

Me, never liked them, even when Big Jim Whittaker was running it.


The evil one
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 21, 2011 - 09:40am PT
Time to shut down this nonsense about insurance once and for all.

I checked the law firm that handled this case: it's Perkins Coie.
That's REI's regular law firm

(REI may use other firms, but they regularly use Perkins Coie). It's a large, prestigious, "white shoe" firm. I recently saw it's name in another matter--when President Obama sent his lawyer to pick up the long firm birth certificate--guess what law firm his lawyer his with?

So all of you who think that REI turned this to over to an insurance company who got a lawyer beholden to the insurance co. and not REI--you're just flat out wrong. Time to move on.

Thank you, blahblah.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 21, 2011 - 09:48am PT
Perkins Coie has REI all over its web site. Here's just one example.

http://www.perkinscoie.com/labor_employment/



We're proud to represent some of the best known, fastest growing, and most interesting clients in the American economy, including Boeing, UPS, REI, Microsoft, Weyerhaeuser, Puget Sound Energy, Qwest, Smart & Final, Starbucks, Vulcan and the Baseball Club of Seattle.
While our lawyers offer a full range of services, we are first and foremost trial lawyers with formidable experience trying cases, small and large, in federal and state courts throughout the country. Indeed, our lawyers are among the handful of lawyers anywhere in the nation who have taken employment class actions to trial – and prevailed. Moreover, we have a unique depth of experience with negotiating and administering collective bargaining agreements for some of the largest union employers in America.

Also, whoever is arguing that REI is not a Megacorp cannot argue that they do not have Megacorp legal representation.
ryanl

climber
seattle
May 21, 2011 - 09:59am PT
A friend just told me about this thread so I'm only now reading it for the first time.

I would like to offer a few things that I think are relevant.

 It's my opinion, from having dated Monika for the last three years and from having recovered her body after she died, that the injuries related to her bike accident in no way contributed to her death. She was taking a picture on a beautiful day when the cornice she was standing upon collapsed, causing her to fall about 1800'.

 Leaving all the medical expenses to the side (only for a moment), REI refused to reimburse Monika for her fairly expensive carbon fiber bike. It refused to reimburse or even share costs for the forensic bike test that determined cause of failure. Even though REI requested the test, which cost Monika close to 10k. Neither of these reimbursements amount to an admission of guilt.

-As to the spirit of REI throughout this whole mess, I was questioned on the phone by REI's lawyers about matters relating to the case, and the impression I got was that REI was exploring every possible angle for pinning the injury onto anyone other than itself, including Monika. REI requested Monika's personal journals, from before the accident, that she kept while going through a difficult divorce. How that relates to her bike injury is beyond me. How it relates to the psychological well being of a woman who had gone through some traumatic events in her life, on the other hand, and who only wanted to get on with her life....that is and was painfully apparent.

-Big Steve (from the original ski thread) raised very good points about the insurance carrier calling the shots. I don't doubt what he has said, and am thankful for his patience in sharing his knowledge. What bothers me, though, is that his emphasis flat out ignores the fact that REI has, has always had, and always will have, the power to act differently than the way the insurance carrier demands. The petitioner in this case is REI, not REI's insurance carrier. It seems more to the point, in my opinion, to discuss whether it's worth it for REI to breach its contract-- and I've completely lost sense of the currency of worth in this case-- than it is to say that REI isn't responsible for the appeal.

 One last point, which I also feel is important. REI could have avoided this whole mess had they done due diligence and signed a contract with Fairly Bike Manufacturing Co that gave them recourse in the event of a part defect by a manufacturer sub contracted by Fairly. (Aprebic manufactured the fork.) REI falied to do this. It's their own fault that "their hands are tied".
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
May 21, 2011 - 10:11am PT
There are two separate issues here, and as long as people keep trying to push them together into a single issue, nothing but silly arguments will ensue.

The first issue is the legal one, and as the legally-aware have pointed out, there will be long-term ramifications from whatever decision is made, and to demand an instant conclusion is a mistake.

The second issue is REI's ethical stance. They are a big company now, but they continue to say something like "We're really just a bunch of super-nice outdoor folks who, even though we've grown huge, are still the same honest bunch we always were."

I think they could have done the right thing here on the ethical issue without prejudicing the legal outcome. That is, without admitting guilt or fault, they could very easily have supported -- or even spearheaded -- some kind of help campaign for the injured woman. "We won't know the legal outcome for many years, but we want to help one of our members."

Would that have been so difficult?
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
May 21, 2011 - 10:15am PT
The problem with that, ghost, is that it makes them look culpable.


The real problem here; contingency fees.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
May 21, 2011 - 10:24am PT
Ron, I disagree. I think it would not have affected the legal outcome, and would have made them look compassionate.
FortMental

Social climber
Albuquerque, NM
May 21, 2011 - 10:36am PT
REI requested Monika's personal journals, from before the accident, that she kept while going through a difficult divorce.

It's important for REI, in defense of itself, to label the plaintiff as a drug addled, terrorist whore. What's wrong with that?
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
May 21, 2011 - 10:45am PT
Preface: I don't do litigation, or that sort of law.

They've done studies of medical negligence cases. Often at the start, the patient more than anything wants only sympathy, an apology, whatever treatment might help, and reimbursement for expenses. Once you get lawyers involved, whether they're your own or an insurance company's, most of that isn't possible - it may be construed as an admission of liability. Which in turn may lead to what it is intended to prevent, a lawsuit.

So whether the law firm mentioned is directly retained by REI, or simply the 'usual' firm retained by REI's insurers to defend it, may be moot. Once it's gone legal, it in effect freezes things until the case is heard or settled. And "gone legal" is as soon as the prospective defendant notifies its insurer or lawyer that there may be a claim. At that point, the defendant may simply have to do what it's told.

In this case, REI is a fairly large and sophisticated corporation, and it sounds like the lawyer may be REI's own, not that of an insurance company. That might give it a bit more flexibility. If the lawyer is retained ('instructed') by an insurance company, that's who calls the shots. If you don't do what your (the insurance company's) lawyer tells you, you may not be covered.
reddirt

climber
PNW
Topic Author's Reply - May 21, 2011 - 10:55am PT
Based on how the taco highlights the OP's post, I'm reposting ryanl's msg so that people who want to read facts before posting their comments can do so more easily.
May 21, 2011 - 09:59am PT
A friend just told me about this thread so I'm only now reading it for the first time.

I would like to offer a few things that I think are relevant.

It's my opinion, from having dated Monika for the last four years and from having recovered her body after she died, that the injuries related to her bike accident in no way contributed to her death. She was taking a picture on a beautiful day when the cornice she was standing upon collapsed, causing her to fall about 1800'.

Leaving all the medical expenses to the side (only for a moment), REI refused to reimburse Monika for her fairly expensive carbon fiber bike. It refused to reimburse or even share costs for the forensic bike test that determined cause of failure. Even though REI requested the test, which cost Monika close to 10k. Neither of this reimbursements amount to an admission of guilt.

-As to the spirit of REI throughout this whole mess, I was questioned on the phone by REI's lawyers about matters relating to the case, and the impression I got was that REI was exploring every possible angle for pinning the injury onto anyone other than itself, including Monika. REI requested Monika's personal journals, from before the accident, that she kept while going through a difficult divorce. How that relates to her bike injury is beyond me. How it relates to the psychological well being of a woman who had gone through some traumatic events in her life, on the other hand, and who only wanted to get on with her life....that is and was painfully apparent.

-Big Steve (from the original ski thread) raised very good points about the insurance carrier calling the shots. I don't doubt what he has said, and am thankful for his patience in sharing his knowledge. What bothers me, though, is that his emphasis flat out ignores the fact that REI has, has always had, and always will have, the power to act differently than the way the insurance carrier demands. The petitioner in this case is REI, not REI's insurance carrier. It seems more to the point, in my opinion, to discuss whether it's worth it for REI to breach its contract-- and I've completely lost sense of the currency of worth in this case-- than it is to say that REI isn't responsible for the appeal.

One last point, which I also feel is important. REI could have avoided this whole mess had they done due diligence and signed a contract with Fairly Bike Manufacturing Co that gave them recourse in the event of a part defect by a manufacturer sub contracted by Fairly. (Aprebic manufactured the fork.) REI falied to do this. It's their own fault that "their hands are tied".

I can totally appreciate the sentiment behind a boycott or Return Every Item campaign but am pretty pessimistic that it will have little effect.... and what effect it will have will really only be on W coast states.

As for the REI fork-induced head trauma as it relates to her ski related death, it is a non-issue w/r/t the legal proceedings. I do however think it could never be ruled out. I didn't have a chance to formulate that correlation myself... it came up in a convo when a physician skier friend of mine was initially telling me about the incident.

All I would like to see is justice for the original plaintiff & for news of REI stringing this case out to be known to a wider consumer audience (like a climbing forum where many buy from REI) so people can make informed decisions.
stinkeye

Gym climber
shytehole known as reno
May 21, 2011 - 11:21am PT
The original plaintiff is dead. This is only about plaintiffs attorneys getting paid and that is the only reason they will continue to pursue this. I wonder if her attorneys told her to pass up a fair settlement to raise their recovery.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 21, 2011 - 11:30am PT

Piton Ron:

The real problem here; contingency fees.

Look at this!

The guy who sued a friend in court for the few cents (what was it fifty cents? a dollar?) for the cost of a single collect phone call thinks he has a solution for the problem of litigation.

The truth is that without contingency fees, people like Monika would not have a chance to recover ANYTHING from a big company like REI, no mater how egregious the offense.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
May 21, 2011 - 12:09pm PT
Perhaps the difficulty is that we're speaking two apparently similar but actually quite different languages. One is the language of those who are advocating justice, by which they apparently mean that REI should apologize, cover all the medical and other bills, not bother with what seems a weak defence or the precedent that might be sent, and not make use of its legal rights. (In a few cases, that REI or its insurer should admit liability, write Ms. Johnson's lawyer a large cheque, abase itself in public, and admit that it's no longer a small folksy community co-op but a large corporation.) The other language is "lawyer", which is to say that REI should act as any large corporation, in its economic interests only. The amoral stance of corporate America.

Neither is ideal. The legal system is at most an imperfect reflection of society, and an attempt at justice.

I wonder what REI's overall litigation record shows about how it approaches these matters, or at least how its insurer does? It has what seems a generous return policy.
Mangy Peasant

Social climber
Riverside, CA
May 21, 2011 - 04:27pm PT
It refused to reimburse or even share costs for the forensic bike test that determined cause of failure. Even though REI requested the test, which cost Monika close to 10k.

I appreciate that someone is bringing more facts into the discussion, but the part above creates more confusion, IMO.

She needed money for medical expenses, but REI asked her to do a forensic test on her bike. So she agreed, and paid $10K.

In other words, REI sent her a letter saying, "please do this test, at your own expense, and we'll get back to you." And at that point she wrote a check for ten thousand dollars, just to move the matter forward?

Or do forensic labs typically extend $10K credit to first-time customers?

Doesn't make sense.


Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 21, 2011 - 04:40pm PT
All I would like to see is justice for the original plaintiff & for news of REI stringing this case out to be known to a wider consumer audience (like a climbing forum where many buy from REI) so people can make informed decisions.

If this is your public stance, then what does REI gain by doing the first, since you are going to do the second, anyway?
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 21, 2011 - 04:57pm PT
If this is your public stance, then what does REI gain by doing the first, since you are going to do the second, anyway?

Doing the second increases the chances of REI doing the first. It increases the cost to REI. REI spends millions to create a certain "image" because they believe that image is of economic benefit to them. I think the facts here severely undermine that image.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 21, 2011 - 05:09pm PT
I'm keeping this a polite post but if anyone posts anything further on this thread about an insurance company handling this rather than REI I'm going to call you out on it and it may get ugly.

By the way--to the smart ass who called me out on calling REI a "megacorp"--its last reported revenue was $1.45 billion in 2009. I suppose you can argue about what a "megacorp" is but I'm feeling pretty good about this, relative to the issue we're talking about (whether REI controlled this case or was at the mercy of the big, bad insurance company).

Blithering anonymous jerks that are unwilling to put their names to their statments, then make threats, have little meaning to me.

I don't know who REI's insurer is, but Chubb, for example, not a particularly large insurer, had income in 2009 of THIRTEEN BILLION, making it TEN TIME BIGGER than REI. It's also been around for 130 years.

Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 21, 2011 - 05:44pm PT
Doing the second increases the chances of REI doing the first. It increases the cost to REI. REI spends millions to create a certain "image" because they believe that image is of economic benefit to them. I think the facts here severely undermine that image.

Doing the second, when doing it is going to happen whether or not the first happens, makes the first almost certain to never happen.

If you and I were involved in litigation, and instead of allowing the courts to decide and in the middle of the litigation, you went out to undertake a public smear campaign against me, it would become my mission in life to see that you never see one penny, if it cost me a million to make that happen.

So what you have done is to screw the estate of Monika. Nice way to f**k a dead person.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 21, 2011 - 08:50pm PT
Doing the second, when doing it is going to happen whether or not the first happens, makes the first almost certain to never happen.

It depends on what kind of people we are dealing with here.

If you and I were involved in litigation, and instead of allowing the courts to decide and in the middle of the litigation, you went out to undertake a public smear campaign against me, it would become my mission in life to see that you never see one penny, if it cost me a million to make that happen.

First I wouldn't call it a "smear" campaign. That implies that false or libelous statements are being made, and I haven't seen that.

Second, it may be tempting to have this attitude ("it would become my mission in life to see that you never see one penny, if it cost me a million to make that happen.") but those who easily succumb to to are unlikely to succeed in business. The CEO's "mission in life" in his job at REI is to keep the company profitable and this includes protecting its reputation. If he decides his "mission in life" it engage in a vindictive feud, he'll be eased out the door.

Anyway, if they made it their mission in life to see that Monika never saw one penny, they succeeded.

So Monika's friends probably don't care whether or not her estate or lawyers recover anything. It's probably now more about "justice" and "making them pay." So if REI want to pay a million fighting this and further damage their reputation in the process, I don't think Monika's friends will be sorry about that.

So what you have done is to screw the estate of Monika. Nice way to f**k a dead person.

Way to keep it classy! Her friends are behind this and I'm sure her family is also. Nice of you to accuse them of this.

If anyone is getting screwed (and I'd agree that that is happening), its REI that's doing it, and you seem to forget that they already (before this "campaign began) appealed it to the Supreme Court. Can you explain what MORE REI can do? REI is already going all out against them. Her friends and family don't have anything to lose.
Port

Trad climber
San Diego
May 21, 2011 - 09:51pm PT
And at that point she wrote a check for ten thousand dollars

You assume its her money. It could just as easily have been family or friends who supported her.


Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 21, 2011 - 10:00pm PT
First I wouldn't call it a "smear" campaign. That implies that false or libelous statements are being made, and I haven't seen that.


Actually, that has been exactly what I've seen.

I went to the site that was linked, and about two posts in a see a post by a lawyer, who was a bike maker, who knew Monika. He fairly totally refutes every thing that you say about the law in Wa, and how product liability works.

As for her friends and family carrying this on, which are you?

With your ignorance of law, you don't know that these things tend to be negotiated away at some point. However, the more that the smear goes on, the more unlikely that is to happen.
frog-e

Trad climber
Imperial Beach California
May 21, 2011 - 10:07pm PT
#1 REI defines (in writing) the manufacturing specifications of what
Their contractors produce for their (assorted) brands. They ARE accoutable
For defects/liability.

#2 REI could have chosen to settle OUT OF COURT thus avoiding setting
A legal precedent; this is what Coleman does when someone suffocates
In one of their tents (happens every year).

#3 Mighty Hiker is FULL Of SH*t. (No question on that one, this thread
proves it.

#4 REI is a just another blood sucking nit-picking representative of the
Full on corporate adjendaists (and Wall street blow job artists) who now
Own many of their vendors; think Vanity Fair, etc.
spidey

Trad climber
Berkeley CA
May 21, 2011 - 10:30pm PT
Found a couple of interesting articles about REI (a few years old, but still worth reading).

http://www.seattleweekly.com/2003-06-18/news/who-owns-rei/

http://www.seattleweekly.com/2005-03-23/news/million-dollar-payday-for-top-rei-exec/





graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 21, 2011 - 10:55pm PT
http://www.seattleweekly.com/2003-06-18/news/who-owns-rei/4/

AT SOME point, REI's board of directors changed the bylaws to make it virtually impossible for anyone not of their choosing to join their ranks. These days, if you'd like to get onto the boardand you might, because its members are paid $15,000 a year, the chairman $20,000you must win the approval of its nominating committee, a subcommittee of the board. Failing that, you must gather the signatures of 1 percent of the co-op's active membershipabout 21,000 names. To make things just a little more challenging, the co-op won't let you even peek at the membership list, which they say is not released for privacy reasons.]/b]

But let's say you're stubborn and willing to stand outside an REI store and gather member signatures for six months or so. Your name will, indeed, be placed on the ballotclearly distinguishable from the board-nominated, board-endorsed candidates. In the words of a straight-faced corporate spokesperson, "the petition process sets a high threshold for those who wish to be placed on the ballot by petition, to ensure serious candidates."


DENNIS MADSEN AND I are having a civil but strained go-round over REI's refusal to share financial information. I own one share in this co-op, and because publicly traded companies like Nordstrom and Weyerhaeuser are required by law to make such information public, I think I have a right to see this stuff.

Q: "You don't disclose certain financial information, such as executive compensation, which under law is freely disclosed for all publicly traded companies. It surprised me that in a company which is purportedly owned by consumers, that information is not available."

A: "We don't disclose any. . . . "

Q: "What's the rationale for that?"

A: "Why would we want to?"

Q: "Because we're democratic?"

A: "I guess we'll disagree on that one. I can't think there's any reason we want to disclose confidential information like thator about where the company is going or headed. . . . This is a highly competitive business, retailing is today. There are folks out there, across the nation, who are teeing up. The outdoor industry is the next thing that they want to go after. And for us to share sensitive information about the company to our competitors would compromise our ability to sustain this organization."

UW BUSINESS ethics professor Jones rolls his eyes when I tell him REI won't disclose how much its officers are being paid. "Does your tape recorder capture me rolling my eyes? You can say, 'Professor Jones rolled his eyes when he heard that lame excuse.'

"They don't want you to know how much they're making because they don't want it publicized. Is there any other reasonable conclusion to reach?"


Says David Ortman, executive director of the Northwest Corporate Accountability Project and a longtime REI member: "It is disturbing to learn that REI is unwilling to make its financial information available to its members and the public. The basic definition of a cooperative is that of a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise. That means a co-op such as REI must be accountable to its members and to the public."
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
May 21, 2011 - 10:56pm PT
Ultimately, you are responsible for one thing in this world.
Yourself!

Sounds like this girl had at least a few chances to learn this and failed.

This case smells more fishy then a porta-potty the morning after a sushi-fest.

Riley


graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 21, 2011 - 11:50pm PT
^^^^^
Not even worth responding to.


Ken M.:

I went to the site that was linked, and about two posts in a see a post by a lawyer, who was a bike maker, who knew Monika. He fairly totally refutes every thing that you say about the law in Wa, and how product liability works.

How about a link or a quote? I can't find anything two posts in or even ten posts in.

At last count, at least five lawyers (that I know of) have weighed in on this thread. This isn't counting people who aren't lawyers but who have taken some law classes.

Edit: Never mind, I see the post you're talking about, but it's TWENTY POSTS down, not two. So you were only off by an order of magnitude. Lack of attention to detail?

What that poster states regarding the law is not inconsistent with what blahblah and others stated here. I don't see him "totally refuting" anything what blahblah says and in fact they appear to be in agreement. You call blahblah ignorant of the law, but he is a lawyer who has read and understands the court of appeals decision.

That poster does speculate that the insurance company is making all the decisions, but this is just, as has been noted here, speculation. The poster does not appear to be aware that the litigation is being handled by REI's regular outside law firm, which indicates that this case is less controlled by an insurance company then may be expected.

Otherwise, I agree with his assessment:

Division I ruled in favor of Monika, rejecting REI’s argument that the CF provisions of RCW Ch. 22 trumped the WPLA imposition of manufacturer liability on private label sellers. Division I reasoned, among other things, that allowing REI to allocate fault would have the effect of abrogating the private labeler liability of the WPLC. Division I’s opinion is very well reasoned and well written. While it is difficult to forecast what WA Supreme Court will do, I am optimistic that Division I’s ruling will be affirmed.

Translation: REI is up sh#t creek without a paddle. They should expect to lose this case.

Ken M.:

The insurance company is paying the attorneys. The insurance company selects the attorneys. The insurance company will be deciding if the attorney will be getting the next 50 cases, the insured will never see the attorney again.....

Ken M., are you willing to admit that you were wrong on this? The attorneys are from REI's regular law firm, Perkins Coie. Perkins Coie advertising its affiliation with REI all over its web site and in other places on the Internet. Example "Perkins Coie: Legal Counsel to great companies like Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI)." Blahblah--the lawyer you accuse of being ignorant of the law--took the initiative in finding this out.

Also Ken M., why the vitriol towards Monika's friends? Do you really think the Monika's friends are "f*#king a dead person?" Why that choice in words?

You have shown in other threads that you can be rational and reasonable, but are choosing not to be so in this thread. What emotional buttons have been pushed here on this thread?

Me: First I wouldn't call it a "smear" campaign. That implies that false or libelous statements are being made, and I haven't seen that.

Ken. M.: Actually, that has been exactly what I've seen.

Can you identify even ONE? Or are you just making emotional statements you cannot substantiate again?
Fig's Lady

Sport climber
Bishop, CA
May 22, 2011 - 12:19am PT
My sympathies on the death of the plaintiff, friend, etc.

Our society functions on one level regarding law suits and on another level pertaining to simple decency.

I sincerely hope REI evaluates what is their function in all of this.
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
May 22, 2011 - 02:06am PT
This thread has really opened my eyes about the vast difference between the REI of my long-time perception and the reality of what REI is. I'll buy my gear elsewhere from now on.

And, btw, this...

Ultimately, you are responsible for one thing in this world. Yourself!

...is arguably the single stupidest statement I've read on the Taco, and that's saying something!

"Yourself" is also responsible for the causal chains you put into motion, along with the reasonably foreseeable consequences of those causal chains. What you're saying amounts to: "Hey, trundle a huge boulder that takes out a houseful of people, and you have no responsibility! Maybe the boulder or gravity is responsible, but you're only responsible for yourself!" What a septic tank full!
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
May 22, 2011 - 06:50am PT
Allright mad bolter religious 5 million post guy
I am not going to get into a WOS thread or circular religious discussion here.
So I will respond once.

But it simply comes down to natural selection

You get trundled by a boulder and killed?
You are dead...it is over and it doesn't matter whose fault it is..
You are dead....

Only you have the ability to not be there that day. Whether it be luck or fate or instincts or common sense or Zen balance. Something about your survival instincts will hopefully tell you " this doesn't feel right."

If you do find yourself there then hopefully you as a living and breathing animal have the instincts, reflexs, athletic skills and awareness to shoulder roll out of the way, to dive to the side, to stop and look up, to wear a helmet, or to do anything to mitigate this death situation in some way?
Is not- you are dead.
The circumstances of what ever the hell you would want to discuss in 5 million posts do not matter- You are dead- In the end YOU and only you are responsible for your life.
Get it?
Now stop before you all start writing a bunch of sh#t.
Apply this to bike riding, to cornices, to divorces or any of the other high drama going on in this woman's life.
REI and bikes, god and cornices, husbands and divorces. Anyone can be at fault- legally, physically, morally, ethically, etc- but so what- if you are dead- SO WHAT.
Only you are ultimately responsible for your own life.




Now can someone highlight actual facts of this case?
Because all I have read is that REI this and REI that and they didnt help the poor girl, blah blah blah

You guys are asking us to not buy from REI because a girl fell on her face while riding a bike? A girl who is now dead because she fell off a cornice?
I read that somebody wants to even blame her falling off a cornice on REI.

The actual facts?
Help me...
Most of us have been riding bikes since we were three years old and many of us have been taking apart bikes since we just a little older. I have never heard of a neck shearing off on even a serious down hill ride or jump, but this neck sheered off casually peddling down the street at 5 miles an hour? What had been done with this bike prior to this accident? How long had she been riding the bike? What does this forensics thing mean? Who did this test? She paid for it? Was there bias involved because she paid for it?. What exactly does this test say? Specific? What are the credentials of the person doing this testing? What are the percentages concerning the final findings? Alternative explanations for the final findings?
And 100's of more questions what exactly occurred- specific facts about the case.

Long before you get to "dragging your feet legal stage" which seems to be all I see discussed here.


And who started this movement anyway? Who is responsible for the publicity surrounding this case?
All I see is heresy- REI did this, REI refused to test this, she had to test that, REI drowned a puppy this morning, this girl suffered, blah blah blah....
The facts?
Please tell me you have them?
Please tell me that when you ask me to not buy a new rope at REI you have more to tell me then what you have been told by the now dead plaintiff in what I see amounts to a propaganda campaign.

My instinct? They are cold...
Your bike breaks- shoulder roll out of it and get up and dust yourself off.
And don't stand on cornices..simple...
Responsible for yourself...

Reminds me of my best friend- he broke his femur in five places rollerblading. A wheel broke or something, who the hell knows- but to break your femur in 5 places you should have a mechanism equivalent to jumping out a five story window- I've seen thousands of broken femurs and pulled hundreds when the bone was sticking out- but I have never seen one broken in 5 places. But somehow my bro does it gently skating down the sidewalk.
What did he say? He said " I am such an idiot" And he was right because he knew himself. My best friend has zero kinetic awarness except for street fighting- he is an absolute walking disaster and a clutz- the dude used to tool out just going down a water slide when we were kids. I doubt the wheel or forensic testing or some kind of bullshit would.have entered our minds in a million years- he knew he, as a man, was ultimately responsible for himself and sh#t happens- now he is smart- he knows he is a dumb ass, be doesn't rollerblade, or climb with me, and he certainly doesn't go jumping around on cornices- he is happy and succesful and still alive- responsible for himself.

Don't give people or REI's or cornices or whatever the chance to kill you. If I let some drunk driver hit me while riding my bike on the side of the road- in my way of thinking- I f*#ked up- I protect myself and I am responsible for myself. It is certainly what I teach my kids.

Riley

madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
May 22, 2011 - 08:16am PT
I am not going to get into a WOS thread or circular religious discussion here.

Amazing! So even YOU are able to detect the utter irrelevancy of those topics to this thread. What self-control on your part to not drag us down to quite that level of irrelevancy!

So, on THIS topic, if I get your babbling correctly, you seem to think that the gross negligence of other people is something you can foresee and protect yourself against? Even a drunk driver?

Wow... so if a drunk driver suddenly swerves and head-ons your kids, and kills them all at the same time, YOUR brilliant response would be this? "Stupid kids! I tried to teach them to protect themselves, but they just failed miserably. Not the drunk's fault; he was just doing what drunks do. But my stupid kids should have known better, and their failure to take responsibility for THEMSELVES is what killed them."

Are you REALLY trying to float something this insane?

Or, some guy goes postal in some place where your kids are and kills them all. Again, all you can say is: "Stupid kids! I tried to teach them to protect themselves, but their pathetic failure is what killed them."

So, on your view, NOBODY has any responsibility whatsoever for the things they do that negatively affect other people? We can just do whatever we feel like doing to anybody at any time? If I trundle a boulder through your house, killing all of your kids, you are really going to "man up" and respond by saying, "Dumb kids failed to protect themselves?"

And on your view, you wouldn't even imagine to retaliate, even if I trundled the boulder intentionally to hurt your family? You would even walk up to me, shake my hand, and say, "NICE trundle, dude! You got everybody but me in one shot!"

Come ON! You cannot be this stupid! CAN you???

Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
May 22, 2011 - 11:10am PT
Madbolter.

So, I didn't say any of that.
You are purposely trying to twist and not understand.
Or maybe you are incapable of understanding.
I am not talking about legal or moral responsibility.

I am not even saying she didn't have a case.
I don't even know what the case is as all I have heard is hearsay
What I was originally saying was that she sounds like a train-wreak and the initial case sounds fishy to me for many reasons and if she would have been smarter maybe she wouldn't have fallen off a cornice- maybe she would still be alive.

Maybe you can't understand.
I asked for the facts?
Are there any facts?
Or is this all media and smear campaign?

And you are the one babbling madbolter
Just so you know...


Mangy Peasant

Social climber
Riverside, CA
May 22, 2011 - 11:16am PT
Did REI ever issue a recall for these forks?
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 22, 2011 - 12:34pm PT
They issued a recall for the bicycles.



http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09234.html

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 2, 2009
Release # 09-234 Firm’s Recall Hotline: (800) 426-4840
CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908
Bicycles Recalled by REI Due to Fork Failure

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.
Name of Product: 2005 Novara Trionfo Bicycles

Units: About 260

Distributor: Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI), of Kent, Wash.

Hazard: The fork can separate from the steerer tube which can cause the rider to lose control, posing a fall hazard.

Incidents/Injuries: The firm has received two reports of forks separating causing riders to fall. Injuries reported include a fractured clavicle, broken teeth, facial damage and head injuries.

Description: This recall involves 2005 Novara Trionfo bicycles with Aprebic carbon fiber forks. The bicycles are blue and white with black forks, and have the name “Novara” printed on the bars.

Sold at: REI retail stores nationwide from January 2005 through August 2006 for between $720 and $1,900.

Manufactured in: Taiwan

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled bicycles and return them to an REI retail store a free repair.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact REI at (800) 426-4840 between 7 a.m. and 2 a.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s Web site at www.rei.com
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 22, 2011 - 12:54pm PT
#2 REI could have chosen to settle OUT OF COURT thus avoiding setting
A legal precedent; this is what Coleman does when someone suffocates
In one of their tents (happens every year).

Frog-e, when you said the above, I am curious when you passed the Bar in the State of Washington? In the OP, the link led to the 20th post by an attorney, who rode with Monika, who wrote:

I am an attorney and a former bicycle framebuilder (now a hobby). Some of these issues lie outside the sweet spot of my legal expertise, but I'll offer these comments:

1. I highly doubt that the decision to appeal is in REI's control. It is more likely in the control of REI's product liability insurance carrier. The policy likely provides that the carrier (who is ultimately on the hook to pay) controls all decisions re settlement and litigation. I've never heard of a PL policy that gives control over such matters to the insured. Such a rare provision might exist in some rare policy, but I've never seen one nor have I heard of one. So, I will assume that REI has no control over the decision to appeal.

So it would seem that your legal *opinion* is rather worthless, which means that any other opinions that you have on any other technical matters are worth about as much.......
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
May 22, 2011 - 12:54pm PT
Let's check your facts, Riley:

Thread starts discussing legal/moral RESPONSIBILITY in Monica's case. Back and forth about REI's RESPONSIBILITY in the case, with pretty overwhelming weight of evidence (as substantiated by TWO courts) that REI is legally responsible in the case. Emphasis on legal/moral RESPONSIBILITY throughout the thread.

You post up with an apparent non-sequitur (which you apparently teach your kids, God help 'em) to the effect that something is "fishy" about the case because the poor woman later died from entirely unrelated causes. You state that the ONLY responsibility to be discussed in the case is PERSONAL responsibility. Context is clear: legal/moral responsibility.... Thread is clear: legal/moral responsibility. YOUR answer? It's HER problem; she has to be responsible for what happens to her in ANY event. Ridiculous lines about "shoulder rolling," etc. (gag!)

I respond stating that your "answer" in context is insane (and God help your kids (and us) if this is the world-view of legal/moral responsibility you teach them)! I point out that your "answer" basically flies in the face of millennia of legal/moral intuitions and tort law spanning EVERY known civilization: we are responsible NOT ONLY for our own selves but for the causal chains and their consequences that we set into motion.

YOU respond that basically Monica evidences a living "train wreck" to the effect that she has basically been selected out. This is, of course, completely irrelevant to the discussion at hand, as the issue at hand is manufacturing defect and who is responsible for it. You reiterate your twisted notion of personal (only) responsibility, citing absurdities: you are responsible for the drunk driver taking you out; you are responsible for any injury you might incur as a result of similar defects as in Monica's case; etc.

I respond with clear-cut counter-examples to your absolutely insane perspective of personal responsibility.

You finally respond with, basically, "I didn't mean it! You have completely misunderstood me. You are the bad one for missing my points so completely."

Okay, now we're up to the present, so let's look at some of your (insane) points as written to see who is misunderstanding reality.

Only you have the ability to not be there that day. Whether it be luck or fate or instincts or common sense or Zen balance. Something about your survival instincts will hopefully tell you " this doesn't feel right."

Okay, so it's Monica's fault that she didn't perceive "something doesn't feel right" about her bicycle fork suddenly and catastrophically sheering. I guess that her major shortcoming was that she didn't exercise the sort of omniscience that you apparently possess, as it would have taken Godlike perception to detect the manufacturing defect prior to the sudden shearing. How am I misunderstanding this? You flat-out state that SHE should have realized "something's not right" or had some karma or zen or some other septic-tank-full way of perceiving life as you do. HER fault; HER responsibility; NOT REI's.

Anyone can be at fault- legally, physically, morally, ethically, etc- but so what- if you are dead- SO WHAT. Only you are ultimately responsible for your own life.


So, presumably, this is the place in which you are "clearly" making a different point than the legal/moral responsibility that the entire rest of the thread has been about. Here you are simply stating the truism: You're gonna die. Perhaps you MIGHT have some capacity to avoid it in some contexts, and if you could have and didn't, then "you are responsible." But this truism has NOTHING whatsoever to do with the content of this thread. The question of this thread is to what extent REI is responsible for this woman's injuries. Your truisms don't speak to that question at all; and when you put them in the CONTEXT of the surrounding discussion, they do worse than contribute nothing: they amount to a sweeping generalization about tort responsibility that is plainly ridiculous. If you didn't intend to be speaking to the issues of tort, then go find yourself another thread, because that is what THIS thread is about. And don't complain when somebody calls you out for making a sweeping, ridiculous claim that in context is apparently about the present discussion. On the other hand, if you are now simply back-peddling... well, then it's pathetic.

You guys are asking us to not buy from REI because a girl fell on her face while riding a bike?

Oh, okay, we're back to the tort context after all. I guess I wasn't confused! So, your take on literally hundreds of posts, including links to court documents, etc. is that "the girl fell on her face." Uhhhh, dude, you seem to be intentionally missing a few pertinent points: 1) Her fork sheared due to (professionally determined) manufacturing defect; 2) the failure was apparently sudden and without warning; 3) REI has a prima facie legal responsibility (determined by two courts) to "back" the manufacture of a product bearing their brand and sold exclusively by them. And YOU can sum everything up as: "The girl fell on her face?" That hyper-over-simplification is so crass that it is beyond belief. I mean, seriously, if you can sum up the known facts that way, you are so out of touch with normal human perception that it is frightening! So, when I trundle a massive boulder through your house, sum THAT up as, "We got ourselves crushed." That would be an EXACTLY comparable summation of the situation.

Don't give people or REI's or cornices or whatever the chance to kill you. If I let some drunk driver hit me while riding my bike on the side of the road- in my way of thinking- I f*#ked up- I protect myself and I am responsible for myself. It is certainly what I teach my kids.

Your summation paragraph. In this paragraph you tell us that you teach your kids to be God. They must be God in order to foresee all of the dangers stalking them at any given moment: manufacturing defects undetectable in advance by anybody but God; drunk drivers suddenly swerving into your lane that are undetectable in advance by anybody but God; massive boulders trundling through your house that are undetectable in advance by anybody but God; entire floors collapsing out from under you (which does actually happen) that are undetectable in advance by anybody but God; and the litany of deaths, that only a Godlike being could detect in advance fast enough to avoid, goes on and on.

And the reaction time of you and your kids must also be Godlike! Even if you get that requisite split second to detect that something's amiss, you must be prepared to "shoulder roll it out," whatever 'it' might be at any given second! In that split second as the drunk swerves into your lane, INSTANTLY you must know how to "shoulder roll" your way out of that situation. And if you simply don't react fast enough (the typical human condition), well then, the results of accident to YOU were YOUR fault because ONLY YOU can EVER be responsible for what happens to you!

Riley, not only is your blathering not even remotely on track with the surrounding discussion, it reveals (an apparently unrelated, by your own claims) amazing stupidity as an overarching world-view; and, seriously, God help your kids and us that they grow up sharing this distorted and impossible notion of reality.

The FACTS of life include that many people die through NO fault of their own. It is flatly impossible to have the level of awareness/reactions to avoid trauma that you state is the SOLE and PERSONAL responsibility of every person. The REASON why we have the same basic tort intuitions across cultures and times is that WE (that is, we NORMAL human beings) recognize that OTHERS can well be responsible for events that damage or kill us; that had they NOT ACTED as they did, the events that damaged or killed us would not have occurred! Causal chains can be set in motion through negligence or malice that UNAVOIDABLY result in damage or death to us; and, here's the kicker that you NEED to get your mind around, THEY (not the damaged or dead persons) are RESPONSIBLE for the results!

I literally cannot imagine the world you apparently live in. But, whatever, that view is irrelevant to this present discussion, because THIS discussion presumes the FACTS of my foregoing paragraph, and these are FACTS that you apparently do not subscribe to (God help your kids!).

Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
May 22, 2011 - 12:56pm PT
Cool, I had read about a recall up thread.

So two failures in 4 years on 260 products.

Does anybody know what occured with the other incident?

Is there a difference between a mandatory recall and voluntary?

Does anybody know what the specific pathology was concerning the weakness in the forks?

Could the voluntary recall be a legal maneuver in response to possible or future problems and the possibility of future litigation?

More facts please....

Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
May 22, 2011 - 01:04pm PT
Madbolter- like I said in my first sentence in response to you.
Save it for the WOS threads brah
Save your angry logic for the religious threads.
I'm not interested, nor do I care what you think brah.
Don't bother typing endless ramblings because I won't even read it...

Do you have any facts?
Facts madbolter....facts! Facts!
Not faith...
Just facts!

Jeepers brah- and you wonder why the valley sh#t in your ropes?
What a self-riotous first rate as#@&%e.
reddirt

climber
PNW
Topic Author's Reply - May 22, 2011 - 01:05pm PT
But it simply comes down to natural selection

You get trundled by a boulder and killed?
You are dead...it is over and it doesn't matter whose fault it is..
You are dead....

-Riley Wyna
what a reminder to check on Pete Absolon's widow's thread.

Sounds like this girl had at least a few chances to learn this and failed.

-Riley Wyna

Radical, I feel sorry for those whose lives intertwine w/ yours. I feel sorry for you daughters & your patients.

Fortunately you are not the State of WA nor her medic.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 22, 2011 - 01:08pm PT
Graniteclimber says
Edit: Never mind, I see the post you're talking about, but it's TWENTY POSTS down, not two. So you were only off by an order of magnitude. Lack of attention to detail?

What that poster states regarding the law is not inconsistent with what blahblah and others stated here. I don't see him "totally refuting" anything what blahblah says and in fact they appear to be in agreement. You call blahblah ignorant of the law, but he is a lawyer who has read and understands the court of appeals decision.

That poster does speculate that the insurance company is making all the decisions, but this is just, as has been noted here, speculation. The poster does not appear to be aware that the litigation is being handled by REI's regular outside law firm, which indicates that this case is less controlled by an insurance company then may be expected.


Amazing, you have to defend blahblah. Never knew a lawyer who needed someone to speak for them. Interesting that you describe the lawyer that rode with Monika as "speculating, and that what blahblah, who doesn't appear to have a license to practice in that state "has read and understands" the decision.

So, you take the lawyer who is most likely to be sympathetic to Monika and try to pull his words down....."speculating" (most would call it a legal opinion).

Ken M., are you willing to admit that you were wrong on this? The attorneys are from REI's regular law firm, Perkins Coie. Perkins Coie advertising its affiliation with REI all over its web site and in other places on the Internet. Example "Perkins Coie: Legal Counsel to great companies like Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI)." Blahblah--the lawyer you accuse of being ignorant of the law--took the initiative in finding this out.

No. My actual experience is that law firms do business with many companies, AS YOU'VE QUOTED ABOVE. They are NOT an "in house" firm. My experience is that Corps often have a number of firms that they do business with, as well. It keeps everyone on their toes, and is a good business practice.

Also Ken M., why the vitriol towards Monika's friends? Do you really think the Monika's friends are "f*#king a dead person?" Why that choice in words?

Identify one of Monika's friends, and my vitriol against them? So far, no one will confess to being one of her friends.

Can you identify even ONE? Or are you just making emotional statements you cannot substantiate again?

REI could have chosen to settle OUT OF COURT thus avoiding setting
A legal precedent; this is what Coleman does when someone suffocates
In one of their tents (happens every year).

I am an attorney and a former bicycle framebuilder (now a hobby). Some of these issues lie outside the sweet spot of my legal expertise, but I'll offer these comments:

1. I highly doubt that the decision to appeal is in REI's control. It is more likely in the control of REI's product liability insurance carrier. The policy likely provides that the carrier (who is ultimately on the hook to pay) controls all decisions re settlement and litigation. I've never heard of a PL policy that gives control over such matters to the insured. Such a rare provision might exist in some rare policy, but I've never seen one nor have I heard of one. So, I will assume that REI has no control over the decision to appeal.



locker

Social climber
CO
May 22, 2011 - 01:08pm PT

One thing is certain...

Someone or some company SHOULD pay for her original expenses...

Medical, bike, whatever else she deserved, etc...


Obviously won't do her any good...

But it should STILL be done...




Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 22, 2011 - 01:10pm PT
This was the best thing I've read:

Now can someone highlight actual facts of this case?
Because all I have read is that REI this and REI that and they didnt help the poor girl, blah blah blah

You guys are asking us to not buy from REI because a girl fell on her face while riding a bike? A girl who is now dead because she fell off a cornice?
I read that somebody wants to even blame her falling off a cornice on REI.
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
May 22, 2011 - 01:18pm PT
Wow you guys really get personal here...
Really got a lot wrapped up in this one or what?

Wow....

Ya, I guess 20 years of taking care of people and saving lives is utterly negated because I think there are possible issues with this case or this persons personal responsibility.

My apologies for being such as as#@&%e..
Maybe I should be burnt at a stake or something?
Lordy
Between madbolter's usual insane logic where he literally has made up entire novels about what I think and reddirts sadness for my patients the last 21 years perhaps I am thinking I should just kill myself?

Do you actually have specific facts of the case reddirt?
Or just personal attacks and emotion?


Lordy what a bunch of kooks...



"Radical, I feel sorry for those whose lives intertwine w/ yours. I feel sorry for you daughters & your patients."
You think maybe? Just maybe? You are a little out of line here?
You want to take a deep breath?
Bahahaha...
I would say, as a juror, you are probably excused.
fattrad

Mountain climber
GOP Convention
May 22, 2011 - 01:25pm PT
Ken M,

I have kicked REI out of advertising at Facelift.


The evil one
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 22, 2011 - 01:26pm PT
Riley, no kidding.

It's best to keep the arguments on contentious issues pretty tight.
BTW, for what it is worth, Monika was a fellow health care worker.

-------------


Locker, with that, I totally agree.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 22, 2011 - 01:29pm PT
2, 2011 - 12:54pm PT
#2 REI could have chosen to settle OUT OF COURT thus avoiding setting
A legal precedent; this is what Coleman does when someone suffocates
In one of their tents (happens every year).

Frog-e, when you said the above, I am curious when you passed the Bar in the State of Washington? In the OP, the link led to the 20th post by an attorney, who rode with Monika, who wrote:

I am an attorney and a former bicycle framebuilder (now a hobby). Some of these issues lie outside the sweet spot of my legal expertise, but I'll offer these comments:

1. I highly doubt that the decision to appeal is in REI's control. It is more likely in the control of REI's product liability insurance carrier. The policy likely provides that the carrier (who is ultimately on the hook to pay) controls all decisions re settlement and litigation. I've never heard of a PL policy that gives control over such matters to the insured. Such a rare provision might exist in some rare policy, but I've never seen one nor have I heard of one. So, I will assume that REI has no control over the decision to appeal.

So it would seem that your legal *opinion* is rather worthless, which means that any other opinions that you have on any other technical matters are worth about as much.......

Frog-e is correct. Many manufacturers settle out of court to avoid setting legal precedent. But its clear they are responsible under Wash product liability law. Also in the recall notice they estimate only 260 units being effected, and most of them were probably taken care of in the recall. So precedent won't be a major concern.

The speculation about REI's attorney controlling the decisions is just speculation, and it's very speculative now that its established that REI's regular law firm is handling the case.

REI may not even have insurance coverage for this case. They did not think things through in setting up the Novara brand and taking credit for "making" the bikes on their web site--they have removed this from their web site. If they didn't get proper insurance coverage either, that shouldn't come as a shock.

I've emailed REI and asked if an insurance company is making the decisions. If will post their answer.
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
May 22, 2011 - 01:34pm PT

"ne thing is certain...
Someone or some company SHOULD pay for her original expenses...
Medical, bike, whatever else she deserved, etc..."

Not certain at all..
But perhaps?
Do you have privy to the case locker beyond hearsay?

Perhaps I will buy my new rope in the valley instead of REI
Or perhaps I will drop a grand at REI because this is all bullsh#t.

Been asking for facts now since the first post.
All we have are pesonal attacks, and as usual "God is talking to madbolter" communicating pages and pages of jibberish concerning what I or someone else thinks...Damn schizo..

Talk me into it reddirt....
It is your thread.
Your movement...
Show me..

I'm listening...
So far typical supertard bullsh#t...
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 22, 2011 - 01:36pm PT
This was the best thing I've read:

Now can someone highlight actual facts of this case?
Because all I have read is that REI this and REI that and they didnt help the poor girl, blah blah blah

You guys are asking us to not buy from REI because a girl fell on her face while riding a bike? A girl who is now dead because she fell off a cornice?
I read that somebody wants to even blame her falling off a cornice on REI.

It was one of the most ignorant posts on this thread and completely mischaracterizes the OP's argument. Also, there have been plenty of facts posted by people on both sides, including a link to the court decision.

If you don't realize this, it's not even worth discussing this with you.
reddirt

climber
PNW
Topic Author's Reply - May 22, 2011 - 01:37pm PT
Riley, do you know what a hyperlink is?
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 22, 2011 - 01:43pm PT
REI may not even have insurance coverage for this case. They did not think things through in setting up the Novara brand and taking credit for "making" the bikes on their web site--they have removed this from their web site. If they didn't get proper insurance coverage either, that shouldn't come as a shock.

I've emailed REI and asked if an insurance company is making the decisions. If will post their answer

WRT the first paragraph, who is speculating now, and without even the benefit of a legal license?

WRT the second, you are really a piece of sh*t. You ALREADY KNOW that they will not be commenting on an ongoing legal matter.

You are simply trying to throw gasoline onto the flame, as much as possible. You could not CARE LESS about any facts, any issues of law.
Crawl back under your rock.
locker

Social climber
CO
May 22, 2011 - 01:44pm PT

"Perhaps I will buy my new rope in the valley instead of REI
Or perhaps I will drop a grand at REI because this is all bullsh#t."
...






ROUND TWO:...
























































"Hit it, EDDIE!!!"...















































http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJn984u4hos

graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 22, 2011 - 01:48pm PT
Preface: I don't do litigation, or that sort of law.

They've done studies of medical negligence cases. Often at the start, the patient more than anything wants only sympathy, an apology, whatever treatment might help, and reimbursement for expenses. Once you get lawyers involved, whether they're your own or an insurance company's, most of that isn't possible - it may be construed as an admission of liability. Which in turn may lead to what it is intended to prevent, a lawsuit.

So whether the law firm mentioned is directly retained by REI, or simply the 'usual' firm retained by REI's insurers to defend it, may be moot. Once it's gone legal, it in effect freezes things until the case is heard or settled. And "gone legal" is as soon as the prospective defendant notifies its insurer or lawyer that there may be a claim. At that point, the defendant may simply have to do what it's told.


Mighty, I think it may have been in a thread on this in another forum, but an American lawyer was explaining that most states do have evidentiary rules that makes it possible for the company to help out without fear of it being used as evidence of liability. Maybe its different in Canada?

Monika's friends say that REI was very unhelpful right from the start, refusing to help out or even have an analysis done of the failed fork. They should have have helped out right away and taken the fork and had an analysis done by a firm they retained and at their cost.

In this case, REI is a fairly large and sophisticated corporation, and it sounds like the lawyer may be REI's own, not that of an insurance company. That might give it a bit more flexibility. If the lawyer is retained ('instructed') by an insurance company, that's who calls the shots. If you don't do what your (the insurance company's) lawyer tells you, you may not be covered.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 22, 2011 - 01:51pm PT
It was one of the most ignorant posts on this thread and completely mischaracterizes the OP's argument. Also, there have been plenty of facts posted by people on both sides, including a link to the court decision.

If you don't realize this, it's not even worth discussing this with you.

GC, your biggest problem is that you confuse the concept of facts with opinions. You think that if you post something, and someone agrees with it, it is a *confirmed fact*. It is not.

Opinions are fine. But they are only that.

The FACT that you attack someone who asks for facts, by characterizing their request as "one of the most ignorant posts on this thread and completely mischaracterizes the OP's argument", seems to be an attempt to steer people away from talking about facts.

Note that an *argument* is ALSO NOT a *fact*!!

Actually, you have no interest in "facts":

there have been plenty of facts posted by people on both sides

What does that mean? We don't need to talk about facts anymore? We don't need any more facts? Facts shouldn't be the basis of discussion?

I get REALLY suspicious when people DONT want to talk about the facts.....when they want to divert people from the FACTS.

What is your agenda?
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
May 22, 2011 - 01:51pm PT
The B.C. legislature passed a law a few years called the Apology Act, for these sorts of situations. I don't know what the resulting jurisprudence (if any) has been, or whether the statute has led to the desired result. http://www.bclaws.ca/EPLibraries/bclaws_new/document/ID/freeside/00_06019_01
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 22, 2011 - 01:54pm PT
Monika's friends say that REI was very unhelpful right from the start, refusing to help out or even have an analysis done of the failed fork. They should have have helped out right away and taken the fork and had an analysis done by a firm they retained and at their cost.


Granite, time for some disclosure: What is your relationship to this case?
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 22, 2011 - 01:57pm PT
without even the benefit of a legal license?

Are you a lawyer? You sure don't sound like one. Business law classes may not lead to a J.D. but you learn enough to see when someone doesn't know what he's talking about. The others who have identified themselves as lawyers make sense. You do not.

All you do is make emotional personal attacks and accusations that you can not substantiate.

You ALREADY KNOW that they will not be commenting on an ongoing legal matter.

They have been commenting on this and have been responding. Also, the involvement of an insurance company would not be confidential. Companies that have product liability insurance will tell their shareholders and business partners that.

The only reason that REI would have in not talking about having product liability insurance would be if they do not have any. This would be embarrassing for them, so they would want to cover it up.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 22, 2011 - 02:04pm PT
Wisdom from Ken M.

you are really a piece of sh*t.

Crawl back under your rock.

screw the estate of Monika.

Nice way to f**k a dead person
.

I asked Ken M. some questions earlier, and asked him to substantiate some of his accusations.

He was not able to answer. He just responds with more attacks.

John Moosie

climber
Beautiful California
May 22, 2011 - 02:06pm PT
Don't get suspicious Ken. The friend posted on this thread and on other forums.

The things that would help me decide whether REI really screwed the pooch or not is whether they made an offer or not, and how good it was. Plus I would like to hear from them why they didn't offer to pay to have the fork looked at, or if they did offer and were refused. That would seem to be in their interest as right now I lean towards believing that they acted like a large corporation and threw this woman to the sharks.

I would also like to know if they really did refuse to replace the bike. I'm betting they offered to replace, but not pay medical. So the offer to replace was refused until the decision about medical was finalized in the courts. If they truly did not offer to replace the bike, or refund, then I think that they really screwed the pooch.

...

Riley, when you said it was ALL about personal responsibility, you made it sound like she was responsible for the bike being poorly made, which brought madguys response.
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
May 22, 2011 - 02:20pm PT
Not an argument Ken...
Just another way to look at it....
Difficult to openly discuss ideas on Supertard anymore...which is why
I am trying hard to be done with this place.

I don't think, I in anyway, commented on the legal case..
I asked for facts


Just examining a way for her to be alive still...
If you are riding a bike hard and notice loose forks ...stop...check em out
If you are in the mountains don't ski is stand on cornices
If you are a complete klutz or accident waiting to happen to not be a climber.

Maybe she just had a couple really unfortunate accidents
Maybe nothing was preventable on her side...
I'm just taking natures law...
Which I just realised madbolter does not even believe in...maybe that is why he is angry?

She would still be dead no matter what REI did and REI could in no way prevented her original accident.
Her life was in her own hands?
Get it?
Doesn't matter who is at fault..
Notice this does not exclude REI from culpability

The legal arguments are something different

Redirt- let me look at the link- I missed it due to your ad hominum attacks...
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 22, 2011 - 02:20pm PT
Ken M.:

This was the best thing I've read:

Now can someone highlight actual facts of this case?
Because all I have read is that REI this and REI that and they didnt help the poor girl, blah blah blah

You guys are asking us to not buy from REI because a girl fell on her face while riding a bike? A girl who is now dead because she fell off a cornice?
I read that somebody wants to even blame her falling off a cornice on REI.

Ken M.:

It was one of the most ignorant posts on this thread and completely mischaracterizes the OP's argument. Also, there have been plenty of facts posted by people on both sides, including a link to the court decision.

If you don't realize this, it's not even worth discussing this with you.
GC, your biggest problem is that you confuse the concept of facts with opinions. You think that if you post something, and someone agrees with it, it is a *confirmed fact*. It is not.

Opinions are fine. But they are only that.

The FACT that you attack someone who asks for facts, by characterizing their request as "one of the most ignorant posts on this thread and completely mischaracterizes the OP's argument", seems to be an attempt to steer people away from talking about facts.

Note that an *argument* is ALSO NOT a *fact*!!

Actually, you have no interest in "facts":

there have been plenty of facts posted by people on both sides
What does that mean? We don't need to talk about facts anymore? We don't need any more facts? Facts shouldn't be the basis of discussion?

I get REALLY suspicious when people DONT want to talk about the facts.....when they want to divert people from the FACTS.

What is your agenda?

I've included two of Ken's posts above.

I know the difference between facts and arguments. Plenty of both have been posted. There is always room for more and I am interested in hearing more facts and more arguments.

Ken M's friend Riley made a post implying that there weren't ANY "actual facts" included and mischaracterizing the arguement against REI as "You guys are asking us to not buy from REI because a girl fell on her face while riding a bike? A girl who is now dead because she fell off a cornice?" This is such a gross distortion as to be dishonest.

How does Ken M. respond? He says, "This was the best thing I've read."

I responded, "It was one of the most ignorant posts on this thread and completely mischaracterizes the OP's argument. Also, there have been plenty of facts posted by people on both sides, including a link to the court decision. If you don't realize this, it's not even worth discussing this with you."

Ken M. states that this "seems to be an attempt to steer people away from talking about facts." He asks "We don't need to talk about facts anymore? We don't need any more facts?"

No, the more facts the better. What I was saying is that the implication that there were no "actual facts" provided was false. But if anyone is not interested in facts it is Ken M. The only thing he is interested in is shitting all over the victim and her friends and family.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
May 22, 2011 - 02:22pm PT
In most Canadian provinces and territories, there is a statute applying to all retail products, which requires that they be "reasonably fit for the purpose intended". Naturally with exceptions, but that's the general principle. It's essentially a codification of a common law principle, going back about a century.

Perhaps it's different in the US, with the Uniform Commercial Code and such. Probably not. It sounds like Washington's code is based on this, and various doctrines relating to branding, strict liability, and apportionment of loss. In other words, law that is well-established, and usually not worth litigating. (Which is what good law is - it reflects social and economic reality, is stable, and is soundly based.) It's not clear what if any real defence REI had, apart from one based on the facts, and how the law should be applied to them, or perhaps contributory negligence. But they are entitled to their defence, subject to being penalized by the courts (and the court of public opinion) for putting up one utterly lacking in substance.

It's no news that frames sometimes catastrophically fail - less often than when I was bike racing, perhaps, but it happens. It's sad that a young woman should have to suffer the consequences, and perhaps also from an overly "corporate" defence, if that's what happened.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 22, 2011 - 02:22pm PT
Riley: which is why
I am trying hard to be done with this place.

Try harder, please.
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
May 22, 2011 - 02:29pm PT
"Riley, when you said it was ALL about personal responsibility, you made it sound like she was responsible for the bike being poorly made, which brought madguys response."

Yup, but that is because people would rather tell someone what they are saying from thier own angry perspective instead of stopping and trying to understand what is bring communicated.

Not hard to predict-it is what always happens
And why this mostly sucks now...
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
May 22, 2011 - 02:32pm PT
Wow...granite, your a real as#@&%e eh?

One disagreement?
Seriously, i have some real concerns with the social retards that now make up the net.
I will try harder..
John Moosie

climber
Beautiful California
May 22, 2011 - 02:47pm PT
Yup, but that is because people would rather tell someone what they are saying from thier own angry perspective instead of stopping and trying to understand what is bring communicated.

agreed.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 22, 2011 - 02:51pm PT
Granite, time for some disclosure

I am not at liberty to identify myself, but I have been accused of being:

"an Illuminati mole" heading "funded disinformation efforts"

"working on a government disinformation campaign"

"a paid DISINFO agent"

"a team masquerading as granite."

Most of these accusations were made by people who believe in huge alien arks on the backside of the moon, that our government is run by evil reptilian aliens, that ordinary contrails are part of a depopulation conspiracy, and that alien abductions are real and happen all the time.

But all of that was just cover to "plant" my team as a "mole" for this thread. After the accident the lawyers decided that a Supertopo mole was needed, so they took my team back in their time machine and planted my my team on Supertopo 5 years ago so we would be there for them to "handle" this thread. Talk to Klimmer. He will back me up.
locker

Social climber
CO
May 22, 2011 - 02:54pm PT


...


graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 22, 2011 - 02:57pm PT
Yup, but that is because people would rather tell someone what they are saying from thier own angry perspective instead of stopping and trying to understand what is bring communicated.

If you read this thread through from beginning to end, paying attention to what people are saying, Riley would be the best example of this. Ken M. is also a good example but doesn't come close to matching Riley. Most of the people who were able to make real contributions have already left.

I know from email that someone who contributed a lot of the factual context left after Ken M's comments about "f*#king dead people" which may have been his intention. It certainty wasn't to engage in a meaningful discussion.
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
May 22, 2011 - 03:11pm PT
We all don't have time to read through pages of hate and Supertard bullsh#t Granite.

I dont even have the time to read through the hate directed at me for what amounts to a good common sense opinion.

So enough if that: lets get into it- luckily I can read and thanks for the link angry Reddirt.
The bike was old and had been in yet another accident, by the victim, where she was hit by a car door.

So NOT CUT AND DRY!



In response, REI submitted the declaration of David Mitchell, also a professional engineer, who inspected the bicycle and carbon fiber fork. Mitchell asserted that “there is presently insufficient information to rule out the accumulation of prior damage to the front fork as the cause of ultimate fork separation.” CP at 178. He stated that “the nature of the fracture was not determined” and that additional laboratory testing should be conducted, including loading an examplar fork to determine its breaking strength. CP at 177. He also noted that the bicycle itself was “clearly a high mileage vehicle” that displayed “substantial wear and tear.” CP at 176. Mitchell further suggested that a 2006 collision involving the bicycle, in which the rear wheel was damaged, could have contributed to the fork’s fracture. He opined that “f an element of that crash involved the front fork without creating visible damage, then it could be considered an initiating event for the fracture that serves as the basis for this law suit.” CP at 178.


Let me finish now
reddirt

climber
PNW
Topic Author's Reply - May 22, 2011 - 03:26pm PT
why repost w/o posting the extensive preceeding paragraph.... and upstream where it states, "In 2005, she had taken the bicycle to REI for repairs following a collision with a car door. The Novara carbon fiber fork that fractured in November 2007 was installed on the bicycle during those 2005 repairs."

Please stop posting before you're done reading & perhaps think things through. It's a great disservice to everyone, especially yourself.

edit to add: totally asinine to post only the defense's submission.

The point is that two courts have already sided against REI & they are choosing to draw this out. They can make decisions independent of their ins co, atty's etc

and it would be unwise to post opinions such as yours prior to reading & comprehending the facts.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 22, 2011 - 03:34pm PT
John Moosie wrote:
Don't get suspicious Ken. The friend posted on this thread and on other forums.

The things that would help me decide whether REI really screwed the pooch or not is whether they made an offer or not, and how good it was. Plus I would like to hear from them why they didn't offer to pay to have the fork looked at, or if they did offer and were refused. That would seem to be in their interest as right now I lean towards believing that they acted like a large corporation and threw this woman to the sharks.

I would also like to know if they really did refuse to replace the bike. I'm betting they offered to replace, but not pay medical. So the offer to replace was refused until the decision about medical was finalized in the courts. If they truly did not offer to replace the bike, or refund, then I think that they really screwed the pooch.


John, I really like your reasoning. Of course, REI cannot comment on any of this while it is in litigation, on advice of counsel. So we won't hear about all that, until it is finally done.

I, also, suspect that there is more than what we know, and that while REI is in this situation where they cannot comment, the other side is taking advantage to hint all sorts of things that make it look especially dark. For all we know, they made a generous offer of settlement.

What I don't understand is the need to unleash this attack at this time. It certainly doesn't benefit Monika. It appears to attempt to take advantage of the sympathy from her death...and I'm not sure I even want to get into what I think of that.

From what I read, there is a fairly clear legal case of REI's liability for the failure of the bike fork, whether I think that is entirely fair or not.

There is a large body of facts missing, despite what GC says. I would be very interested in the decision from the actual lower trial court, rather than just the appeals court.

For example, in reading the appeals decision, it mentions that this fork was not the original fork, it was a replacement fork put in after an accident that Monika had destroying the first. Perhaps minor, but I hadn't seen that fact disclosed in any of the discussion. I wonder what else we might find in the original decision?
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 22, 2011 - 03:38pm PT
Reddirt, what is your relation to this case?
reddirt

climber
PNW
Topic Author's Reply - May 22, 2011 - 03:39pm PT
what's yours to REI?
reddirt

climber
PNW
Topic Author's Reply - May 22, 2011 - 03:42pm PT
It's a story local to me, been following along with everyone (BC skiers) around here & shocked to learn of further stringing out a really bad situation.
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
May 22, 2011 - 03:43pm PT
So a verdict was upheld on Appeal.

This below makes sense: I can not see why REI would not provide more information on the specific technical measurements of carbon, layers, and manufacturing specs.
There must have been a problem or they would have attacked the initial forensic findings more aggressivly, although it would be nice to read the entire original case.
Although I get the REI point also that the manufacturing detail can not be known by the initial forensic engineer if he did not have the specs.

Sounds like there was a manufacturering issue along the lines of what occurred with Aliens.
But I would like to see more data.

I can see REIs apprehension to pay out on a bike, that was used a lot, and had been in at least one known accident.



So what were the damages awarded?
Where is this now?
What is still missing?




"REI asserts that “there is no evidence in the record to establish that the fork at issue deviated from Aprebic’s design standards.” Br. of Pet’r at 34. To the contrary, Johnson submitted to the trial court evidence—in the form of Zaminski’s declaration—that the fork fractured due to insufficient carbon fiber layering. This evidence itself supports the conclusion that the fork “deviated in some material way from the design specifications or performance standards of the manufacturer,” RCW 7.72.030(2)(a), as no conceivable performance standard would call for the manufacture of a carbon fiber fork that fractures as Johnson’s did. Although on summary judgment all reasonable inferences must be drawn in favor of the nonmoving party, Rugg, 115 Wn. App. at 224, no reasonable inference can be drawn that a carbon fiber fork that fractures in this way performed in accordance with any manufacturer’s performance standards.6 REI next contends that genuine issues of material fact regarding causation remain, thus precluding summary judgment. However, despite REI’s assertion that the bicycle displayed “substantial wear and tear,” REI does not establish how the fact that the bicycle was a “high mileage vehicle” explains the fracture of the carbon fiber fork. See CP at 176. Thus, the alleged “wear and tear” on the bicycle is not a “‘fact upon which the outcome of the litigation depends.’” See Lamon, 91 Wn.2d at 349 (quoting Morris, 83 Wn.2d at 494-95).


REI further speculates that the 2006 collision, which resulted in damage to the back tire of the bicycle, may have been a contributing cause of the fracture of the fork. However, REI’s evidence does not explain how that collision could have contributed to the fracture. Moreover, REI’s evidence refutes neither Johnson’s expert’s assertion that the insufficient carbon fiber layering is a defect that can occur only during manufacture nor the same expert’s conclusion that this particular defect caused the fork to fracture. Rather, REI conjectures that “f an element of that crash involved the front fork without creating visible damage, then it could be considered an initiating event for the fracture that serves as the basis for this law suit.” CP at 178. REI cannot rely on speculation and conjecture to raise a genuine issue of material fact. See Rugg, 115 Wn. App. at 224.


The trial court did not erroneously resolve issues of material fact in favor of Johnson. To the contrary, its grant of summary judgment was appropriate because REI failed to raise any genuine issue of material fact as to its liability for Johnson’s injuries."Italic Text
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 22, 2011 - 03:45pm PT
Since people won't follow a link, pretend like it isn't there, and then accuse everyone who HAS read the link of obfuscating, here is the decision.

Date: 02-07-2011

Case Style: Monika Johnson v. Recreational Equipment, Inc.

Case Number: We reverse and remand.

Judge: Dwyer

Court: Washington Court of Appeals, Division One on appeal from the Superior Court, King County

Plaintiff's Attorney: Robert L. Christie, Jason Marc Rosen and Thomas P. Miller, Christie Law Group, PLLC, Seattle, Washington

Defendant's Attorney: V. L. Woolsten, Perkins Coie, L.L.P., Seattle, Washington and Paul Spencer Graves, Seattle, Washington

Description: The Washington product liability act (WPLA), chapter 7.72 RCW, sets forth a statutory form of vicarious liability whereby a product seller assumes the liability of a manufacturer where a product is marketed under the seller’s brand name. Because permitting the product seller to attribute fault to the actual manufacturer would abrogate this provision of the WPLA, principles of comparative fault do not apply, notwithstanding the possibility that statutory contribution may thereby be precluded. Such a result is not in contravention of our state’s statutory comparative fault system, as commercial entities can themselves contract to allocate liability where the WPLA’s vicarious liability provision applies.

Accordingly, we affirm the trial court’s ruling that Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) is not entitled to seek to allocate fault to the manufacturer of the defective product that REI branded as its own. We also conclude that the trial court erred neither by finding REI strictly liable for the injuries caused by the defective product nor by ruling that any third party claim by REI against the manufacturer would be severed for trial.

I

In November 2007, Monika Johnson was riding her bicycle along a downtown Seattle sidewalk when the front carbon fiber fork of the bicycle, which attaches the bicycle’s front wheel to its frame, “sheared from the steer tube suddenly and without warning.” Clerk’s Papers (CP) at 57. The fork and front wheel detached from the frame of the bicycle, and Johnson fell face first onto the sidewalk, sustaining serious injuries.

Johnson brought an action against REI pursuant to the WPLA, alleging that her injuries were caused by a defect in the carbon fiber fork. Both the bicycle and the carbon fiber fork, although not manufactured by REI, were marketed under REI’s brand name, Novara. Johnson had purchased the Novara brand bicycle from REI in 2002. In 2005, she had taken the bicycle to REI for repairs following a collision with a car door. The Novara carbon fiber fork that fractured in November 2007 was installed on the bicycle during those 2005 repairs.

Johnson did not name the manufacturer of the fork, Aprebic Industry Company, Ltd., as a defendant in the action. REI filed a motion for partial summary judgment, seeking a ruling that it was entitled to ask the jury to allocate fault to Aprebic pursuant to Washington’s comparative fault system, set forth in chapter 4.22 RCW, or, in the alternative, requesting leave to file a third party complaint against Aprebic. In response, Johnson filed a motion for partial summary judgment, asserting that REI was strictly liable for her injuries.

In support of her summary judgment motion, Johnson submitted to the trial court the declaration of Gerald Zaminski, a professional engineer, who examined the bicycle and the carbon fiber fork and destructively tested the fork.

He found that the section of the fork where the fracture occurred “was manufactured using a relatively small number of [carbon fiber] layers.” CP at 106. He concluded that “[t]he small number of carbon fiber layers and their orientation interface resulted in the nucleation and propagation of cracking” and that this cracking “led to the catastrophic fracture and failure of the fork.” CP at 106. According to Zaminski, the thickness of the carbon fiber layering where the fracture occurred was “just a fraction of the thickness of the carbon fiber layup elsewhere in the fork and steerer tube.” CP at 106. He stated that the carbon fiber layers also “displayed voids, gaps, separations, and kinks, which are all indicative of defective manufacturing.” CP at 106. Zaminski also observed that the carbon fiber layers at the point of the fracture were “starved of epoxy,” making them “more susceptible to failure.” CP at 107. Zaminski declared that “[t]he orientation and makeup of the carbon fiber layers can only occur during manufacturing; they are not defects that can occur after the product has been manufactured.” CP at 107.

In response, REI submitted the declaration of David Mitchell, also a professional engineer, who inspected the bicycle and carbon fiber fork. Mitchell asserted that “there is presently insufficient information to rule out the accumulation of prior damage to the front fork as the cause of ultimate fork separation.” CP at 178. He stated that “the nature of the fracture was not determined” and that additional laboratory testing should be conducted, including loading an examplar fork to determine its breaking strength. CP at 177. He also noted that the bicycle itself was “clearly a high mileage vehicle” that displayed “substantial wear and tear.” CP at 176. Mitchell further suggested that a 2006 collision involving the bicycle, in which the rear wheel was damaged, could have contributed to the fork’s fracture. He opined that “f an element of that crash involved the front fork without creating visible damage, then it could be considered an initiating event for the fracture that serves as the basis for this law suit.” CP at 178.

The trial court denied REI’s motion to be permitted to seek to have the jury allocate fault to Aprebic and granted Johnson’s motion for summary judgment on the issue of strict liability. The trial court ruled that “[d]efendant REI has the liability of a ‘manufacturer’ as set forth in RCW 7.72.040(2)(e) and is strictly liable as a matter of law for all damages and injuries that plaintiff REI sought discretionary review of the trial court’s rulings. A commissioner of this court granted discretionary review of the trial court’s rulings on three issues: (1) whether comparative fault principles apply to Johnson’s claims, (2) whether REI is strictly liable for Johnson’s injuries, and (3) whether any third party claim brought by REI against Aprebic should be severed for trial.

II

REI first contends that the statutory comparative fault system adopted by our legislature in 1986 demands that it be permitted to ask the jury to allocate fault to Aprebic for the fork’s manufacturing defect. Because the WPLA expressly provides that REI, by selling the defective product under its own brand name, assumes the liability of the manufacturer, we disagree.

Questions of statutory interpretation are reviewed de novo. Happy Bunch, LLC v. Grandview N., LLC, 142 Wn. App. 81, 88, 173 P.3d 959 (2007). Whether the WPLA permits a product seller that brands a defective product as its own to attribute fault to the actual manufacturer is a question of statutory interpretation; thus, we review the question de novo.

Our primary duty in interpreting a statute is to discern and implement legislative intent. Dep’t of Ecology v. Campbell & Gwinn, LLC, 146 Wn.2d 1, 9, 43 P.3d 4 (2002). Where a statute is unambiguous, we derive its meaning from the plain language of the statute. Campbell & Gwinn, 146 Wn.2d at 9-10. Moreover, we must construe statutes such that no provision is rendered meaningless or superfluous. Whatcom County v. City of Bellingham, 128 Wn.2d 537, 546, 909 P.2d 1303 (1996).

In 1981, our legislature codified the law of product liability by enacting the Washington product liability act (WPLA), chapter 7.72 RCW. The WPLA distinguishes between and imposes different standards of liability on manufacturers and product sellers for harm caused by defective products. See RCW 7.72.030, .040. As a general rule, manufacturers of defective products are held to a higher standard of liability, including strict liability where injury is caused by a manufacturing defect or a breach of warranty. RCW 7.72.030(2).2 (a) A product is not reasonably safe in construction if, when the product left the control of the manufacturer, the product deviated in some material way from the design specifications or performance standards of the manufacturer, or deviated in some material way from otherwise identical units of the same product line. In contrast, product sellers are ordinarily liable only for negligence, breach of express warranty, or intentional misrepresentation. RCW 7.72.040(1). In limited circumstances, however, product sellers are subject to “the liability of a manufacturer,” including where “[t]he product was marketed under a trade name or brand name of the product seller.” RCW 7.72.040(2), (2)(e).3 The WPLA explicitly provides that “[a] product seller, other than a manufacturer, [has] the liability of a manufacturer” where “[t]he product was marketed under a trade name or brand name of the product seller.” RCW 7.72.040(2), (2)(e). Although, absent this provision, only a manufacturer could be held liable for a manufacturing defect, RCW 7.72.030(2), our legislature has chosen to hold particular product sellers liable for such acts—despite the fact that the manufacturer of the product is necessarily the entity that actually caused the defect where a product is defectively manufactured. Thus, by imposing liability on sellers of branded products for manufacturing defects—which, inevitably, are caused by acts of the manufacturer—our legislature created a statutory form of vicarious liability that enables the claimant injured by a defectively manufactured product to recover fully from the product seller where the seller branded the product as its own. See 16 David K. DeWolf & Keller W. Allen, Washington Practice: Tort Law & Practice, § 3.1, at 116 (3d ed. 2006) (“In contrast to direct liability, which is liability for breach of one’s own duty of care, vicarious liability is liability for the breach of someone else’s duty of care.”). Because a seller of a branded product is vicariously liable for manufacturing defects, permitting REI—the product seller liable as the manufacturer pursuant to RCW 7.72.040(2)(e)—to seek to allocate fault to Aprebic—the actual manufacturer of the defective product—would undermine the statutory scheme of the WPLA.

REI incorrectly contends that RCW 7.72.040(2)(e), rather than creating a statutory form of vicarious liability, instead merely imposes on sellers of branded products the liability standard to which manufacturers are held. Thus, according to REI, although product sellers are ordinarily liable only for negligence, breach of an express warranty, or intentional misrepresentation, pursuant to RCW 7.72.040(1), sellers of branded products may also be found liable, pursuant to RCW 7.72.040(2)(e), for design and construction defects, inadequate warnings, or breach of an implied warranty—acts for which generally only manufacturers are held liable. See RCW 7.72.030(1), (2). For this reason, REI argues that it should be permitted to attribute fault to Aprebic. This contention fails for two reasons.

First, had our legislature merely imposed on sellers of branded products the liability standard of manufacturers, as REI contends that it did, the legislature would have engaged in a meaningless act. RCW 7.72.030(2) provides that “[a] product manufacturer is subject to strict liability to a claimant if the claimant’s harm was proximately caused by the fact that the product was not reasonably safe in construction.” The statute defines a manufacturer as “a product seller who designs, produces, makes, fabricates, constructs, or remanufactures the relevant product . . . before its sale to a user or consumer.” RCW 7.72.010(2).

Here, REI, because it does not design, make, fabricate, construct, or remanufacture bicycle forks, could never be found by a trier of fact to have acted as an actual manufacturer. Thus, it could never be proved to have acted in such a way so as to expose it to direct liability as a manufacturer. Indeed, were it otherwise, the legislature would not have needed to enact RCW 7.72.040(2)(e)—by acting as a manufacturer, REI would be subject to direct manufacturer liability pursuant to RCW 7.72.030(2), rendering RCW 7.72.040(2)(e) superfluous. We will not assume that the legislature, by enacting RCW 7.72.040(2)(e), engaged in a meaningless act. See JJR Inc. v. City of Seattle, 126 Wn.2d 1, 10, 891 P.2d 720 (1995) (“When interpreting statutes, the court must assume that the Legislature does not engage in meaningless acts.”).

Similarly, construing RCW 7.72.040(2)(e) such that a product seller could seek to allocate fault to a manufacturer would render the provision itself meaningless, as the product seller could always avoid the allocation of any fault to it simply by attributing fault to the actual manufacturer. See Whatcom County, 128 Wn.2d. at 546 (noting that statutes must be construed such that all language is given effect and no provision in rendered meaningless or superfluous). Certainly, as a factual matter, where a manufacturing defect is at issue, the manufacturer—not the product seller—actually caused the defect.

Thus, were allocation of fault principles to apply, the manufacturer would necessarily be 100 percent responsible for the defectively manufactured product. Also necessarily, the product seller would avoid all such liability. Such a result would contravene our legislature’s clear intent that a product seller that brands a product as its own assumes the liability of the manufacturer.4

Although RCW 7.72.040(2)(e) does not permit the product seller to seek to allocate fault to the manufacturer, this provision is not inconsistent with Washington’s comparative fault system, set forth in chapter 4.22 RCW. REI argues to the contrary, contending that our legislature, by adopting comparative fault as the general rule for tort liability, endorsed the principle that “every entity responsible for committing a tort should be liable to the plaintiff based on its own individual share of the total fault, no more and no less.” Br. of Pet’r at 16. This overly broad assertion assumes that, by enacting RCW 4.22.070, our legislature eliminated vicarious liability, which it expressly did not do. Indeed, this specific statute itself explicitly retains principles of common law vicarious liability, in that it provides that “[a] party shall be responsible for the fault of another . . . where both were acting in concert or when a person was acting as an agent or servant of the party.” RCW 4.22.070(1)(a). Similarly, the WPLA provision at issue here is a statutory imposition of vicarious liability wherein the seller of a branded product is held liable for the actions of the manufacturer, notwithstanding that the product seller did not actually manufacture the defective product.

Permitting REI to attribute fault to Aprebic would effectively abrogate RCW 7.72.040(2)(e), as the product seller would never assume the liability that the legislature intended the seller to bear where the seller brands the product as its own. “Authority is legion that implied repeals of statutes are disfavored and courts have a duty to interpret statutes so as to give them effect.” Bellevue Sch. Dist. No. 405 v. Brazier Constr. Co., 103 Wn.2d 111, 122, 691 P.2d 178 (1984).

Because the WPLA and our state’s statutory comparative fault system can be reconciled, we will not hold that our legislature intended, by passing the tort reform act of 1986, to impliedly repeal RCW 7.72.040(2)(e). See Bellevue Sch. Dist., 103 Wn.2d at 123 (“Repeals by implication are not favored and will not be found to exist where earlier and later statutes may logically stand side by side and be held valid.”). We are loathe to find a silent repeal, and we decline to do so here.

Moreover, the fact that a product seller such as REI is not permitted to seek to allocate fault to the product manufacturer does not suggest an oversight by the legislature. Rather, it suggests a legislative intent to leave to the marketplace the means of allocating risk between commercial entities. The WPLA presupposes a contractual relationship between the product seller and the manufacturer, with or without an intermediary supplier, and, rather than legislatively imposing a means of risk allocation, assumes that sophisticated commercial parties will contract to allocate risk between themselves. Were we to hold that the WPLA permits REI to attribute fault to Aprebic, we would not only be acting in contradiction to the legislature’s clear intent—we would also be upsetting three decades of reliance on a statute that allows product sellers and manufacturers to themselves determine how best to allocate risk.

REI incorrectly asserts that Washington case law requires that it be permitted to attribute fault to Aprebic. REI cites Hiner v. Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc., 138 Wn.2d 248, 978 P.2d 505 (1999), for the proposition that comparative fault principles apply in all product liability cases. The plaintiff therein, a motorist injured in a collision, brought a product liability suit against the manufacturer of the snow tires that had been installed only on the vehicle’s front wheels. Hiner, 138 Wn.2d at 251. The snow tire manufacturer raised the affirmative defense of entity liability, “arguing that liability should be shared by the installer of the studded snow tires, the manufacturer of the Goodyear tires on the rear wheels, and the manufacturer of the Hyundai automobile.” Hiner, 138 Wn.2d at 259.

The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s dismissal of the affirmative defense, reasoning that the comparative fault statute permitted a defendant manufacturer to apportion fault only to those entities liable to the plaintiff pursuant to the WPLA. Hiner v. Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc., 91 Wn. App. 722, 736, 959 P.2d 1158 (1998). Our Supreme Court reversed, holding that “[t]he plain language of the contributory fault statute does not limit apportioning fault only to other manufacturers and product sellers in a product liability case.” Hiner, 138 Wn.2d at 264. The court based its reasoning on the broad definition of “fault” set forth in Washington’s comparative fault statute, which states that “fault” includes “acts or omissions . . . that subject a person to strict tort liability or liability on a product liability claim.” RCW 4.22.015.

The Hiner decision is inapposite. In Hiner, the manufacturer of the snow tires sought to attribute fault to other entities that, if found to be at fault, would be liable pursuant to theories of liability different than the theory of liability pursuant to which the manufacturer was liable. Here, REI contends that it should be permitted to attribute fault to another entity that, if found to be at fault, would be liable pursuant to precisely the same theory of liability—“the liability of a manufacturer”—as that of REI. REI, which pursuant to the WPLA has the liability of the manufacturer, seeks to attribute fault to Aprebic based on the theory that Aprebic is the actual manufacturer. Because REI is vicariously liable for Aprebic’s acts, the basis of both entities’ alleged liability is the same. Put another way, in Hiner the fault sought to be allocated was not the same fault. In Hiner, the fault sought to be allocated resulted from different acts; here, the fault sought to be allocated arises from the same acts. Hiner is not inconsistent with the decision we reach today.5

Moreover, the purpose of the comparative fault statute is “that fault be apportioned and . . . an entity be required to pay that entity’s proportionate share of damages only.” Washburn v. Beatt Equip. Co., 120 Wn.2d 246, 294, 840 P.2d 860 (1992). Pursuant to RCW 7.72.040(2)(e), REI’s proportionate share of damages is the full amount of damages. Thus, unlike in Hiner, no apportionment of fault is necessary to ensure that the defendant pays only its share of damages.

Applicable case law further undermines REI’s assertion that it should be permitted to attribute fault to Aprebic. In Farmers Insurance Co. of Washington v. Waxman Industries, Inc., 132 Wn. App. 142, 148, 130 P.3d 874 (2006), we reversed vacation of a default judgment holding Waxman strictly liable as the “manufacturer” of a defective water supply line that was sold under the Waxman trade name. Waxman’s motion to vacate stated that “defects in hoses ‘often’ can be attributed to component parts of the hose manufactured by some other entity.” Waxman, 132 Wn. App. at 146. Waxman further contended that it did not manufacture the allegedly defective water supply line. Waxman, 132 Wn. App. at 146.

We held that Waxman’s evidence was insufficient to support a meritorious defense as required for vacation of a default judgment. Waxman, 132 Wn. App. at 145. Given that a product seller that brands a product under its trade name is subject to the liability of the manufacturer pursuant to RCW 7.72.040(2)(e), we concluded that “[t]he materials submitted by Waxman do not explain how Waxman could avoid a finding of liability simply by proving that some other entity actually manufactured the supply line.” Waxman, 132 Wn. App. at 147.

Furthermore, we determined that “whatever right of indemnity and contribution Waxman may be able to establish against other entities is not a defense to Waxman’s own liability.” Waxman, 132 Wn. App. at 148. The principles we set forth in Waxman support the conclusion that REI may not seek to allocate fault to Aprebic, the manufacturer, where it assumed the liability of the manufacturer. RCW 7.72.040(2)(e) creates a statutory form of vicarious liability whereby the seller of a branded product assumes the liability of the manufacturer. Because permitting such a product seller to seek to allocate fault to the actual manufacturer pursuant to comparative fault principles would undermine our legislature’s intent in enacting this statutory provision, the trial court did not err by concluding that REI could not seek to allocate fault to Aprebic.

III

REI next contends that the trial court erred by concluding that REI is strictly liable for Johnson’s injuries. Specifically, REI asserts that the trial court erred by resolving issues of material fact in favor of Johnson and by finding that the alleged manufacturing defects were the cause of her injuries. We disagree.

“In reviewing a summary judgment order, the appellate court evaluates the matter de novo, performing the same inquiry as the trial court.” Snohomish County v. Rugg, 115 Wn. App. 218, 224, 61 P.3d 1184 (2002). Summary judgment is appropriate only where “there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and . . . the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.” CR 56(c). The moving party bears the burden of demonstrating that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact. Lamon v. McDonnell Douglas Corp., 91 Wn.2d 345, 349, 588 P.2d 1346 (1979). All reasonable inferences must be considered in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, and summary judgment may be granted only if a reasonable person could reach but one conclusion. Rugg, 115 Wn. App. at 224. A material fact “‘is a fact upon which the outcome of the litigation depends, in whole or in part.’” Lamon, 91 Wn.2d at 349 (quoting Morris v. McNicol, 83 Wn.2d 491, 494-95, 519 P.2d 7 (1974)). An affidavit submitted in support of or in response to a motion for summary judgment “does not raise a genuine issue of fact unless it sets forth facts evidentiary in nature, i.e., information as to what took place, an act, an incident, a reality as distinguished from supposition or opinion.” Rugg, 115 Wn. App. at 224. “ltimate facts, conclusions of fact, conclusory statements of fact or legal conclusions are insufficient to raise a question of fact.” Rugg, 115 Wn. App. at 224.

The WPLA provides that “[a] product manufacturer is subject to strict liability to a claimant if the claimant’s harm was proximately caused by the fact that the product was not reasonably safe in construction.” RCW 7.72.030(2). A product is not reasonably safe in construction if, when the product left the control of the manufacturer, the product deviated in some material way from the design specifications or performance standards of the manufacturer, or deviated in some material way from otherwise identical units of the same product line. RCW 7.72.030(2)(a). REI first contends that, because the statutory definition of a manufacturing defect requires that the product deviate from the manufacturer’s design specifications or performance standards, Johnson cannot prove that the bicycle’s fork contained a manufacturing defect without submitting to the court direct evidence of Aprebic’s design specifications or performance standards.

REI asserts that “there is no evidence in the record to establish that the fork at issue deviated from Aprebic’s design standards.” Br. of Pet’r at 34. To the contrary, Johnson submitted to the trial court evidence—in the form of Zaminski’s declaration—that the fork fractured due to insufficient carbon fiber layering. This evidence itself supports the conclusion that the fork “deviated in some material way from the design specifications or performance standards of the manufacturer,” RCW 7.72.030(2)(a), as no conceivable performance standard would call for the manufacture of a carbon fiber fork that fractures as Johnson’s did. Although on summary judgment all reasonable inferences must be drawn in favor of the nonmoving party, Rugg, 115 Wn. App. at 224, no reasonable inference can be drawn that a carbon fiber fork that fractures in this way performed in accordance with any manufacturer’s performance standards.6 REI next contends that genuine issues of material fact regarding causation remain, thus precluding summary judgment. However, despite REI’s assertion that the bicycle displayed “substantial wear and tear,” REI does not establish how the fact that the bicycle was a “high mileage vehicle” explains the fracture of the carbon fiber fork. See CP at 176. Thus, the alleged “wear and tear” on the bicycle is not a “‘fact upon which the outcome of the litigation depends.’” See Lamon, 91 Wn.2d at 349 (quoting Morris, 83 Wn.2d at 494-95).

REI further speculates that the 2006 collision, which resulted in damage to the back tire of the bicycle, may have been a contributing cause of the fracture of the fork. However, REI’s evidence does not explain how that collision could have contributed to the fracture. Moreover, REI’s evidence refutes neither Johnson’s expert’s assertion that the insufficient carbon fiber layering is a defect that can occur only during manufacture nor the same expert’s conclusion that this particular defect caused the fork to fracture. Rather, REI conjectures that “f an element of that crash involved the front fork without creating visible damage, then it could be considered an initiating event for the fracture that serves as the basis for this law suit.” CP at 178. REI cannot rely on speculation and conjecture to raise a genuine issue of material fact. See Rugg, 115 Wn. App. at 224.

The trial court did not erroneously resolve issues of material fact in favor of Johnson. To the contrary, its grant of summary judgment was appropriate because REI failed to raise any genuine issue of material fact as to its liability for Johnson’s injuries.

IV

Finally, REI contends that the trial court erred by ruling that any claim brought by REI against Aprebic would be bifurcated for trial from Johnson’s claim. We disagree.

A trial court’s decision to order separate trials is reviewed for an abuse of discretion. Maki v. Aluminum Bldg. Prods., 73 Wn.2d 23, 25, 436 P.2d 186 (1968) (“The right to order separate trials is a matter of discretion vested in the trial court by the rules.”). Civil Rule 20(b) permits the trial court to order separate trials to prevent delay or prejudice where a party would be delayed or “put to expense by the inclusion of a party against whom he asserts no claim and who asserts no claim against him.” Here, the trial court acted well within its discretion in finding that permitting REI to join Aprebic as a third party defendant would delay and prejudice the adjudication of Johnson’s claim and, thus, ruling that any claim brought by REI against Aprebic should be bifurcated for trial.

Notwithstanding that the trial court acted within its discretion pursuant to CR 20(b), REI contends that the trial court’s bifurcation ruling was erroneous because the court “appeared to be unaware of the impact such bifurcation would have on the viability of REI’s contribution claim.” Br. of Pet’r at 41-42. REI and Aprebic cannot be jointly and severally liable for Johnson’s injuries, as required to establish a statutory right to contribution, unless a judgment is entered against both parties in Johnson’s suit. See RCW 4.22.040 (noting that a right to contribution exists where the parties are jointly and severally liable); RCW 4.22.070(1)(b) (providing that only those defendants against whom judgment is entered may be jointly and severally liable for the claimant’s injuries). Thus, REI contends that the trial court abused its discretion by misapplying the law in issuing a ruling that would compromise REI’s right to seek contribution from Aprebic.

However, notwithstanding that REI may be precluded from seeking statutory contribution from Aprebic, the trial court did not abuse its discretion by misapplying the law. Indeed, this is not the first time that a court has upheld a proper application of the law despite negative consequences for a party’s contribution rights. In Kottler v. State, 136 Wn.2d 437, 439, 963 P.2d 834 (1998), our Supreme Court held that a settling party in a civil tort action is not entitled to seek contribution from another alleged tortfeasor where joint and several liability did not arise pursuant to the exceptions set forth in RCW 4.22.070. Because no judgment had been entered against the settling defendant, and, thus, joint and several liability did not arise, RCW 4.22.040 precluded the settling party from seeking contribution. See Kottler, 136 Wn.2d at 439; RCW 4.22.040 (“A right of contribution exists between or among two or more persons who are jointly and severally liable upon the same indivisible claim for the same injury.”).

Justice Talmadge wrote separately “to urge legislative attention toward the anomalous result this case requires.” Kottler, 136 Wn.2d at 450 (Talmadge, J., concurring). Although he “agree[d] with the majority’s resolution because the statutory language and our case law compel its result,” Kottler, 136 Wn.2d at 450, Justice Talmadge remarked that it appeared that proper application of the

1981 and 1986 tort reform acts effected a result that contradicted the legislature’s intent in enacting those very statutes. Kottler, 136 Wn.2d at 450. Thus, “[t]o more effectively execute [the legislature’s] intent,” Justice Talmadge implored the legislature to “address[] and correct[] this unfortunate situation in the tort law.” Kottler, 136 Wn.2d at 453. Notwithstanding Justice Talmadge’s appeal to the legislature, it has amended neither the 1981 nor the 1986 act to address this “anomalous result.”

Here, as in Kottler, a result dictated by proper application of the law leads to an “anomalous result” in that REI’s contribution rights are compromised. Here, also as in Kottler, the existence of such an anomaly suggests neither a misunderstanding nor a misapplication of the law. Rather, the trial court here properly understood and applied the law, notwithstanding that REI’s right to seek contribution may have been thereby compromised.

The trial court did not abuse its discretion by ruling that any claim by REI against Aprebic would be bifurcated for trial from Johnson’s claim.7

Outcome: Affirmed.

Plaintiff's Experts: Gerald Zaminski, Engineer

Defendant's Experts: David Mitchell, Engineer

Comments:

graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 22, 2011 - 03:48pm PT
Ken M.: Reddirt, what is your relation to this case?

Reddirt, you should not answer this or reveal anything about yourself personally. Also don't message him or he will receive your personal email address.

He's more interested in attacking you personally then in having an honest discussion. He will say anything he thinks will make you angry or hurt you.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 22, 2011 - 03:49pm PT
GC, that is the APPEALS decision you have copied. You can tell, by the word APPEALS in the first page.

I have suggested it would be good to look at the actual TRIAL decision, where they would have detailed the specifics of the facts. In appeals, they detail the issues of law, not of facts, althought they may be mentioned.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 22, 2011 - 03:52pm PT
Disclosure: I have no personal interest in this case. I am a member of REI, but use the stores infrequently, and don't consider myself a booster.
I do have a number of friends who work for one store or another.
locker

Social climber
CO
May 22, 2011 - 03:55pm PT

This is turning into a WEIRD thread...

I need some coffee...

Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 22, 2011 - 03:57pm PT
This is turning into a WEIRD thread...


No kidding. I've never seen someone supporting a thread spam it before with a super-long post.
Hankster

Social climber
BASE!
May 22, 2011 - 04:02pm PT
Ken M, I agree. Because getting butthurt because folks were not looking at your info/clicky enough is gonna make you post all 4' of it makes me wanna' read it less thatn ever. ugh...

caylor
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
May 22, 2011 - 04:09pm PT
Ugh, Redirt I had already heard extensive tales from her side.
That was new informantion.
What exaxtly did I miss?
I think I already told you once to take a deep breath.
I have no stake in this argument and I'm not biased.
You on the other hand are seriously unhinged and not helping your cause at all.

Maybe you feel stupid to have invested so much emotional energy in this?

You are reminding me of the kind of person who would sue Yosemite after rock fall kills your family member.

Sh#t happens girl- it is dangerous stuff we play with- if you get the chop it is just part of the game. You don't like it then take up chess and don't climb. There are many dangers we assume and if you don't get that then you shouldn't be climbing.
If I get the chop it is my fault!
I know there are plenty of idiots in the world- it is a responsibility I understand and hopefully take into considerarion and hopefully it keeps me alive.


Seriously- makes me wonder how much actual time you tards spend in your life helping people in real ways?
Perhaps if you all actually dedicated your lives to helping people, you would be less.resigned to the emotional baggage that accompanies lives lived selfishly?
Because for all your sound in fury? It doesn't actually accomplish sh#t and you are helping nobody- so don't fool yourselves.
John Moosie

climber
Beautiful California
May 22, 2011 - 04:10pm PT
Its clear to me why he posted the whole thing. He posted a link earlier, but based on questions that have been asked, it appears that few read the link.
John Moosie

climber
Beautiful California
May 22, 2011 - 04:14pm PT
Sh#t happens girl- it is dangerous stuff we play with- if you get the chop it is just part of the game. You don't like it then take up chess and don't climb. There are many dangers we assume and if you don't get that then you shouldn't be climbing.
If I get the chop it is my fault!

Riley, this is just crap. The girl was riding on city streets doing less then 5 miles an hour. Her fork broke, not because of anything she did, but because of poor manufacturing. If a piece of equipment you used broke in a manner it shouldn't have and caused you serious injury, and you discovered through expensive tests that it was poorly manufactured, would you just say.. oh well, its dangerous stuff we do.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 22, 2011 - 04:15pm PT
John, I know it's asking a lot, but could you be less vague. I don't really want to go back and read the whole thread, trying to find the specific link you mean, then reading another whole thread or whatever.....
John Moosie

climber
Beautiful California
May 22, 2011 - 04:19pm PT
Sure ken.. Its on the second page. Here is the link.

http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/02/11/rei.pdf

Here is the second page.

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1504239&tn=20


Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 22, 2011 - 04:19pm PT
Riley, this is just crap. The girl was riding on city streets doing less then 5 miles an hour. Her fork broke, not because of anything she did, but because of poor manufacturing. If a piece of equipment you used broke in a manner it shouldn't have and caused you serious injury, and you discovered through expensive tests that it was poorly manufactured, would you just say.. oh well, its dangerous stuff we do.

I agree with this, pretty much, accepting the assumptions.

The scenario makes no sense to me, but I'm not really interested in trying to parse that at this point. Presumably that was done in the trial that we aren't supposed to see.
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
May 22, 2011 - 04:20pm PT
Does anyone have a link to the original court case?
It would be interesting to know if the part of the appellate decision I posted was the result of a mistake by the defence team or a real problem with the fork.

Take a few breaths everyone....
John Moosie

climber
Beautiful California
May 22, 2011 - 04:26pm PT
Take a few breaths everyone....

I will if you will.

By the way.. your communicate hasn't been the clearest today. Its also been full of the attacks that you have complained about. Just saying bro.. might want to rewind yourself.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 22, 2011 - 04:31pm PT
GC, that is the APPEALS decision you have copied. You can tell, by the word APPEALS in the first page.

No kidding. I've never seen someone supporting a thread spam it before with a super-long post.

No kidding its an "APPEALS decision" That's why everyone has been calling it the "Court of Appeals decision." This has been discussed fairly extensively. How many times do you have to hear "Court of Appeals" before you figue out its what you call an "APPEALS decision."

You accuse people of not posting facts and not posting links, but you don't read posts or links.

I'd already posted a cut and paste excerpt showing the court, parties, and their respective legal counsel. An online version was already linked to by one of the lawyers.

But it was not until I reposted it that you finally got it that it's a Court of Appeals decision. And then two posts later you call it "spam". That is after you all but accuse of "hiding" facts presented in the opinion.

The reason I had to post it was for people like you and Riley.
Mangy Peasant

Social climber
Riverside, CA
May 22, 2011 - 04:31pm PT
The point is that two courts have already sided against REI & they are choosing to draw this out.

Reminds me of another case.

Brown shirks responsibility & appeals Board of Education case

The District Court ruled in favor of the Board of Education, citing the U.S. Supreme Court precedent set in Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896), which had upheld a state law requiring "separate but equal" segregated facilities for blacks and whites in railway cars.[15] The three-judge District Court panel found that segregation in public education has a detrimental effect upon negro children, but denied relief on the ground that the negro and white schools in Topeka were substantially equal with respect to buildings, transportation, curricular, and educational qualifications of teachers.

They lost the appeal...but still continued to drag it out...
reddirt

climber
PNW
Topic Author's Reply - May 22, 2011 - 04:39pm PT
Riley, if you go back & read what you wrote & when you wrote it, paying attn to chronology, you will see that you wrote things that can be construed as extremely callous & not factual before you read the facts... and then proceeded to post excerpts out of context.

I suspect that the key is in the sentence 1st engineer that the fork was sent to: "He found that the section of the fork where the fracture occurred “was manufactured using a relatively small number of [carbon fiber] layers.”"

Even in light of the defendant's engineer (rear wheel blah blah, even in light that this is a carbon frame), this suggests poor manufacturing, thus potentially poor due diligence on REI's behalf thus REI's responsibility for the failure.

2 courts seem to see it this way. REI chooses to string it out to a 3rd.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 22, 2011 - 04:45pm PT
Common sense is the fork is loose

It wasn't "loose." It broke suddenly and catastrophically. It was to all appearances fine one second and the next second it was broken and Monika was on the sidewalk.

Ms. Johnson never noticed anything amiss or out of the ordinary with respect to the Fork before the accident. (CP 57.) She did not notice any cracks, dings or irregularity in shape. (ld.) From her perspective, the Fork looked completely normal and just the same as a front fork on any other road bicycle. (Id.) Similarly, she did not notice any flaws or irregularity with the performance of the Fork when she rode. (Id.) Ms. Johnson's bicycle did not exhibit any outward signs of damage or defect prior to the November 19,2007 accident. (Id.)
reddirt

climber
PNW
Topic Author's Reply - May 22, 2011 - 04:45pm PT
At what point do you have a pesonal responsiblity to look at your bike?

she had the fork looked at & replaced by REI before the accident.

Even after the accident, REI had her to pay 10K for engineering tests, presumably electron microscopy & such. Perhaps REI thought she'd not fight it & walk away given the cost, a tactic (force petitioner to do time/$consuming work up front) used by, ironically insurance companies.

It came back to bite them in the a$$. They could have chosen an easier route for themselves by backing up their product like they said they would. REI lost. REI chose to apppeal. REI lost again. REI appeals again. Yes it's w/in their right but it sure as hell isn't the right thing to do, business-wise nor morally.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 22, 2011 - 04:45pm PT
For everyone who's interested in the facts and legal arguments as opposed to ad hominem attacks.

http://www.courts.wa.gov/content/Briefs/A01/654632%20Appellant's.pdf

http://www.courts.wa.gov/content/Briefs/A01/654632%20Respondent's.pdf

You need to read them both to hear both sides.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 22, 2011 - 04:49pm PT
you wrote things that can be construed as extremely callous & not factual before you read the facts... and then proceeded to post excerpts out of context.

Riley jumped in after 200 posts and without reading anything claimed that there were no facts, blamed everything on the innocent victim. And Ken M. found that the "best thing he ever read."
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 22, 2011 - 04:53pm PT
your communicate hasn't been the clearest today

?????
aspendougy

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
May 22, 2011 - 05:01pm PT
REI sells so much stuff, like any retailer, it is hard to imagine a system where they could check for manufacturing defects on all their products.

It seems to me the fork manufacturer should be sued and not REI.
Rankin

Social climber
Greensboro, North Carolina
May 22, 2011 - 05:09pm PT
This is turning into a WEIRD thread...

Hahahahahaha. Locker, I think it's been there for awhile. I checked in for the first time in a few days and was shocked to see people still kicking the ball around. Hell, I read the court's opinion because I think it's interesting...but c'mon people. Get a room!
John Moosie

climber
Beautiful California
May 22, 2011 - 05:10pm PT
The problem is you folks can not juggle more then one thought at a time.
Read instead of reacting angrily.

I thought you said you were going to chill out. This isn't chilling out. And the "you" part is offensive because no one knows who you are talking about. So man up and point specifically to whom you mean. I'm tired of guessing.
Mangy Peasant

Social climber
Riverside, CA
May 22, 2011 - 05:16pm PT
why repost w/o posting the extensive preceeding paragraph.... and upstream where it states, "In 2005, she had taken the bicycle to REI for repairs following a collision with a car door. The Novara carbon fiber fork that fractured in November 2007 was installed on the bicycle during those 2005 repairs."

No one is disputing that the fork came from REI or that the expert hired by the defense claims that there is was a manufacturing defect.

I don't think anyone here even disputes that claim the fork was a piece of sh#t.

More importantly, no one is disputing that Monika should be reimbursed for the accident. Not even REI.

The question is: whether REI should pay, of the bike manufacturer?

I don't don't see any facts that support the idea REI thinks that she shouldn't get squat from anyone. REI is only arguing that the manufacturer should cut the check, not REI.

As long as she is compensated by the responsible party, then there is justice.

Who is the responsible party? I don't care. I'm not interested enough in product liability law to follow the details. The court will decide.

REI is not arguing that an injured person should not be compensated, they are arguing that the injury should not be compensated with REI's money. They are not trying to deny Monika justice. REI is trying to prevent what they perceive as an injustice against them.

Think about this: If REI pays, then the bike manufacturer (the people who clearly made a few extra bucks by skimping on the materials) won't have to pay.

Is that fair? Is that the "correct" outcome?

Ultimately, what is being disputed in this thread [edit] is the claim that this incident demonstrates that REI engages in unethical business practices.

There's way too much going on here to come to that conclusion based on one story.






Mangy Peasant

Social climber
Riverside, CA
May 22, 2011 - 05:25pm PT
Hahahahahaha. Locker, I think it's been there for awhile. I checked in for the first time in a few days and was shocked to see people still kicking the ball around. Hell, I read the court's opinion because I think it's interesting...but c'mon people. Get a room!


Dude, it's the internet.

It's ST...the home of the "Republicans" thread.

And just because you are only watching doesn't mean you aren't a perv also.

And I'm stuck in an airport...

Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 22, 2011 - 06:42pm PT

But it was not until I reposted it that you finally got it that it's a Court of Appeals decision. And then two posts later you call it "spam". That is after you all but accuse of "hiding" facts presented in the opinion.

GC, I have read the opinion, and quoted the APPEALS opinion. I have repeatedly asked for the ORIGINAL court opinion, NOT the APPEALS opinion, which you repeatly put up in it's place.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 22, 2011 - 06:46pm PT
Even after the accident, REI had her to pay 10K for engineering tests, presumably electron microscopy & such. Perhaps REI thought she'd not fight it & walk away given the cost, a tactic (force petitioner to do time/$consuming work up front) used by, ironically insurance companies.


See, this is where I start to have trouble: Presumably. I am not interested in presuming things. I'd like to see the testimony of the expert, or at least the decision of the court, (NOT APPEALS!), where they should lay it all out.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 22, 2011 - 06:54pm PT
you wrote things that can be construed as extremely callous & not factual before you read the facts... and then proceeded to post excerpts out of context.


Riley jumped in after 200 posts and without reading anything claimed that there were no facts, blamed everything on the innocent victim. And Ken M. found that the "best thing he ever read."

GC, you are really determined to win people to your side, aren't you?

You have someone "jump in after 200 posts"
(here is where you start manufacturing facts)
blames everything on the innocent victim. and Ken M. found that the "best thing he ever read.

No, that is where I praised her asking for facts. Is your argument so weak that you have to lie? Here is my post:

This was the best thing I've read:


Now can someone highlight actual facts of this case?
Because all I have read is that REI this and REI that and they didnt help the poor girl, blah blah blah

You guys are asking us to not buy from REI because a girl fell on her face while riding a bike? A girl who is now dead because she fell off a cornice?
I read that somebody wants to even blame her falling off a cornice on REI.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 22, 2011 - 07:35pm PT
I have repeatedly asked for the ORIGINAL court opinion, NOT the APPEALS opinion, which you repeatly put up in it's place.

Huh? I only posted the Wash Court of Appeals opinion once and not in response to your petulant "demands." I posted it for people who hadn't bothered to read it and coudn't be bothered to follow the link, while simultaneously accusing everyone else of not having any facts. The link had been posted earlier by someone else before you joined the thread, but you didn't read that. Again lack of attention to detail.

I've noticed that you spew a lot vitriol, make accusations you can't substantiate and don't contribute anything of value. Why can't you find anything useful to post? Why are you just acting like a helpless baby stamping your feet and demanding things. I've already posted the Wash Court of Appeals and links to both appellate briefs? What have you contributed? You haven't brought anything to the table but hatred and irrational ranting.
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
May 22, 2011 - 07:39pm PT
Not talking about what you "think," Riley, as I'm not at all clear that that is happening at all. I'm only talking about what you WROTE and how insane and offensive THAT was.

Regarding facts, that's exactly what I supplied. You didn't catch them, though, because you seem to live in some alternate universe where "personal responsibility" means something like rising above causal chains in Godlike fashion.

Here's two FACTS for ya, "bra." One: Monica suffered severe injuries as a direct result of manufacturing defect. Two: in the REAL WORLD we hold said manufacturer responsible for such defects, NOT the victim of such defects.

Chew on those FACTS for awhile and see if a light bulb doesn't come on somewhere in the murk for ya "bra!"
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 22, 2011 - 07:40pm PT
Riley jumped in after 200 posts and without reading anything claimed that there were no facts, blamed everything on the innocent victim. And Ken M. found that the "best thing he ever read."

In support I posted Ken M.'s entire message so everything would be in context and the accuracy of this would be self-evident.
locker

Social climber
CO
May 22, 2011 - 07:51pm PT


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDDHcN75HnU&feature=related


graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 22, 2011 - 08:29pm PT
mad bolter is an utter loon and religious fanatic incapable of rational thought or self examination

Book author, professor of philosophy at a respected college. I've always found his posts to be very rational and intelligent, even when I don't agree with him.
stinkeye

Gym climber
shytehole known as reno
May 22, 2011 - 08:41pm PT
Gc, you have your panties all twisted up over this case. Please, tell us all so we can share in the disdain for rei, what amount in damages are her attorneys asking for? What is their demand? And please, don't piecemeal it with that horseshit about a test of the fork. Would rei make you panties unbunch if they forgot about joint tortfeasor liability and instead paid monicas estate $15,000 immediately?

I
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
May 22, 2011 - 09:16pm PT
http://www.courts.wa.gov/search/index.cfm?fa=search.home

Search Monika Johnson for those who are interested.
To read what REI presented to the Appellate court - there are 55 pages.

There were actually not just two but three accidents with this bike that REI knows about.
Bike was bought in 2002
The first required an entirely new frame and the fork in 2005
The second was an accident with a car where she needed a back tire replaced in 2006.
The third was when she crashed on the streer not her face.
She brought the lawsuit 18 months later.

There are serious problems with the initial conclusions of the fork weakness by Monika's hired engineer.
There was absolutly no comparison studies with other forks, no prior spec knowledge, and no testing of failure strength specs on any forks.

The REI metalurgist had serious problem with the initial conclusions and all findings and no time for more specific testing was allowed by the courts. Specifically, failure testing on this and other forks.
Knowing how experts over reach and screw up even the most basic studies I have no faith in any of these conclusions especially since the plaintiff paid 10,000 for the results.

It was noted that there was obvious damage, and severe wear and tear on this bike with the bike having been painted at least once.

REI also not allowed the time to depose Monika.

I have a hard time understanding the incompetence in this case as it relates to REI except that they were involved in very complex tort law that looks like, at first look, was not legal when found in favor of Monica either.

Sympathy and a few bucks can go a long way in our litigant society.
ER medicine has been half destroyed ,if not completly in some places by defensive medicine.
It is easy to hate big companies and feel bad for hurt people but the reality is often far more complex.


Anyway- ask yourself how much you would want to pay if this was YOUR COMPANY. A woman who has a 6 year old bike with at least three known bike damaging accidents on record and an unknown amount of other hard use and wear and tear. Further more the replacement part was not even made by you and there are laws in place to mitigate your liability as it relates to the manufacturer.


Then look at the other side- girl rides her bike and through possibly no incompetence of her own the bike breaks and she falls on her face and breaks it. Be nice to know the entire truth.
If those forks truly were faulty- testing by a third party perhaps.
Everyone is just to damn corrupt these days- I don't trust anyone.
And there isnt enough imformation here for me.

I would lean towards REI due to the damage from multiple accidents concerning her bike.
At what point do you own a bike and what goes wrong with it?
Three accidents on record with the same bike- probably many more that didn't require replacement parts.

18 months is a long time to decide to bring a lawsuit-perhaps REI was rude to her or perhaps they were just sick of the girl with the 6 year old bike with multiples crashes and broken parts.

You can find and read her avalanche accident report on the net also.
Not in anyway an example of a responsible mountaineer and a final accident.










Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 22, 2011 - 09:22pm PT
Huh? I only posted the Wash Court of Appeals opinion once and not in response to your petulant "demands." I posted it for people who hadn't bothered to read it and coudn't be bothered to follow the link, while simultaneously accusing everyone else of not having any facts. The link had been posted earlier by someone else before you joined the thread, but you didn't read that. Again lack of attention to detail.


Is it Graniteclimber, or GraniteBrain? I read every post in this thread, and followed the links to the Appeal, and read every word. I don't need you re-referring me to it, nor posting it. Is that clear? what detail in what I've just written is unclear to you?
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 22, 2011 - 09:34pm PT
I've noticed that you spew a lot vitriol, make accusations you can't substantiate and don't contribute anything of value. Why can't you find anything useful to post? Why are you just acting like a helpless baby stamping your feet and demanding things. I've already posted the Wash Court of Appeals and links to both appellate briefs? What have you contributed? You haven't brought anything to the table but hatred and irrational ranting.

Well, pardon me for questioning your perfectionness.

However, you are apparently advocating the climbing community take action, based upon what you are posting. I personally find that information wanting, in terms of your assertions.

I also don't know your motives. I've asked for you to disclose your relationship to the case, and you've responded with rude remarks, and cautions others to not respond, also.....while at the same time I was challenged, and did respond.

You appear to be involved in trying to exaggerate an unfortunate situation, and take advantage of a person's death. That is the appearance, I don't know the truth.

Let's just have some transparency and openness, and perhaps I'll be on your side, as well.
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
May 22, 2011 - 09:34pm PT
It is easy to hate big companies and feel bad for hurt people but the reality is often far more complex.

You're starting to sing a bit different tune now, old boy. Finally you are starting to talk about this a bit like an actual tort case, instead of your previous septic-tank-fill: "Her fault she fell on her own face instead of doing a cool shoulder roll."
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 22, 2011 - 09:57pm PT
My earlier post:


Ken M.:

I have repeatedly asked for the ORIGINAL court opinion, NOT the APPEALS opinion, which you repeatly put up in it's place.

Huh? I only posted the Wash Court of Appeals opinion once and not in response to your petulant "demands."
I posted it for people who hadn't bothered to read it and coudn't be bothered to follow the link, while simultaneously accusing everyone else of not having any facts. The link had been posted earlier by someone else before you joined the thread, but you didn't read that. Again lack of attention to detail.

I've noticed that you spew a lot vitriol, make accusations you can't substantiate and don't contribute anything of value. Why can't you find anything useful to post? Why are you just acting like a helpless baby stamping your feet and demanding things. I've already posted the Wash Court of Appeals and links to both appellate briefs? What have you contributed? You haven't brought anything to the table but hatred and irrational ranting

To this post, Ken M. responds:

Is it Graniteclimber, or GraniteBrain? I read every post in this thread, and followed the links to the Appeal, and read every word. I don't need you re-referring me to it, nor posting it. Is that clear? what detail in what I've just written is unclear to you?


I thought I'd made it pretty clear that I'd posted the Court of Appeal opinion ONCE and not repeatedly like you accused me of doing. (And you claim you read every post?)

Also, I thought I made it pretty clear that the Court of Appeals opinion was not posted in response to your "demands." I had Riley more in mind as being able to benefit from it.

I have to say that Riley started out with one of the most ignorant and callous posts that I"ve seen on this thread, but he's been learning and thinking and his post quality is improving. I don't agree with him, but at least he's starting to make a contribution. On the other hand, your posts just went from low to lower.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 22, 2011 - 10:09pm PT
Let's just have some transparency and openness, and perhaps I'll be on your side, as well.

What I've noticed about you, Ken M. is that you are willing to ignore the facts and arguments, tear into the victim and her friends just to score points against someone you are carrying out a vendetta against. I believe that you really don't care about the facts--it's just about tearing people down you are angry at. I already posted who I was earlier. You can confirm with Klimmer if you do not believe me.
apogee

climber
May 22, 2011 - 10:24pm PT
Wow. I thought the drama-queen repetitiveness of polititard threads was over the top.

I stand corrected.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 22, 2011 - 10:57pm PT
I believe that you really don't care about the facts--it's just about tearing people down you are angry at. I already posted who I was earlier. You can confirm with Klimmer if you do not believe me

Third time. I am NOT asking who you are. I could not care less who you are. I am asking what your relationship to this case is. Just like I was asked about, and responded.

That would be a fact that I am caring about.
John_Box

climber
May 23, 2011 - 12:00am PT
I don't really even want to post in this thread but here goes. Remember you are talking about a person that was involved in the PacNW ski community and that what you are writing may be read by some very close friends/family of hers. It's just the internet, don't be afraid to be "wrong" and step away from the thread and let the argument die.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 23, 2011 - 12:08am PT
I am asking what your relationship to this case is.

Asked and answered. (Caught you! You haven't read every post on this thread like you claimed! I'll bet you missed my post where I described my attitude towards REI also.)

Locker even posted my picture.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 23, 2011 - 12:21am PT
The appellate briefs are interesting. Read both REI's and Monika's.
I would love to read the discovery materials, the submissions to the trial court judge and the trial court's opinion. From what's in the appellate briefs, it sure sounds like REI's lawyers really screwed the pooch at the trial court level. How did it come to pass that REI found itself trying to defend itself without it's own analysis of the failed fork!? But it's just speculation without seeing the trial court materials.

Bike was bought in 2002
The first required an entirely new frame and the fork in 2005

REI's lawyers harp on this, but it's not that relevant since it was the fork that failed. She got a brand new fork in 2005 and that was the fork that failed. So while the bike may have suffered wear and tear (including the accident necessitating the new fork), none of that affected the fork. She got it July 2005 and it failed November 2007.
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
May 23, 2011 - 07:17am PT
There was another accident in 2006 though, after the fork and frame were replaced, that required the replacement of the rear tire.

I agree that fork should never fail generally.

But there is a reasonable question of massive wear and tear and subsequent damage to this bike.

I agree- I don't get how rhe REI attorney's screwed this up so badly.
Except to say that they asked for a continuance and more time to depose Monika and complete further testing on the bike and were denied.

This case actually has far reaching ramifications. I don't get that REI was trying to pass off blame or even took this very seriously.
At first they were just stating and argueing a fact. Even stating to effect - we don't know what occured here with the fork either way and they didn't argue for or against a possible.defect- they just argued that present law makes the manufacturer liable according to present Washington state percentage laws- which it did.
If justice is what was wanted I do not know why the bike manufacturer or the part maker was not listed in the law suit. I think she probably ended up very pissed at REI. Or maybe there was more money to be gained by suing REI- sounds like she had some good attorneys who maybe smelt a big payday and blood- could be that the whole thing got away on her once attorneys got a hold of the thing.
So the ramifications are that large stores like REI probably carry less product to decrease thier third party liability.

I still don't get something though and would like to get into the tort precedent of the case a little more but that would require serious study. But if REI sells Omega link cams that fail is REI liable? Same thing goes for Walmart selling some bad Chinese product or a bad Good Year tire product.
Or is it just the fact that REI had the REI name on the box? Did they in fact? I'm confused about that?

Thinking about this very deeply now which I didn't want to do- but I feel the personal tragedy here now with this woman. Yes, great sadness....what a mess....
Which is why I had the initial natural selection instinct I think-you can not depend on people.
Lawyers, REI, even Doctors and Nurses- they will f*#k you...
Best to be vigilant in your care in everyway possible

You have to wonder if REI did not want further specific testing because there was a defect in the fork?
If they did not then they are Motherf*#kers..
So much is unknown
This like everything is about the details...
But the appeals court sure didn't like what they saw..
And what about the recall?
There was another failure?
Can we find that?
Hmmm.....
I tell ya folks- I'm on board with ya if I can see they screwed this girl over.
I would like to know the story on the other fork failure.
I mean 2 failures in 260 forks? That is probably our crux.
That shouldn't happen right? I mean that is catastrophic...
What is the failure rate of forks?



FortMental

Social climber
Albuquerque, NM
May 23, 2011 - 07:43am PT
I would lean towards REI due to the damage from multiple accidents concerning her bike.
At what point do you own a bike and what goes wrong with it?

One of the things that must never ever happen to critical components is sudden "Catastrophic failure", meaning the part breaks completely with no warning. This is part of the reason why bike frames have used the particular aluminum they do....it will deform plastically before complete failure. For many years, forks on alumnum bikes were made of steel because they were safest (at the time).

A warranty period is a reflection of how confident the manufacturer is of their product and how it's used.... typically 6 mo - 1 yr for a frame, 3 mo for a carbon fiber fork, all tied to the original owner.

With bikes and parts made of crazy lightweight materials, this breakage problem is becoming more of an issue.



Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
May 23, 2011 - 07:54am PT
"With bikes and parts made of crazy lightweight materials, this breakage problem is becoming more of an issue."

Interesting....hadn't thought of this.
So can it be argued that there is more responsibility needed, by the owner, if a carbon fiber bike is in any type of high mechanism accident that damages the bike.

blahblah

Gym climber
Boulder
May 23, 2011 - 08:08am PT
If justice is what was wanted I do not know why the bike manufacturer or the part maker was not listed in the law suit. I think she probably ended up very pissed at REI.

Well REI was the "bike manufacturer" as most people would use that term--it was sold under REI's trademark. I know that my Toyota contains parts made by many different companies, but Toyota is the "manufacturer" of the vehicle from my perspective.

As to why the plaintiff didn't sue the Taiwanese company that made the fork--my guess is that there was no jurisdiction over that company in Washington (or anywhere in the US), or even if there was jurisdiction, suing and then collecting against a foreign defendant can be difficult or impossible. I have no idea what laws in Taiwan may apply, but good luck bringing that suit.
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
May 23, 2011 - 08:50am PT
Riley, your recent points are much appreciated! It seems to me that those sorts of points and questions are really productive.

I, too, think that the apparent failure rate we're seeing with these forks is abominable. And, yes, how would somebody go after the "manufacturer" if it's not the branding/selling company here in the USA?

Points about Toyota as "manufacturer" also well taken.

My "take" so far is that, regardless of what all the material facts might turn out to be, REI did not handle this well even from a PR perspective! As a manufacturer/distributor, what you want to do in a case like this is tell the injured party: "Without any admission of culpability in this matter, just as a 'good-natured' company, we want to step up and help you get to the facts. Let's start by paying for TWO forensic analyses: one by 'your guy' and one by 'our guy.' Let's see what turns up there. And meanwhile, here's a significant chunk of change to help with your medical bills until we can sort this out. And please accept our sincerest sympathy for your injuries!"

Naive, I know, in our present litigious society. But, seriously, this sort of approach is how I run my company, and I hope we don't lose some of our basic principles as we grow and become more of a "target."

I'd be curious to know how often REI has been sued over product liability issues during the course of its history. I would guess not very often. Recreational gear is amazingly reliable in general.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 23, 2011 - 03:07pm PT
But if REI sells Omega link cams that fail is REI liable? Same thing goes for Walmart selling some bad Chinese product or a bad Good Year tire product.
Or is it just the fact that REI had the REI name on the box? Did they in fact? I'm confused about that?

To me this is the KEY point. If REI sells Omega link cams that fail, REI should not be liable, Omega should. Same with Walmart selling a bad Good Year product. No argument from me there.

But Novarra is an REI brand.

Go to google right now and search for "novara rei" but without the quotation marks. Your first result will be this:

Novara bikes for road, mountain and commuting, plus cycling - REI.com
REI makes top-rated Novara bikes for all types of cycling including mountain, road, touring and commuting, plus bikes for designed for women and kids.
http://www.rei.com/brand/Novara - Cached - Similar

Or just click here: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=novara+rei

I find the Toyota analogy persuasive. If you buy a Toyota and then a wheel falls off, should you be able to go after Toyota? What if Toyota tells you that they are not responsible because the bolts that broke were sub-contracted to some firm in Vietnam - should you still be able to go after Toyota, or should start looking on the Net for Vietnamese law firms and hope that you will be able to successfully sue them?
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
May 23, 2011 - 04:00pm PT
Fairly
Aprebic

Fairly bike company purchased the replacement bike parts from Aprebic. Aprebic manufactured the replacement fork .

The Toyota analogy is poor.
She bought a Toyota, crashes it, then bought a defective replacement part and places it on her Toyota- say for the purpose of analogy she bought a new frontaxle.

She then got in another accident, a year later, in which she needed more replacement parts- a rear axle.
Then, another year later, the front axle failed.

It is also important to note that the jury in this case was not allowed know about the third accident- this was one of the many reasons for appeal.
A third accident where she was hit by a car! And needed a new rear tire.

We don't know what involved the first accident- but along with the new fork she needed an entirely new frame!

It is a retarded case.
REI was never even given the time to depose her.

But for me the crux is that fork
There needed to be third party examination.
REI could have just recalled the parts because they didn't know what is going on, just to protect themselves from possible future problems.

REI got lost in the tort law of this case with out ever getting to examine, testand depose the merits of the case in the first place.

Really there are two cases going on here.
The first case is the injury case which is an absolute mess.
The other is the tort case concerning third party manufacturers and how responsible a large chain should be for what is sold on its shelves- which present laws had already decided was not REIs responsibility.
REI lost both- why?
Because a girl who is obviously very good at gathering sympathy was probably effective in the same way with the judge and the jury.
Hard to argue with a nice girl who has been hurt very badley by a big bad company.

I honestly wonder if the knowledge of her death will effect the outcome of the second appeal?
I mean it shouldn't- but if you are suing for an accident that is supposed to be someone else's fault and you die in yet another accident, that is 100 percent your fault, before the case is over, it can not be good for your case.

Ain't no flatlander

climber
May 23, 2011 - 04:01pm PT
So the take away from all this: people who abuse bikes shouldn't buy cheap carbon fiber. Multiple crashes after the frame and fork were replaced is the real issue. Not manufacturing defects. Blaming the "evil corporation" is a nice sentiment but really doesn't improve safety or help anyone but greedy lawyers.
blahblah

Gym climber
Boulder
May 23, 2011 - 04:44pm PT
Riley your last post was just a mess.
For starters, there was no jury in this case, as the trial court found that there were no genuinely disputed facts that would require a jury's fact finding ability. The Court of Appeals agreed. Apparently the case is still under appeal to the Washington Supreme Court, but I'm taking other people's word for that--I haven't reviewed the records.

Anyway, the judge would never have met or seen the plaintiff in all likelihood, as there was no trial--the case was decided on written documents (that's essentially what "summary judgment" means, which is what happened in this case).
Further, for better or worse, there is generally no provision for any "third party" examination of the fork: each side has its experts--there are no truly independent experts. Maybe there should be, but that's not how the game is played.

Don't mean to flame you too bad and I'm sure you have some good thoughts on this, but your lack of knowledge of how a lawsuit works causes you to make some crazy, flat-out wrong assumptions about what went on.

Edit--actually after re-reading my post, it doesn't perfectly describe the posture of the case, which is complicated. The case isn't over yet--the trial court made certain, important rulings that were appealed before the case was concluded (that's relatively unusual), and that's where things are now.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 23, 2011 - 04:56pm PT
The Toyota analogy is poor.
She bought a Toyota, crashes it, then bought a defective replacement part and places it on her Toyota- say for the purpose of analogy she bought a new frontaxle.

She then got in another accident, a year later, in which she needed more replacement parts- a rear axle.
Then, another year later, the front axle failed.

This is a better match to the facts:

She bought a Toyota, crashes it, then took it back to Toyota for a warranty repair. They replace the front axle.

She then got in a minor accident which caused only a flat tire.

Then, another year later, the front axle failed.


Read pages 3 & 4 here:
http://www.courts.wa.gov/content/Briefs/A01/654632%20Appellant's.pdf

Also read pages 3 & 4 here:
http://www.courts.wa.gov/content/Briefs/A01/654632%20Respondent's.pdf
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 23, 2011 - 05:05pm PT
I am asking what your relationship to this case is.

Asked and answered. (Caught you! You haven't read every post on this thread like you claimed! I'll bet you missed my post where I described my attitude towards REI also.)


Graniteclimber, I'm now calling you out for the liar that you are.

Just to be sure, I reread the entire thread. As I accurately remembered, you have never identified your relationship to this case, other than to not answer in various creative ways.

I have to assume that you are doing this for a reason, and it must be somthing that would embarrass you if it were known, or you'd just answer.

So, if you contest me, quote the phrase where you answered. There isn't one, except for your non-answers.

Putz.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 23, 2011 - 05:18pm PT
So the take away from all this: people who abuse bikes shouldn't buy cheap carbon fiber. Multiple crashes after the frame and fork were replaced is the real issue. Not manufacturing defects.

Were buyers of the bike aware they were buying a "cheap carbon fiber" fork that wouldn't hold up to hard use, or did buyers think they were getting an REI made "top-rated Novara bicycle?" (Again, REI's marketing line: "REI makes top-rated Novara bikes for all types of cycling including mountain, road, touring and commuting, plus bikes for designed for women and kids." http://www.lmgtfy.com/?q=novara+rei);

How common is it for forks to fail? There were 260 units sold in 2005 (or around there) and by 2009 there were two failures that we know of, both of which resulted in significant injuries. "Injuries reported include a fractured clavicle, broken teeth, facial damage and head injuries." I didn't see anything saying that Monika broker her clavicle, so that must have happened to the second person.

2 out of 260 -- Is this a high number or a low number for bicycle forks? I'm asking because I don't know. This isn't my thing. A lot of my friends ride but none of them have mentioned anything about breaking a fork.








http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09234.html

Office of Information and Public Affairs Washington, DC 20207

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 2, 2009
Release # 09-234 Firm’s Recall Hotline: (800) 426-4840
CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908
Bicycles Recalled by REI Due to Fork Failure

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.
Name of Product: 2005 Novara Trionfo Bicycles

Units: About 260

Distributor: Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI), of Kent, Wash.

Hazard: The fork can separate from the steerer tube which can cause the rider to lose control, posing a fall hazard.

Incidents/Injuries: The firm has received two reports of forks separating causing riders to fall. Injuries reported include a fractured clavicle, broken teeth, facial damage and head injuries.

Description: This recall involves 2005 Novara Trionfo bicycles with Aprebic carbon fiber forks. The bicycles are blue and white with black forks, and have the name “Novara” printed on the bars.

Sold at: REI retail stores nationwide from January 2005 through August 2006 for between $720 and $1,900.

Manufactured in: Taiwan

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled bicycles and return them to an REI retail store a free repair.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact REI at (800) 426-4840 between 7 a.m. and 2 a.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s Web site at www.rei.com
apogee

climber
May 23, 2011 - 05:28pm PT
Hey, gc, it seems like your MO in this ridiculously long and repetitive thread is to keep it on the front page as long as possible.

Suggestion: just type 'Bump'. It'll save you a lot of typing.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 23, 2011 - 05:35pm PT
Hey, gc, it seems like your MO in this ridiculously long and repetitive thread is to keep it on the front page as long as possible.

Apogee, that's funny coming from someone who just posted to the 8,000+ post Death of the Republicans Wrong Thread and various other ridiculously long and repetitive politard threads.





Date Forum Topic Author
May 23, 2011
05:28pm PST REI shirks responsibility & appeals Monika Johnson case
Hey, gc, it seems like your MO in this ridiculously long and repetitive thread is to keep it on the front page as long as possible. Suggestion: just type 'Bump'. It'll save you a lot of typing.... apogee
May 23, 2011
02:38pm PST Death of the Republicans Wrong Thread
"But we have today a generation of spoiled brats, all brought up within the benefits of capitalism, whining about how bad it is." Really? 'all of them' are spoiled brats? Don't you think that's a hyperbolic oversimplification? After all, you and the rest of the Repubs are part of that all, you kn... apogee
May 23, 2011
01:38pm PST My prom date is poor... (OT)
Now this thread is gonna get some legs.... Credit: apogee ... apogee
May 23, 2011
01:27pm PST Death of the Republicans Wrong Thread
suap, not sure I ever saw an answer to this question regarding the NR article you posted: So, suap...do you really feel the same way? That capitalism has bred a bunch of selfish, spoiled brats and that it is a woefully misunderstood system that has brought our society nothing but positive gains?... apogee
May 23, 2011
01:12pm PST would you TRUST these rap anchors?
"Also as far as the low inpact, webbing and tat will hopefully flush out after a few flash floods while bolts (possibly useless) will remain for much longer." Flush out to where? They don't just dissolve into nothing. Just about any kind of passage through technical terrain is going to involve... apogee
May 23, 2011
12:24pm PST Death of the Republicans Wrong Thread
Looks like Pawlenty is out of the gate... http://www.cnn.com/2011/POLITICS/05/23/pawlenty.announcement/index.html Credit: apogee ... apogee
May 23, 2011
12:19pm PST Death of the Republicans Wrong Thread
Credit: apogee A Higher Standard Discourse that assumes Americans have a brain between their ears. Credit: apogee ... apogee
May 23, 2011
11:57am PST Obama is finished
Credit: apogee A Higher Standard Discourse that assumes Americans have a brain between their ears. Credit: apogee ... apogee
May 23, 2011
11:47am PST Obama is finished
Credit: apogee Fiscally Responsible. Making the GOP look like a bunch of drunk teenagers with their daddy's credit card. Credit: apogee ... apogee
May 23, 2011
11:40am PST Obama is finished
Credit: apogee Strong on Defense. Making the GOP look like whining pussies.... apogee
May 23, 2011
11:37am PST Death of the Republicans Wrong Thread
Credit: apogee Fiscally Responsible. Making the GOP look like a bunch of drunk teenagers with their daddy's credit card. Credit: apogee ... apogee
blahblah

Gym climber
Boulder
May 23, 2011 - 05:45pm PT
Apogee's brilliant contribution to this thread was the following:

As a dedicated REI hater, I'd love to pin this on them, but in this case, MH & JE nail the reality right between the eyes.

If you want to hate anyone in this tragic situation, hate the insurance industry.

There was never any evidence whatsoever that an insurance company was involved in settling the claim against REI or directing the litigation.
There's plenty of evidence to the contrary--that REI itself and not an insurance company is in charge of the case (to wit, the involvement of Perkins Coie, a law firm in thick with REI--there are other reasons that let me to suspect that REI was handling this directly, but the Perkins Coie connection is all you need to know.)

Apogee--maybe you're happy to both be and remain ignorant of what's going on here, but others want to discuss it, maybe learn something, maybe share what they know. So take a hike if you're not interested.
Mangy Peasant

Social climber
Riverside, CA
May 23, 2011 - 05:46pm PT
gc, don't you know?

apogee is the self-appointed ST thread moderator - he alone determines a thread's merit.

No matter what you think of REI - it still has some relationship to climbing.

Floyd Landis and Lance Armstrong on the other hand....


EDIT: BTW, hating an entire "industry" that provides such a basic service as insurance is idiotic. I have no doubt every one of us can tell a few stories about friends and acquaintances that would have been financially devastated if it weren't for the insurance industry. I can name a few thousand in the midwest right now...
Gene

climber
May 23, 2011 - 05:50pm PT
I wonder which will last longer, this thread or the legal process.

Anyone have anything new to add?

g
apogee

climber
May 23, 2011 - 06:05pm PT
Bump!
fattrad

Mountain climber
GOP Convention
May 23, 2011 - 06:08pm PT
I stole REI's FaceLift sponsorship.



The evil one
Mangy Peasant

Social climber
Riverside, CA
May 23, 2011 - 06:10pm PT
Are we gonna get another "DELETE THIS THREAD" tantrum?

Gene

climber
May 23, 2011 - 06:14pm PT
Are we gonna get another "DELETE THIS THREAD" tantrum?

No. Anyone have anything new to add?

g
stinkeye

Gym climber
shytehole known as reno
May 23, 2011 - 06:14pm PT
Blahblah, you a 1L? You really think rei was not insured, and insurance is not paying the bills?

I agree, insurance is irrelevant to rei "shirking" nonexistent duties or obligations. Any decent licensed lawyer would have told Monika that her claims were denied and let it get sorted out in litigation. Her own attorneys probably screwed her the hardest by attempting to make it a high dollar case. Now she Will never see a dime.
klk

Trad climber
cali
May 23, 2011 - 06:17pm PT
this thread is worse than bleak house
Mangy Peasant

Social climber
Riverside, CA
May 23, 2011 - 06:20pm PT
Gene, my question wasn't directed at you.

As for your question: "Anyone have anything new to add?"

Why not ask the same in all the other threads where folks just banter?

The forum is just a place to shoot the sh#t. Occasionally we learn something.

Just like most conversation.

EDIT: See, I just learned something: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bleak_House


graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 23, 2011 - 06:45pm PT
There's plenty of evidence to the contrary--that REI itself and not an insurance company is in charge of the case (to wit, the involvement of Perkins Coie, a law firm in thick with REI--there are other reasons that let me to suspect that REI was handling this directly, but the Perkins Coie connection is all you need to know.)

I agree with you, blahblah. This is speculation, but the best explanation of how this came to be bungled so badly may be that REI was self-insuring and then tried handle this internally at first. After they realized they were in over their heads they ran to Perkins Coie, but it was too late.

I don't know what insurance REI has or does not have, but there are a lot of companies out there which do not carry proper insurance. REI many not have even thought of itself as not being a "manufactuer" and may have believed it didn't need product liability coverage.
apogee

climber
May 23, 2011 - 07:01pm PT
Credit: apogee

Bumpity!
Mangy Peasant

Social climber
Riverside, CA
May 23, 2011 - 07:06pm PT
Get ready! Full on tantrum is imminent...
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
May 23, 2011 - 07:07pm PT
Blah blah It says in the pdf, that I posted the link too, that the third accident was disallowed as evidence.
I thought I read jury?
It is 55 pages that I read pretty fast and it is just the REI appellate arguments.
Handicaped by no link to the original court case.
So this entire case was decided by a judge looking at paperwork?
That is interesting and maybe why so much information is missing.
Can't we get the original judges decision?

Third party et all- perhaps but REI was not allowed the time to do their own metalurgist study on a bike that was " in a poor state of care"
Perhaps I don't know how it works.
But I certainly know how a lot of situations involving judgment are utterly and completely fed up.

Granite- the tire was not flat it was replaced and it was an auto vs bike accident.
Her words- minor accident- but she was hit by a car.
Take it as you want I guess...
But REI had issue with it as I would also in a perfectly fair world.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 23, 2011 - 07:15pm PT
Granite- the tire was not flat it was replaced and it was an auto vs bike accident.
Her words- minor accident- but she was hit by a car.

I posted links to BOTH REI's and Monika's appellate briefs with the page numbers. Here they are so you don't have to backtrack.


From Monika's brief:

Ms. Johnson was involved in a very minor accident on the bike on September 13, 2006. (ld.) The bike only sustained a flat front tire. (Id.)She took the bike to REI and the technician there fixed the flat tire, inspected the bike, and found no other damage. (Id.) The accident was so minor, the front wheel did not even need to be re-trued. (Id.) Aside from this minor accident, the bike did not sustain any damage of any kind between the rebuild in 2005 and November 19, 2007. (Id.) There is no evidence that indicates otherwise.

It does not help REI that after this accident, Monika took it REI for inspection and repair and REI didn't find any problems other then the flat tire. So for them to claim that the fork was damaged in the accident and needed replacing they would have to be negligent in their inspection of it.
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
May 23, 2011 - 07:19pm PT
"I agree with you, blahblah. This is speculation, but the best explanation of how this came to be bungled so badly may be that REI was self-insuring and then tried handle this internally at first. After they realized they were in over their heads they ran to Perkins Coie, but it was too late."

Makes sense...

Gene I read through the thread- I have added new information and blah blah, granite and others are also adding new info just in the last two posts and we are discussing the merits.
Imagine this a a jury of 12 persons.
We are not even close to "there" yet.
But perhaps others make decisions much faster?
This is why there are twelve.


I read the north east climbers thread last night- Zero questions, and all "REI bad" it is quite honestly an embarrassment
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
May 23, 2011 - 07:24pm PT
Granite- that is interesting.
I had read a back tire...
And read other arguments to to effect..
In the airport now so let me look at your links.

You realise that this is actually much worse- it was rhe front tire involved in the collision with a car.
And there was enough force to pop a tire.
How much damage could this do to a carbon front fork with no bend or give?

We have our smoking gun!
Randisi

Boulder climber
Soon to be in China
May 23, 2011 - 07:32pm PT
I'm so glad you geniuses have it all figured out.
apogee

climber
May 23, 2011 - 07:45pm PT
By any chance, R Wyna/gc/M Peasant/et. al., are you one of those former REI employees who left the company under unfortunate or embarassing circumstances?
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
May 23, 2011 - 07:50pm PT
The only problem with the "smoking gun" is that the gun is in REI's hands. If she took the bike back to REI for inspection, and they signed off on it, claiming no apparent damage, then from a legal perspective, they were "the last one to see the fork alive."

I don't see how REI gets out of that post-accident inspection. But, this case has more twists and turns than a gopher snake on acid.
Mustang

climber
From the wild, not the ranch
May 23, 2011 - 08:02pm PT
Pretty sure this case falls under the FTC, Uniform Commercial Code, U.C.C. article 2.
"Implied Merchantability"

Seller basically enters into a binding contract with buyer that implies the item sold, whether it is food, or goods, intrinsically will not harm the user when the item used or consumed within ordinary use.

http://www.caddenfuller.com/CM/Articles/Articles34.asp

short and succinct.
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
May 23, 2011 - 08:05pm PT
That's complete nonsense masterbolter.
They fixed a tire..not an inspection
Certainly not an inspection of the internal parts of a partially cracked fork.

Makes sense with how that pic looks.
High mechanism injury to the tire with carbon fiber damage
Continued riding finished it off.
Got to the point where it just finally fell out
Maybe after a curb bunny hop or something.


madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
May 23, 2011 - 08:58pm PT
Read excerpt from the brief a few posts above, Rile. REI inspected the bike and found no other damage. If said inspection and the "no other damage" report is in fact substantiated, the "smoking gun" IS in REI's hands.

It is often the case that careful reading before talking/writing can save you from spewing your own nonsense. Highly recommended!

graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 23, 2011 - 09:04pm PT
Granite- that is interesting.
I had read a back tire...
And read other arguments to to effect..

Monika's brief says it was the front wheel but the Court of Appeals decision mentions a report that says it was the back wheel. That may have been where you saw that.

See p. 4 http://www.courts.wa.gov/opinions/pdf/65463-2.pub.doc.pdf

Mitchell further suggested that a 2006 collision involving the bicycle, in which the rear wheel was damaged, could have contributed to the fork’s fracture. He opined that “if an element of that crash involved the front fork without creating visible damage, then it could be considered an initiating event for the fracture that serves as the basis for this law suit.” CP at 17
John Moosie

climber
Beautiful California
May 23, 2011 - 09:06pm PT
I don't understand why you guys seem to be blowing off the report that Monika paid for. The one that said there was insufficient glue and layers of carbon fiber.
The user formerly known as stzzo

Social climber
May 23, 2011 - 09:47pm PT
REI inspected the bike and found no other damage. If said inspection and the "no other damage" report is in fact substantiated, the "smoking gun" IS in REI's hands.

Not if the inspection was explicitly limited to visual. Your first post on the subject said that their report was "no apparent damage". What depth of inspection were they agreeing to undertake?