Tito Traversa, 12, Fighting For His Life


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Aug 26, 2013 - 02:09am PT
just says an Italian company in the last posted article

really sucks for the friends and family
Dave Kos

Social climber
Aug 26, 2013 - 10:05am PT
Tami, this appears to be criminal not civil,...

Looks like they are criminal charges for manslaughter.

If the charges sound odd, remember that this is happening Italy, where they have convicted scientists of manslaughter for failing to predict an earthquake:


Six Italian scientists and a government official have been sentenced to six years in prison over statements they made prior to a 2009 earthquake that killed 309 in the town of L'Aquila.

Then there is the Amanda Knox story ...

My advice to anyone visiting Italy is make sure nobody dies while you are there.

Bob D'A

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Aug 26, 2013 - 10:32am PT
I saw this coming.

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Aug 26, 2013 - 11:01am PT
WOW.. Manslaughter?

5 people charged? Wow.. If I were a company of ANY type I wouldn't allow my products into Italy or to be sold to Italians anywhere in the world.

The accident happened in France didn't it? USA has extradition agreements with Italy I think. Does this mean if I climb with an Italian here.. something terrible occurs.. I could be charged in Italy and extradited?
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Aug 26, 2013 - 04:29pm PT
It's a criminal case. Italy has a 'civil law' system in which criminal cases include damages for crime victims. The US, UK, Canada, and a few others have 'common law' systems where crime victims have to file a separate civil case for damages. Colombia's legal system is modeled after the Italian one. The victims have rights in court and generally have lawyers. Also, a crime victim can investigate a case him/herself, and initiate a criminal proceeding. In the US, a crime victim has no enforceable rights in a criminal case, and the decision whether to procescute is entirely within the discretion of the prosecutor.

Another difference is in the use of the term prosecutor. In civil law systems, the judge (sometimes called judge of instruction) has a role that combines judge and prosecutor. If that seems unfair, they also have a procurador (not sure this is translatable) who is another judicial official who protects the constitutional rights of the accused. In the US, the defendant (really his lawyer) has to protect his own rights.

So, I doubt any lawyers will get rich off this case. It also seems unlikely to me that anyone would really go to prison for this. But I hope it puts pressure on the manufacturer to get rid of those rubber band things. Remember about a year ago in the western US (Idaho?) there was some kind of rapelling event, a kid leaned back and fell 100 feet and died. The rope was fed through something, I forgot what it was, that wasn't strong enough to hold body weight. In my opinion, there shouldn't be any climbing gear that can't hold body weight.
Dave Kos

Social climber
Aug 26, 2013 - 04:57pm PT
But I hope it puts pressure on the manufacturer to get rid of those rubber band things.

I use (and like) rubber things that hold carabiners in place on a quickdraw. I hope that this lawsuit changes nothing about their availability.

there shouldn't be any climbing gear that can't hold body weight.

Does this mean my chalk bag should be strong enough to hold body weight, in the event that I choose to use it as part of my anchor system?

Trad climber
San Diego
Aug 26, 2013 - 05:04pm PT
Didn't an Italian court find that vacines caused Austism despite the entire scientific community saying otherwise? Also the same court that tried and failed to convict Amanda Knox? Good luck!!!!


Social climber
Joshua Tree
Aug 26, 2013 - 05:34pm PT
I hope it puts pressure on the manufacturer to get rid of those rubber band things

Um, NO. They serve a very useful purpose and do exactly what they are designed to do...hold the rope-end biner in place within the draw so it doesn't flip orientation, thereby making clips easier and reducing the chance that the rope-end biner is cross loaded or unclips itself from the draw.


Aug 26, 2013 - 05:36pm PT
Oh, No! We may have to go back to the broccoli rubber bands...

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Aug 26, 2013 - 05:44pm PT
Don Paul.... your bio says you are a "Big Wall Climber" so in your world those rubber band thingies are not usefull.... I would like to point out this...

What if someone used a adjustable dasy incorrectly and they died?

Would you wish that the manufacturers STOPPED making and selling them??

I don't wall climb, but I sure would not be telling wall climbers what works and what does not.

Just saying...


Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Aug 26, 2013 - 05:49pm PT
Italy has the nerve to say this climbing gear is bogus yet they still allow
Fiats to be sold?

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Aug 26, 2013 - 06:01pm PT
This incident is tragic, but in a world where climbing is commercially mass-marketed as a largely risk-free, any-man's leisure activity there are going to be significant and unavoidable collateral damages which clash with society's notions of propriety, responsibility and blame.

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Aug 26, 2013 - 06:45pm PT
There is no "justice" Other than bringing him back from the dead.

The rest is just destroying more lives for no good reason. I see no gross negligence, no intent to do harm. No effort of any kind to hide some fault.

conned? You really think someone sat around deliberately installing the gear incorrectly then got Tito to give them something of value in return for the deliberately messed up draws..

It's a pretty simple scenario.. some kid put the draws together incorrectly and handed them to tito.. he clipped em.. fell and died.

Everything can be designed with more safety but these draws are not by any stretch of my imagination some sort of "deathtrap"

If I were a judge I'd be tempted to fine whoever brought up the case for wasting the courts time.
Jebus H Bomz

Peavine Basecamp
Aug 26, 2013 - 08:24pm PT
F'in lawyers. Nobody gets anything out of this but them. The kid's name isn't honored in the climbing world he loved, his parents don't get their son back, and people will still f*#k up and die because climbing is still a dangerous sport.

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Aug 26, 2013 - 08:55pm PT
Kids had no business using these without adult supervision. End of story

No, it's not "end of story". Substitute "using these" with "climbing" and you might have a point. I'd much sooner send a kid up with"string" equipped QDs, properly rigged, than QDs without them. Again, has nothing to do with the strings, and everything to do with children participating in a DANGEROUS SPORT without proper oversight.

Gym climber
Aug 26, 2013 - 09:20pm PT
F'in lawyers. Nobody gets anything out of this but them.

You do know this is happening in a foreign country, with a legal system not particularly similar to ours? And whatever type of "lawyers" you're mad at have nothing to do with what's going on here?

To the guy who doesn't think there was "gross negligence" involved in this death: my god, I don't think it would be easy to come up with a better example (well, operating machinery while highly intoxicated is a good one I suppose). Whether the "gross negligence" is or should be legally actionable may be a fair question, but the existence of the g.n. isn't really subject to reasonable dispute.

Trad climber
verona italy
Sep 10, 2013 - 02:05am PT
A short video has just been released by Andrea Tosi, in memoriam of Tito: https://vimeo.com/73438226

Sep 10, 2013 - 04:37am PT
When an activity is changed or is just different there are many small adaptations. When we used knotted 1" tubular around the shoulder with two biners on it, you clipped the anchor with either biner. This loose configuration also allowed easy inspection of both the sling and the biners for their condition. The climbing was easier so the extra weight of the solid gates on the biners was not a problem.

Quick draws sewn tightly changes many things. I would definitely be nervous about wire gates on a sewn draw. Actually I would probably not use them at all. Very hard to predict all the things that can happen to a biner in a fall. I do have one wired gate. Never used it.

What are the changes we have to make? To start with you would have to check each draw to make sure the anchor biner is clipped to the junk sling( or the harness). Right there that means a climber has to inspect every item. Used to be you could throw a junk sling to someone and they were off. No more.

Climbing is more detail oriented than it used to be. Much more detail oriented.

Harder to inspect sewn draws for their condition, and we won't even mention use of fixed biners on routes. Never saw one of those, so never used one. We were lucky years ago.

Early on I set myself the goal of tolerating no more than one chance in a hundred of a serious situation on a climb. (Doing a thousand climbs left me open to all the risk I was willing to entertain.) I spent far too much effort trying to understand Quantum Mechanics to risk having those self same neural connections end up as a bloody pulp on some rock.

So other than suggesting climbing is now very detail oriented I would suggest no one take up climbing before taking Quantum Mechanics 101, at a minimum. Being ten years old does not prevent one from doing this. Actually, that may be the ideal age.

London, UK
Sep 10, 2013 - 07:52am PT
A tragic accident.

The best summary of the Italian legal position I've read was written by an Italian climber and law student here.

It seems that, in Italy, when someone has died, all connected parties are automatically prosecuted. This is the point the proceedings have reached. The prosecutor then evaluates which of the parties have a case to answer in court. It should not be assumed that all the parties will have a case to answer.

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Sep 10, 2013 - 10:12am PT
To the guy who doesn't think there was "gross negligence" involved in this death: my god, I don't think it would be easy to come up with a better example


How so? Do you find yourself freaking out and looking to call the cops anytime you see a kid climbing with another kid at the gym? If they arn't attended closely every second by an adult?

While that might be a good idea actually I must admit I see it all the time and I don't worry about it any more than any other climbers at the gym.
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