So this week I have read an article where a US lifeguard was fired for saving a swimmer’s life, as the swimmer was out of the proteted area and they have liability issues.
I also heard that a local landowner not too far from me in France has started to charge 2 for access to his land which also happens to be a popular river beach. This is because he was recently sued by a holiday maker (punter as they are known among local workers) who had jumped off a high rock and injured himself, and therefore sued the landowner. And won.
Had said landowner had a sign up saying ‘Jump off the rock at your own risk’ (or preferably, ‘if you jump off this rock, you are a dick, its well high and you will more than likley injure/kill yourself’, as I have ever decreasing trust in the common sense of the general public).
Another story that came to light in the same conversation was that a female punter had broken her back jumping off a bridge. Her insurance company said they wouldn’t pay out as clearly, she shouldn’t have jumped off a bridge (dick). In her defence, she actually said ‘there wasn’t a sign saying ‘don’t jump off this bridge”. See? Clearly suffering from common sense issues.
I have no love for insurance companies in general, and I would have liked to hear that they put up more of a fight in the instance of the lady with the broken back. Clearly her mother never said ‘…and if Jenny jumped off a bridge, would you to the same?’. Mine did, and of course I thought ‘No, because if I jumped off a bridge I’d surely seriously injure or kill myself’. However, I do feel a tad sorry for them these days. I agree they will do their absolute damnedest to find a loophole in your policy and avoid paying out in lots of cases, but I think now we have reached a stage where health and safety, risk assesments and liability issues have gone so far that they are fucked if they do and fucked if they don’t.
When I was a kid, we had a sandpit in the garden, and I used to eat sand by the handful. Nowadays I could do that, but if I contracted any kind of illness within the few days following, I could potentially sue my parents for allowing me to eat it.
Everyone is so paranoid about everything today, kids don’t go outside because its not sterilised. Workplaces have a health and safety team whose sole purpose is to perform risk assessments and potentially disrupt the work of others. Don’t even get me started on school trips or the world of activity holidays.
Lets go back to letting people be responsible for themselves and their own mind. Make your own risk assesments. If you decide to jump off a bridge and survive, uninjured, then happy days. If you decide to jump off a bridge and injure yourself, or worse, accept the consequences knowing that while you may be a dick, you would always accept a dare.
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