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Thread: Black Day for Caching

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    11

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    Hi,

    I'm very concerned about the implications for people placing caches in England and Wales in view of what has happened to an experienced cacher. He was subjected to a claim for someone's injury alledgedly sustained while trying to retrieve a cache. The forum thread with some of the details on this has now been removed from GC.com, the cacher himself has retired from caching and all his caches archived.

    It's perfectly obvious that there are all sorts of natural hazards out in the English countryside and it's ridiculous to try to sue the cache owner or landowner for failing in their duty of care because of the specific cache location. The harder the cache is to get to, the more fun it is IMO! As so often in outdoor activities, the more there's a challenge, there's more of a risk of accident - normal people accept the risk.

    Are there any steps which cache hiders can take (e.g. in the form of disclaimers) which will prevent these sort of ridiculous no win-no fee sorts of claims?

    Any legal eagles out there?

    Qichina

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Wiltshire
    Posts
    5,520

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    The company who began the claim withdrew it - I believe they came to see that there was no real case...!

    I understand your concern, but I don't think there's really any need to worry unless a cache is placed in an obviously dangerous location with no suitable warning on the page.

    Geocaching.com cache listing pages all link to gc.com's disclaimer, which says amongst other things, "Cache seekers assume all risks involved in seeking a cache".
    ​​Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light. (Dylan Thomas)​


  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    South of England
    Posts
    321

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    A while back a Solicitor told me that a disclaimer wasn't worth the paper the paper it was printed on ,
    but he did say disclaimers give work to Solicitors .
    We like Greens

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    117

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    Originally posted by t.a.folk@Oct 7 2006, 11:43 AM
    A while back a Solicitor told me that a disclaimer wasn't worth the paper the paper it was printed on ,
    but he did say disclaimers give work to Solicitors .
    Exactly right. Mrs Muggle used to fight claims thrown up by these no win - no fee parasites.

    She says that the fact that you post a disclaimer is seen as an admission that you perceive that under some circumstances there MAY be risk. So leave the disclaimers out.
    Muggle - One Voice - One Vote

  5. #5
    nobbynobbs Guest

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    a disclaimer cannot save you if you have been negligent and through that negligence someone has been injured.

    if you haven't been irresponsible or negligent then you have no case to answer to.

    so unless the cache is itself a dangerous container or you have placed it in an inherently dangerous spot then i can't see that you could have any case to answer.

    i would stress i am not a lawyer though, i have a soul!

  6. #6
    Paul G0TLG Guest

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    I'm also not a lawyer, but I HAVE just passed an exam in Health and Safety law, a large part of which involved civil law negligence, so I feel qualified to comment a bit!

    Negligence - and I'm paraphrasing the legal definition a bit - is to cause harm to someone by doing something which a reasonable person would not do. There are a lot of basic defences, the main one which I think applies to caching is forseeability of harm: If a reasonable person using reasonable forethought would not have forseen harm, there's no negligence.

    Broadly speaking I'd say that unless your cache is obviously dangerous in a way that might not be expected, you're safe. As an example, if someone cuts their finger on a sharp edge on your ammo box - well, it's a metal box hidden out in the open, of course it's got sharp edges, what did they expect? On the other hand, if YOU hid your cache with a jack-in-the-box mechanism inside, and on opening it somejumps back and falls over the cliff which is one foot away from the hiding place - in that case a reasonable person (you) should have foressen there was a reasonable probability their action would cause harm.

  7. #7
    Rebble Guest

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    I like that idea booby trap geocaches

    Place a geocache in the open over a pit of wolverines with a 1,000 in the box and the only way you can reach it is?? oh well fill in the rest.

    Back to the point of the thread it's abit like a mountain climber suing the mountain owner because he/she fell off?!?

    Surely as geocaching is a purely voluntary pastime then surely unless you do put semtex and mercury detonator in the box or such like then there wouldn't be liability?

  8. #8
    nobbynobbs Guest

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    unfortunatley since when did common sense mean a dman thing when it comes to the law of this country?

    and it can cost a fortune to win a case and have it proved that you were innocent. :angry:

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