£12 million pound Public liability claim?

Mark

Well-known member
Just reading through DCA minutes and they mention this item at the September BCA meeting. What was the event that required a payout of that magnitude?
 

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Steve Clark

Well-known member
I don't know any details but there was a large (>5m) claim on the BMC insurance for a belaying related accident involving a student affiliated club. There was a BMC motion in early 2019 to increase BMC subs by £6 to compensate for a 250k increase in annual insurance premiums. At the time, we increased our club subs from £30-35pa to compensate.
 

JoshW

Well-known member
Keep your eye out on the BCA website for a post in the next couple of days. I’ve been waiting for all the dotting of the i’s and crossing of the t’s before posting
 

mikem

Well-known member
An interesting selection of NGBs use this company - most still have £10 million (although I expect that will increase at next renewal & I haven't checked all of them, however, triathlon is £15m & Athletics £50m! - they have much bigger audiences)
Not covered by above, but Gamekeepers come in at £10m & Shooting £12m
 
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JoshW

Well-known member
The claim for over 12m first started going through the motions at around the 20m mark, with rising costs of living and providing care etc Howdens recommended it would be prudent to increase to 20 million as soon as possible with the possibility of further increases in the future.

I believe the 12m claim was due to a permanent and total disablement of a young person on the path to a high paying job and therefore lifetime care costs, lifetime lost earnings, pension etc, as well as family likely needing to give up work as well contributed to this high figure. So the 12m is almost the worst case scenario - but did happen several years ago and so further cost of living rises will impact this.
 

mikem

Well-known member
We don't actually know what happened & the belayer may have agreed to being sued, so climber could claim on the insurance (I'm not saying that is what happened either - newspaper reports are invariably incorrect somewhere along the line)
 
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JoshW

Well-known member
We don't actually know what happened & the belayer may have agreed to being sued, so he could claim on the insurance (I'm not saying that is what happened either - newspaper reports are invariably incorrect somewhere along the line)
You’ll note I’ve been somewhat deliberately vague on details. I would encourage others to do the same
 

mikem

Well-known member
Anyway, as part of a BMC club organised event they would have been covered by insurance, whatever the outcome
 

pwhole

Well-known member
With only that article to go on it was difficult to judge, but I found it interesting that a belayer had a legal responsibility, and thus could be prosecuted for not doing it properly. Nobody was getting paid after all. Seems a bit of a rat's nest for climbing centres - and, by implication, any SRT riggers.
 

mikem

Well-known member
We don't even know the outcome of the case, but that is how negligence has always worked, & duty of care is now written into most legislation:
Sue - someone sues you for damages of some sort. They will take you to court. Prosecute - being prosecuted for a crime you committed. The government /police charge you for it whatever the crime is.
Already discussed to no real conclusions at time of reports:
 
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ChrisB

Well-known member
a belayer had a legal responsibility,

Without reference to any specific case, I'm not aware of any statutory legislation that relates to duty of care in voluntary activity. If anyone is being paid, that's subject to HSW Act and there are criminal offences. A voluntary belayer has a duty of care, but negligence requires that somebody didn't care, or didn't try - genuine mistakes aren't negligence.

That somebody is suing doesn't mean they have a case, you have to wait for the judgement, if it gets to court. Insurance companies will often sue, which they would have to do in the name of the injured party, just to force the other insurer to take them seriously, and they will settle before the case is heard.
 

mikem

Well-known member
From a London based website (there are no laws about belaying itself, just about maintaining safety):
Everyone owes a duty of care to people they could (or should) reasonably expect to cause harm to by their acts or omissions (failure to act). This isn't just something that applies at work. The duty of care applies to everyday life. If you go around being careless, inside or outside of work, it could have consequences.
The duty of care is a legal expression. It is a persons responsibility not to harm others through carelessness. In simple terms, it means that we all must take care to avoid doing something that could hurt someone else. The courts established a duty of care to give people a way of bringing claims against people who have harmed them.
You may be more familiar with the term negligence. Negligence is the term used when the duty of care is breached. If someone is negligent, then it means that they have failed in the duty of care they owed to someone, and that has caused damage to that person.
 
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badger

Active member
Lots of people seem to making all sorts of assumptions, like josh has said the details are vague so we should not jump to conclusions.
 
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