Articles Posted in Travel and Tourism

Are You Using A Tree Harness?

Snap-hook and V-rings are parts used in tree harnesses commonly purchased by hunters to obtain optimal hunting shots from way up high in a tree.  Product liability issues may arise when these parts are defective and dangerous.  Some falls may be minor, moderate or may even result in a wrongful death.

Recently we learned of a case between a tree harness manufacturer and a component manufacturer of the tree harness and a settlement approaching close to $2,000,000. The hunter received major and permanent traumatic injuries when he climbed about 25 feet up a tree in Missouri and hooked himself in a tree harness manufactured by an unnamed tree harness manufacturer and tree harness part maker. The harness was advertised as giving hunters the maximum flexibility needed to maneuver in trees so that they can receive the widest variety of great shooting angles. To do this, hunters were told to twist around the trees to get their shots. Unfortunately, this snap-hook and v-ring combo did not have a locking mechanism, but rather could be “unhooked” in one quick twisting type movement. Unfortunately, the rest of the story is easy to figure out. The twisting movement of the hunter in the tree caused a roll-out situation from the twisting/torsional movement being applied to the snap-hook and V-ring combo.

If any of us have been to a resort or beach location, we can’t help but feel drawn to watch or participate in parasailing.  For most participants, parasailing is a once in a lifetime event that remains a cherished happy memory.  Sadly, for hundreds of people each year parasailing has resulted in accidents causing severe injury, trauma and even death. Parasailing injuries tend to include traumatic brain injury, contusions, and broken bones.

Surprisingly parasailing safety standards, even in the United States, are not well regulated.  Parasailing safety standards abroad are nearly non-existent.  Additionally, regulations regarding the equipment and/or the paragliding operators  remain largely unregulated.  This had led to each parasailing business operator to set up their own standards of safety.

Of the parasailing accidents that have occurred in the United States alone, most of the reported accidents involved the body harness.  The body harness is strapped on in such a way that it is a useful ally when above water keeping the person firmly attached to the parasail.  However, drownings, choking and other injuries can occur once the person hits the water.  The harness which keeps the person attached to the parasail is very difficult to remove while in the water. This is especially so if the victim is confused or has just suffered a severe impact to the body or head or who experienced an expected crash into the ocean.  The Parasail Safety Council itself pleads for parasail operators to change the current use of the body harness used by most parasail operators to a safer device known as the gondola.

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