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I was asked a question a few days ago...and I would like to put it out there for your input. Here it is.


While performing specialty work in the US (vertical reference), what would be the responsibility of the PIC if a worker (on the ground) was to be injured or killed due to falling debris caused by the helicopter down wash.


Personally, I think the PIC could be held responsible to a certain degree, but there again; there could be more than one legal answer...

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A similar accident in Canada where a guy went under a rig being bolted together and got killed when it had to be pickled was ruled a non-aviation accident, even though a helicopter was involved (he had ben properly briefed)


However, the other posters are quite right - not only has truth not much to do with the American system (witnesses with the highest and most credible qualifications win - the concept of Best Evidence) but the jury has the power to set aside the law anyway. Watch out!


The argument would be that if the helicopter wasn't there, he wouldn't have been killed. Better think up an answer to that one before you go!



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very true, a friend in the middle east is sitting at a red light minding his own business. an arab comes up and rearends his car. in the end my friend is at fault because he was there....and an infidel :down:


i digress...............



the US is the US....s*&t.....they let OJ go :blink:


bottom line is liability coverage...alot....


a while back my insurance guy asks if i want to raise my liability from $1 million to $2 million. i wasn't going to but he pointed to a recent settlement that was $1.2 million and said "i don't know about you but that .2 would break me"!! :stupid:


CYA people.....CYA....even in this virtually litigation free nation of ours!

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I'd suggest very strongly, that all should sit down with a good lawyer and have him go over a book entitled "Canadian Case Law" with them. A version of this book resides in every lawyer's office because he needs it to present cases in court. Failing that, purchase or read a copy published by Carswell Publishing.


Two rules of law:


1) Don't point fingers at the Americans because that "Canadian Case Law" will make you adjust your view very quickly. A brief persual of this book will surely open your eyes. Their Case Law Book is ten times thicker than ours because they got ten times the population.


2) The amount of justice you get in either country is in direct proportion to whether you are paying your lawyer $500/hr or $200/hr. The $500/hr lawyer has a trained investigator and maybe 35 articling law students working for him, who are all going through reems of cases in past Canadian Case Law books. He'll end up blowing the $200/hr lawyer out of the court room. Ergo, don't confuse "justice" with the "truth"........one has absolutely nothing to do with the other.



If you are operating under a Limited Company name while doing your contract work in either country, then I suggest that you heed Jetboxes' advice and consult your lawyer on the state and amount of your own liability insurance. I mention all this because first the lawyers go after your employer as one company entity and then they come after the company that was doing the sub-contract work.........and guess who that is?

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By the time of your post, Cap, you shoulda been in bed! Old folks need their rest, ya know.


But regarding the oft-mentioned liability insurance, at least for a one-man personal service type corporation, it may not be so easy to get any meaningful, reputable coverage, according to senior brokers in the business. After all, let's be realistic, what credible underwriter wants to insure the kind of risk coverage required by a 'lone-eagle' helicopter driver at a premium said driver can afford? For those of you that have it, read very closely or, better yet, have a good lawyer do the reading for you. Trust your broker if you wish, but remember he's in the business of placing insurance, not paying claims.

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Cap was talking about some pilots that form a company and then contract themselves out under a company name i.e. Joe's Flying B.C. Ltd..........

This is done for some tax advantages, and also to protect the pilot personally from liability suits i.e. the lawyers could only take what the company owned, and not the pilot's personal property i.e. house, cat, dog and luxury yacht !!


BUT I heard that a provincially incorporated company loses that liability protection when an incident occurs in another province (or State).


However. the company can gain that protection if it is incorporated federally in Ottawa and then registers with each provincial government in every province that it will be working.......yada, yada, blah, blah, etc., etc.......Is it all worth it ???

It seems a lawyer will want to take a shot at you no matter how you try to cover your butt.


I am not an expert on Liability Law, so please consult your lawyer with regard to the above......

or just fly very carefully !!

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Downwash 'ol bean, I wouldn't even try to explain why I was up at that ungodly hour. Let's just say my walker broke down and left me stranded.


The statement I made was prompted by an article that you and I perused some time ago and prompted a conversation with my accountant and lawyer. The result of that conversation had me changing my ways somewhat and I will remember what the lawyer said always......"if you want a preview of what is coming to a courtroom near you within 5-10 years in any matter of civil law, just look south of the border".


Since that time, it just bothers me a bit that there are a lot of "naked guys" out there in our industry. Last quote I have on Liability Coverage has a premium of $2,800/yr.


If you can remember that website that we were discussing back then, this might be another occasion to offer it here for everyone's reading once again. Then again, with the onset of the "Golden Years" advancing on us both very quickly, it could be that you don't remember the website address anymore. Could this also be the reason that you forgot the way to kelowna for the "gathering"?


Over-Talk -------- correct you are as a "Company" is one legal "entity" and you are another legal "entity". Canadian Case Law will show you that it just ain't quite that black and white and someone like a Greg Brodsky in Winnipeg or a Sydney Greenspun in TO might just "enlighten you" in a courtroom on said subject. Our "friends" at Revenue Canada have some interesting opinions on this subject also and I don't know if I'd want them testifying on my behalf as a result.



412 Driver ------ don't mention about OJ please, my friend. You realize of course that Karla Homulka gets out on parole in 8 months and might move to your neighbourhood. I don't think we wanna "go there" on the "us vs them deal" when it comes to American vs Canadian justice. It's getting stupid out there, no matter what side of the border you call home. Besides, MacDonald's coffee still needs one cup inside another so you can hold it . :D

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