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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2001 7:24 pm 
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The facts were simple, the consequences grave.

A couple of teen age kids collided while fielding a fly ball in a local baseball game.

One of the kids on the field was the son of a recepionist in the office where I work.

During the collision, the knee of one player struck the throat of the other, probably rupturing or collapsing the larynx.

There is probably no way to prevent this sort of accident except to require the players to wear something like Tony Blauer High Gear.

The question I raise is whether or not if there were well trained paramedics of EMT's present would this life be spared with a tracheotomy?

Should this not be required in sporting events even as docile as baseball may seem, when compared to other sports where contact is a part of every event?

Would the failure to so provide create a breach of a duty?

I have reported the assumption of risk of an adult coach of youth baseball, who sued over the fact that he was injured by an unsecure base bag and the court held that he had as much if not more knowledge of the condition of the bag and the field conditions as anyone else, and that in these circumstances there was an assumption of risk.

The courts are aware that assumption of risk by participants is measured by the degree of risk inherent in the sport.

I wonder if in this case even if Medics were present, could that have saved this boy.

Interesting thread to MA practices as well.

Alan K


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2001 3:06 pm 
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Foreseeable? That is the question. And if so
what duty is owed to the players by the game organizers?

I had a similar case 15 years ago where a collision at home base resulted in paraplegia.

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Van Canna


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2001 3:08 pm 
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Which brings up the subject again as to what duty is owed to Dan test candidates.

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Van Canna


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2001 4:00 pm 
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Van Canna:

Which brings up the subject again as to what duty is owed to Dan test candidates.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Canna-sensei,

I thought about this and thought about this... especially after hearing (and having seen) some "horror" stories. My gut response is that there is very little duty owed to the Dan test candidates, but that isn't right or true. It seems to me that a Dan candidate should be able to handle the situation and deal with it. Even if dealing with it means calling "safe" or "yame'" and bowing out (one's health and well-being is more important than what's tied around their waist, IMNSHO). Then again, on further thought, I think that there is a duty to the candidate from not only the instructors and other participants, but also the board of examiners. Here's my reasoning... If you have someone who is sparring for their Dan rank and you were to put them up against a Gary K., Bobby S., Joe P. or any of a number of other experts, that person would be hard pressed (in 99.999% of the cases) to even hold their own! (And I don't care if they're going for Sho-dan or Hachi-dan!) In that case, it is almost (notice, not completely) unfair to ask someone to go toe-to-toe with these experts. The mere test can be intimidating enough without having to stare across at one of these, ahem, " fighting monsters". Image So, in that regard, I'd think that not only does the opponent (of the candidate) have a duty to be careful of the candidate's safety, but also the board of examiners... to be mindful of what's happening and stop things from going too far. (Seriously, when talking about Sho-dan to San-dan candidates, it should be relatively simple to put them up against someone who can dispatch them without breaking a sweat... Then again, those on a level of a Joe, Gary, Bobby, etc... have enough control to let someone know they've mixed it up without causing injury... a fine line...)

Anyway, just some humble stream-of-conciousness thoughts... since you asked. Image


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2001 4:43 pm 
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Thanks for the kind words guys.

To answer Van sensei's questions of duties owed to students taking Dan tests, I don't like what I have to say.

Those of you who have read some of my posts know that the courts will apply the doctrine of assumable risk depending on the type of sport involved.

They also apply the so called "common sense doctrine" (true also in criminal cases such as the Dr. Greineder case) which is also called the "reasonable man rule" (not gender sensitive).

Let's take a typical Dan test where the candidates do fighting kumite.

You have carefully plotted a test of standards which have been well aired by the comittee both by e mail posts and by conference.

Doing this means that tests will be evenly applied and safety standards are in place right now for the most part.

In the past Uechi sparring utilizes a minimum of safety gear when viewed in comparison with what is available and in use in karate competition.

IMHO, I believe that a good case could be made out that if candidates were given excessive contact by testers and were permitted to wear only minimal protective gear such as cups for males, chest protectors for youths, and breast protectors for females, no helmets required and gloves with open fingers and sparse padding.

I think that what I am trying to say is what Van was suggesting with the use of the word "forseeable".

You know that in a typical case of negligence "experts" will be called to establish what is the standard to be applied.

Who are the experts? You know very well, if we look at the test board, throwing out all attempts at modesty, you guys are the creme de la creme to establish reasonable safety standards, but alas, you will also be required to adhere to them.

In the Mass. case of Webster v. Blue Ship Tea Room the court was lenient in its application of a standard, when an elderly lady was rushed to Mass. General when she swallowed a fishbone in a bowl of clam chowder.

The court found that if it ruled in her favor it would destroy the essence of fish chowder, that hearty and loveable dish; it would be a bowl of meely mushy mess.

You can argue that Uechi tradtion has always been to establish realism, both in its approach to realistic close contact front facing style,and to what works in true combat.

I fear that unless the rules of engagement and the equipment meet what may be the best available, and reaonsably all rules default to safety, then "Houston, we have trouble".

Alan K


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2001 7:38 pm 
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Alan,

Makes sense to me... But then whaddoiknow... except that I don't wanna get hurt! Image


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2001 10:15 pm 
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Alan,

Good observations. As to foreseeability, given the knowledge we have, or should have, that certain blows can jeopardize the life of a candidate, even if landing by accident,would we be charged with a duty to have an ambulance with trained EMTs standing by?



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Van Canna


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2001 2:38 pm 
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Van, sensei

You have asked the following question:

As to foreseeability, given the knowledge we have, or should have, that certain blows can jeopardize the life of a candidate, even if landing by accident,would we be charged with a duty to have an ambulance with trained EMTs standing by?

This is a difficult one to answer with certainty because the risk factors in a dan test are less than than they would be in full fledged kumite such as the Uechi tournament held last May, both in exposure and in terms of numbers.

I know of no cases in point and can only assume that such an obligation would not be imposed because the kumite portion is only a part of the test and not the main purpose of the event.

The other factor is that the number of candidates are fewer than in a tournament event.

If the courts were to apply EMT/ambulance standards to small events, then one could reason that every dojo teaching MA, or exercise facility teaching so called "kick boxing", would also have to adhere to those standards which would soon drive these events underground or out of business.

In the post that I made concerning the children's league umpire who was injured when he hit a base bag while playing an event with other little league officials, the case that I reported recognized relative degrees of assumption or risk, and also cited other cases in its decision.

The decision in the baseball case imposed no duty on the league or sponsors in this case because the injured umpire knew the field and what he was doing.

The court also reasoned that if it created some duty on the sponsors and officials it would wipe out the sport and expose municipalities and organizations such as the "Y" and boy's clubs to tort claims.

Once again the court applied the "reasonable" or common sense doctrine and recognized that assumable risks vary by the degree of exposure in the event.

My gut feeling is that the courts would not impose the duty to have EMT's and an ambulance at a dan test.

They would impose a duty to regulate the event with the best possible safety standards as common sense would dictate to the testing board.

I can think of one extreme example and you would know a thousand more of what would constitute tort feasability, e.g.

In san chin testing an overly focused punch to the stomach, or coming behind the candidate places a kid so hard to the calf muscle as to buckle the knee of the candidate to the floor with such force as to rupture the knee cartiledge.

I also feel strongly about the mandatory use of safety equipment, which even if some vision is obstructed on full helmets, and techniques impaired by gloves covering fingers, the trade off to safety is worth it both in terms of the safety of the candidate and the exposure to the board and association.

I was speaking recently to a friend of mine who is a Kenpo sensei with his own franchise dojo.

We discussed these types of issues and he told me that his insurance company required him to have a medical kit on premises in the dojo and to have surgical gloves available at all times including bandages and clean towels.

The franchisor also sets dojo standards for sparring equipment and mats.

If we don't police ourselves, someone else will.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2001 7:38 pm 
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Does this mean that no one present @ a Dan test need be certified in first aid and/or CPR? How many instructors keep their certifications current?

Should this be part of having a black-belt? Should we require students to present a current certificate of first aid/CPR on the day the test for any Dan rank?

Would that help absolve liabilility or open the door to greater legal risk?

Dana


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2001 11:50 pm 
EMT's, CPR ,first aid certificates,latex gloves,to many hassles as far as I'm concerned,give me a waiver to sign and let the games begin Image

Laird


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2001 3:12 pm 
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Actually, I really like Dana's suggestion (posed as a question)...

Isn't a part of knowing how to hurt someone also knowing how to heal someone? Not to suggest that Dan ranks should be MDs or anything, but having Dan ranks know 1) CPR, 2) Basic first-aid, and 3) some emergency responses to various situations would all seem to be excellent requirements!

Look at the possibilities... It's been discussed on these forums numerous times the fact that we train and prepare for situations that most will rarely if ever face. Compare that to the number of times we are faced with a situation where someone is in need of basic first-aid, CPR, or some other emergency response. It doesn't have to be a physically violent confrontation with a human adversary to cause the chemical cocktail. So training to be calm in these other emergency situations is just as important. Whether it is an accident around the house, at a swimming pool, on the roadway, or at a Dan test, these are skills that can only benefit the art, the organization, and the individual.

Besides, (ulterior motive alert) think of the positive publicity from an article in the local paper that says, "So-n-so, a black-belt at the Uechi-ryu Karate Academy, credits the Academy's requirement that he know CPR for his ability in being able to save a local girl who was drowning after being knocked unconcious and falling into the neighbor's swimming pool during a party last Saturday."


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2001 4:56 pm 
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At the very least - instructors IMHO should be away of what universal precautions are for body fluids.

If only for their own safety. Since they are at a greater risk because they will be looked to to act if there is an emergency and there are no MDs in the dojo.

Dana


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2001 6:33 pm 
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Van Canna:

They think we are a bunch of insecure violence prone individuals.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

You mean we're not?!?! Image


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2001 7:58 pm 
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We are that and more. Only we deny it. Image


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Van Canna


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2001 8:07 pm 
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D'OH!!! Image


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