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Should reviewers be responsible for 'safety'?


sbell111
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Are Groundspeak reviewers allowed to consider safety when they determine whether a cache should be published?

You are repeating yourself. You have already been told that the reviewers base their evaluations on the guidelines. The guidelines do not mention safety.

From the thread "Guidelines and railroads":

 

Under NO circumstances would I say "this cache is likely to cause forseeable grave harm." That could really hold up publication of your cache. :ph34r:

 

I took this as sarcasm over the dead horse argument that this thread has become.

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Here's an example of what I am talking about.

 

This cache is within 15 feet of a railroad. In fact, one of the busiest lines in South Carolina.

GC1PYJ6

 

Clearly in violation of Groundspeak's rules. Now, if someone was searching the area, and got hit by a train, yes, Groundspeak and the reviewer would probably face the mother of all lawsuits. I don't think the "we aren't responsible" or "we didn't know about the railroad" would hold up in court in a injury lawsuit.

Looks to be a monument in a readily accessible public area. I see no issue.

 

It also looks like there is a chain link fence between the monument and the tracks.

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I'm not a lawyer. But I'm going to argue this from the perspective of a aggressive lawyer who seeks lawsuits.

 

I don't think reviewers are immune from lawsuits. The phrase from geocaching "you take all risk and responsibilities etc etc" only carries so much weight. Example, Garmin is being sued over it's directions on it's Nuvi although they have the same disclaimer as geocaching.

 

Source: http://www.tomsguide.com/us/Google-Maps-Utah-Woman-Lawsuit,news-6956.html

 

If it carried full immunity, every single company in America would use the same statement to protect them from law.

 

A good lawyer would argue that geocaching.com and reviewers don't take the review process seriously enough. They would also point out correctly that geocaches have been placed in areas that violate the rules of Groundspeak, thus showing a trend that geocaches are not reviewed properly.

 

Now the true cost of a lawsuit might not be the actual damages, but the cost of defending such a lawsuit.

 

But again, I'm not a lawyer, just giving an opinion that will probably be received negatively around here.

 

what you are describing about the companies, is totally different than what is going on here

a company may be found liable of negligence if they knowingly kept information away from the consumer, where such information would have made it very clear to the said consumer that they could be harmed

 

can try a comparison with caches:

 

Scenario 1: so company A gets a cache published and it is in a former nuclear chamber, the company makes no mention of the radioactivity, the cacher goes in totally clueless that he is supposed to wear proper protection and dies from radiation...they will be fully liable of negligence

 

Scenario 2: Company B gets a cache published in the same former nuclear chamber, however they fully disclose the details of the location, extensively explain the danger, what protective equipment must be worn to safely access the cache....a cacher comes along and ignores all the warnings and goes in without a proper suit...Company B is not liable of negligence...the cacher was provided with all the particulars and had the option to make an informed decision how to proceed

 

in my experience most CO are responsible people and will have proper warnings on the cache page

we, as seekers, once at the location have the ability to exercise some judgment and decide if to proceed or not

now, even if the cache description doesn't fully disclose the dangers, we still can make an informed decision on site

if anyone shows up at a cache location and it turns out that the cache requires them to have professional climbing skill and equipment and they still go for it and get injured, i'm sorry but sucks to be them

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Are Groundspeak reviewers allowed to consider safety when they determine whether a cache should be published?

You are repeating yourself. You have already been told that the reviewers base their evaluations on the guidelines. The guidelines do not mention safety.

From the thread "Guidelines and railroads":

 

Under NO circumstances would I say "this cache is likely to cause forseeable grave harm." That could really hold up publication of your cache. :ph34r:

 

I took this as sarcasm over the dead horse argument that this thread has become.

Maybe. Maybe not. All the more reason to request a straightforward answer to the question, "Are Groundspeak reviewers allowed to consider safety when they determine whether a cache should be published?"

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Groundspeak doesn't allow caches to be placed at schools, government buildings, near train tracks, near important bridges, or at airports. This is for safety concerns as well as other concerns.

Not only are the guidelines regarding those examples not safety related, but I can't think of a safety issue with any of them.

 

What are the inherent dangers to searching for a cache at these places?

Arrest, police record, tagged as a terrorist.

Those three things are not safety related.

I never said they were. Not all "dangers" are safety related.

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Groundspeak doesn't allow caches to be placed at schools, government buildings, near train tracks, near important bridges, or at airports. This is for safety concerns as well as other concerns.

Not only are the guidelines regarding those examples not safety related, but I can't think of a safety issue with any of them.

 

What are the inherent dangers to searching for a cache at these places?

Arrest, police record, tagged as a terrorist.

Those three things are not safety related.

I never said they were. Not all "dangers" are safety related.

True, but this thread is.

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Are Groundspeak reviewers allowed to consider safety when they determine whether a cache should be published?

You are repeating yourself. You have already been told that the reviewers base their evaluations on the guidelines. The guidelines do not mention safety.

From the thread "Guidelines and railroads":

 

Under NO circumstances would I say "this cache is likely to cause forseeable grave harm." That could really hold up publication of your cache. :ph34r:

 

I took this as sarcasm over the dead horse argument that this thread has become.

Maybe. Maybe not. All the more reason to request a straightforward answer to the question, "Are Groundspeak reviewers allowed to consider safety when they determine whether a cache should be published?"

 

Who are you expecting the reply from? You have had countless people offer their answers, all but two say "No". Note that these are people that have been involved for 8-10 years and have turned every aspect Geocaching inside out. You will not accept their answers, so you just continue with the same talking points, message after message, or offer some scenario that could only occur in a Final Destination movie. Throw something new on the table, or just let it die. If you are expecting a reply from Groundspeak, don't hold your breath. I can not imagine a situation where they would discuss a legal issue in an open forum.

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Just my 2¢

 

I think some reviewers are very conscious to help you make sure that you are placing in a positive area, but I don't think it is their responsibility. The CO should be aware of who they are trying to appeal to with cache placement and reflect that appropriately in the terrain and difficulty ratings. And yeah, the cacher is responsible as well. There is more than enough information on the GC site to inform a newbie about how ratings work and what they likely reflect.

 

I think to assign liability to any one person in the cache creation, publishing and find process is asnine. All three parties have their responsiblity and no one party is completely responsible. It is a caching ecosystem :)

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Are Groundspeak reviewers allowed to consider safety when they determine whether a cache should be published?

You are repeating yourself. You have already been told that the reviewers base their evaluations on the guidelines. The guidelines do not mention safety.

From the thread "Guidelines and railroads":

 

Under NO circumstances would I say "this cache is likely to cause forseeable grave harm." That could really hold up publication of your cache. :ph34r:

 

I took this as sarcasm over the dead horse argument that this thread has become.

Maybe. Maybe not. All the more reason to request a straightforward answer to the question, "Are Groundspeak reviewers allowed to consider safety when they determine whether a cache should be published?"

 

Who are you expecting the reply from? You have had countless people offer their answers, all but two say "No". Note that these are people that have been involved for 8-10 years and have turned every aspect Geocaching inside out. You will not accept their answers, so you just continue with the same talking points, message after message, or offer some scenario that could only occur in a Final Destination movie. Throw something new on the table, or just let it die. If you are expecting a reply from Groundspeak, don't hold your breath. I can not imagine a situation where they would discuss a legal issue in an open forum.

 

1) I agree that I am beating a dead horse.

2) I must be the other 1 of the 2 you reference.

3) Your statement is hardly correct. Very few people actually answered the question: "Are Groundspeak reviewers allowed to consider safety when they determine whether a cache should be published?" Or the similar question "Are Groundspeak reviewers allowed to consider safety when they become aware of an issue after the cache is already published?" When the question has been directly answered it was usually in the manner of; "Yes, sure they can consider safety and provide suggestions or actions regarding safety if they want to and have a clear understanding of their own concern or the concerns of others that have been brought to their attention." Rather, most of the time that that pragmatic question is asked it is responded to with a bombardment of counter questions and scenarios intended to exploit the opposite end of the spectrum that has long ceased being brought into question. (ie, "My answer is that question is 'NO' because I think cliff climbing should be allowed". Or "No, because I don't think that the reviewer SHOULD be held RESPONSIBLE." Or "No, how can the reviewer ever know what is safe." Etc. In each example the answer is indeed, "NO", but the follow up info demonstrates that it is not a response to the question above.

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Very few people actually answered the question: "Are Groundspeak reviewers allowed to consider safety when they determine whether a cache should be published?"

 

At least one actual reviewer has answered your question, although he doesn't post here from his reviewer account. The reviewers job is to ensure compliance with the guidelines. The guidelines do not mention safety. Therefore, the reviewers do not consider safety when the determine whether a cache should be published.

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Here's an example of what I am talking about.

 

This cache is within 15 feet of a railroad. In fact, one of the busiest lines in South Carolina.

GC1PYJ6

 

Clearly in violation of Groundspeak's rules. Now, if someone was searching the area, and got hit by a train, yes, Groundspeak and the reviewer would probably face the mother of all lawsuits. I don't think the "we aren't responsible" or "we didn't know about the railroad" would hold up in court in a injury lawsuit.

You are assuming that the reviewer did not question the cache owner at length about this issue. This would not be a valid assumption in this case.

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Are Groundspeak reviewers allowed to consider safety when they determine whether a cache should be published?

You are repeating yourself. You have already been told that the reviewers base their evaluations on the guidelines. The guidelines do not mention safety.

From the thread "Guidelines and railroads":

 

Under NO circumstances would I say "this cache is likely to cause forseeable grave harm." That could really hold up publication of your cache. :ph34r:

 

I took this as sarcasm over the dead horse argument that this thread has become.

You're correct, DonJ.

 

I apologize for any confusion caused to anyone not noticing the ninja emoticon following that lighthearted add on to the end of a longer, substantive post.

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Are Groundspeak reviewers allowed to consider safety when they determine whether a cache should be published?

You are repeating yourself. You have already been told that the reviewers base their evaluations on the guidelines. The guidelines do not mention safety.

From the thread "Guidelines and railroads":

 

Under NO circumstances would I say "this cache is likely to cause forseeable grave harm." That could really hold up publication of your cache. :ph34r:

 

I took this as sarcasm over the dead horse argument that this thread has become.

You're correct, DonJ.

 

I apologize for any confusion caused to anyone not noticing the ninja emoticon following that lighthearted add on to the end of a longer, substantive post.

You might be able to clear up even more confusion if you answer the straightforward question: "Are Groundspeak reviewers allowed to consider safety when they determine whether a cache should be published?"

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If the above scenario did happen, would a cacher have a legitimate case aginst the reviewer orf GS? Seems unlikely, but I'm no lawyer by any means, so some of you JD's out there could answer.

 

That is pretty much the issue. If they reviewed for safety, and declared that a cache was safe, and it wasn't, they could be held responsible.

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If the above scenario did happen, would a cacher have a legitimate case aginst the reviewer orf GS? Seems unlikely, but I'm no lawyer by any means, so some of you JD's out there could answer.

 

That is pretty much the issue. If they reviewed for safety, and declared that a cache was safe, and it wasn't, they could be held responsible.

 

But they can't do that, because they couldn't possibly know. But that has already been mentioned, hasn't it? :rolleyes:

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If the above scenario did happen, would a cacher have a legitimate case aginst the reviewer orf GS? Seems unlikely, but I'm no lawyer by any means, so some of you JD's out there could answer.

That is pretty much the issue. If they reviewed for safety, and declared that a cache was safe, and it wasn't, they could be held responsible.

As everyone here seems to agree, it's impossible for reviewers to know how safe all the proposed caches are. So publishing a cache isn't declaring that a cache is safe. No more than publishing a cache declares that people can legally access that cache.

 

On the other hand, there could be some instances where the reviewers are aware of serious safety issues concerning a proposed cache. In some of those instances, reviewers who ignore this information might be liable for gross negligence.

 

If you're concerned about reviewers being held legally responsible for something, then be concerned about them being held legally responsible for some of the harm that might result from gross negligence.

Edited by CanadianRockies
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...

If you're concerned about reviewers being held legally responsible for something, then be concerned about them being held legally responsible for some of the harm that might result from gross negligence.

 

If that is the point of this thread - ok got it. Opinion noted.

 

If the point of this thread is the question in the title - the answer is a resounding "NO".

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If the above scenario did happen, would a cacher have a legitimate case aginst the reviewer orf GS? Seems unlikely, but I'm no lawyer by any means, so some of you JD's out there could answer.

That is pretty much the issue. If they reviewed for safety, and declared that a cache was safe, and it wasn't, they could be held responsible.

As everyone here seems to agree, it's impossible for reviewers to know how safe all the proposed caches are. So publishing a cache isn't declaring that a cache is safe. No more than publishing a cache declares that people can legally access that cache.

 

On the other hand, there could be some instances where the reviewers are aware of serious safety issues concerning a proposed cache. In some of those instances, reviewers who ignore this information might be liable for gross negligence.

 

If you're concerned about reviewers being held legally responsible for something, then be concerned about them being held legally responsible for some of the harm that might result from gross negligence.

So your saying if you fall thru the frozen pond your walking on to get that 5T and die your going to blame the reviewer. Oh...............I get it now. Sheez. So when do people become responsible for their own actions. We know already how you want the reviewers to take responsiblity..................it isn't going to happen. Not today, not tomorrow not ever. So you can make up all these different scenarios and what ifs and buts and it still won't change. Let the horse go to the glue factory it's been dead for a couple days now :laughing:

 

edited to say NO NO NO NO NO the reviewers should not be responsible for our safety.

Edited by the4dirtydogs
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If the above scenario did happen, would a cacher have a legitimate case aginst the reviewer orf GS? Seems unlikely, but I'm no lawyer by any means, so some of you JD's out there could answer.

That is pretty much the issue. If they reviewed for safety, and declared that a cache was safe, and it wasn't, they could be held responsible.

As everyone here seems to agree, it's impossible for reviewers to know how safe all the proposed caches are. So publishing a cache isn't declaring that a cache is safe. No more than publishing a cache declares that people can legally access that cache.

 

On the other hand, there could be some instances where the reviewers are aware of serious safety issues concerning a proposed cache. In some of those instances, reviewers who ignore this information might be liable for gross negligence.

 

If you're concerned about reviewers being held legally responsible for something, then be concerned about them being held legally responsible for some of the harm that might result from gross negligence.

So your saying if you fall thru the frozen pond your walking on to get that 5T and die your going to blame the reviewer.

No, I'm not saying that, and I never have. If I had, I'm sure you could review this thread and quote me.

 

We know already how you want the reviewers to take responsiblity..................it isn't going to happen. Not today, not tomorrow not ever.

Whether reviewers take responsibility or not, it's quite likely they will share some legal liability if their actions constitute gross negligence. Ignoring that liability doesn't make it go away.

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Whether reviewers take responsibility or not, it's quite likely they will share some legal liability if their actions constitute gross negligence.

There's that word again. Tell me, in your opinion, (not looking for legal advice, just your personal belief on the matter), if I hide a cache in an area with very real hazards, and I spell out those hazards quite clearly on the cache page, would my actions meet your interpretation of gross negligence? If the Reviewer looked at my cache page, noted that I clearly and concisely detailed the hazards, and they published the cache, would their actions meet your interpretation of gross negligence? :unsure:

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Whether reviewers take responsibility or not, it's quite likely they will share some legal liability if their actions constitute gross negligence. Ignoring that liability doesn't make it go away.

It is vastly more likely they will be face legal Liability if they start making judgment calls on safety. Current method they are extremely unlikely to be held legally responsible, your way they are guaranteed to be. Why you can't see that is a mystery to me, it's been explained to you often enough.

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You might be able to clear up even more confusion if you answer the straightforward question: "Are Groundspeak reviewers allowed to consider safety when they determine whether a cache should be published?"

 

How many times does this question have to be answered before you stopping repeating it?

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Whether reviewers take responsibility or not, it's quite likely they will share some legal liability if their actions constitute gross negligence. Ignoring that liability doesn't make it go away.

 

Which is true for every person in the United States, whether they are a reviewer or not.

 

However, to the best of my knowledge, nearly 1.3 million caches have been deployed in 10 1/2 years without a reviewer losing a goss negligence lawsuit. Yet a reviewer has a 1 in 85 chance of dying in a car accident, a 1 in 81,701 chance of being killed by lightning, and a 1 in 153,597 chance of dying in an earthquake (Source).

 

While its a concern, it's not something that should keep reviewers up at night.

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Whether reviewers take responsibility or not, it's quite likely they will share some legal liability if their actions constitute gross negligence.

There's that word again. Tell me, in your opinion, (not looking for legal advice, just your personal belief on the matter), if I hide a cache in an area with very real hazards, and I spell out those hazards quite clearly on the cache page, would my actions meet your interpretation of gross negligence?

As others can confirm, I've repeatedly explained the general principle of gross negligence. I'm not familiar with Florida's negligence statutes or its case law on the subject. If you seriously want to know whether your 5/5 cache puts you in legal jeapardy, then I again recommend that you consult a knowledgeable local attorney. They likely will ask you specific questions about the types of hazards and how you worded your warnings. You probably should inquire about "ordinary negligence" as well.

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I'm not familiar with Florida's negligence statutes or its case law on the subject.

No worries. As I've mentioned before, I'm not seeking legal council. If I were, I would have followed your advice the last few times you posted it. Having read your interpretation of gross negligence has left me curious about your opinion on a specific circumstance. That's why I keep asking for your opinion. If you don't want to give your thoughts on the matter, that's fine. Just say so. Constantly referring me to legal council, when I've explained I want your opinion, not legal advice, doesn't really help me.

 

Just for clarification, here's the question again:

I create a cache. The area has certain known hazards.

I explain these hazards on the cache page.

The reviewer publishes the cache.

 

Can I be held liable for gross negligence?

Can the reviewer be held liable for gross negligence?

 

Just your opinion please, not legal advice.

 

Thanx! :)

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Two points and I hope they don't get mixed together.

 

Seekers should never assume any cache hunt is perfectly safe!

Even if the cache owner and Groundspeak both certify with a 100% guarantee that every cache listed, ever, is perfectly safe the cache seeker still bears the responsibility for their own safety. Why? Human error on the cache seeker's part. The seeker might enter the coordinates wrong, might encounter rabid rabbits or killer squirrels, encounter human predators, hunt the wrong solution to a puzzle, or any host of other things not connected with the hunt, but might encounter on it.

 

If I place a puzzle cache and the seeker punches in the wrong final coordinates, how could I possibly foresee him falling to his death in a horrible accident at a place he should have never been? We get folks who call us hunting our puzzles and more than a few times after they describe where they are they aren't close.

 

Pretty much, you're on your own.

 

Participants are responsible only for gross negligence or willful maliciousness.

This nonsense about whether reviewers are responsible for dangerous situations has been answered. If it's on the cache page, then both the reviewer and the seeker is going to know about it. Period. Done. Answered back on page one of this thread, I think.

 

However, for the sake of argument and another "Final Destiny" scenario a cacher places a cache in the middle of a field. Didn't see any signs going in. "Good no No Trespassing," he thinks. He writes it up and submits. The reviewer checks out the cache page, sees nothing out of the ordinary, and publishes.

 

But then someone comes along and knows from personal experience this field is actually an active mine field. The cache owner has not blown himself up only by sheer luck! What does this person do? He emails the reviewer and informs the reviewer that the cache is in the middle of a mine field and the next person to step foot in the field is likely to die.

 

At this point, if someone does die, who is grossly negligent? The reviewer because he didn't immediately archive the cache? If he did, would Groundspeak be responsible because archived caches aren't included in PQs therefor paperless cachers would think it's still a viable cache? The person who knew about the mine field and didn't look around for, and replace, the fallen minefield warning sign or alert some local authority? The kids who kicked down the signs in the first place?

 

I submit that all bear a little responsibility.

 

The point here is no one can vet a cache for every foreseeable circumstance. Managed risk is part of the hobby. (I know of at least one person in this very thread who survived a horrendous collision while caching, but how is that the responsibility of the reviewer or cache owner?) It's the gross negligence or willful maliciousness that's the problem, not that there might be a little danger involved.

Edited by CoyoteRed
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