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E-Bikes: Attractive Nuisances!?!?

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  • voltaiadesigncoop
    I was talking to a friend of mine at school yesterday - a career changer like me, she used to be a lawyer and is after a master s in education. I was bragging
    Message 1 of 7 , Apr 14, 2004
      I was talking to a friend of mine at school yesterday - a career
      changer like me, she used to be a lawyer and is after a master's in
      education. I was bragging about my bikes and she said I better not
      leave them unattended for a second when I'm out with them. When I
      asked why she said they sound like "attractive nuisances". She
      explained it like this: When something is so unusual it tends to
      attract a crowd, that poses a public safety issue. The local police
      or magistrate has the sole authority to declare something an
      attractive nuisance, and when they do, bad things happen: the
      attractive nuisance loses any insurance coverage it might have had,
      the police can "dispose" of it in any way they see fit, and if anyone
      is hurt messing with it, its owner can be CRIMINALLY CHARGED WITH
      NEGLIGENCE. "so, if I park the Wizard at Stop 'n' Shop to go get
      some groceries, and some little darlin' gets electrocuted in the
      course of vandalizing it, I can be charged (no pun intended)???" "If
      he dies, try negligent homicide.", she said. She explained the
      difference thus: If a ordinary bike was locked up outside the store
      with a cable, and some idiot bike thief, in the course of attempting
      a ripoff, slips and rips through his jugular on the chainring and
      dies, NO PROBLEM. (except for the thief, of course). If it's an e-
      bike in the same situation, and the thief gets fried, it's the
      owner's fault.

      Sorry this is a longish post, folks, but I just can't freaking
      believe this. "So what do I do, short of dismantling the bike and
      selling off the parts?" I said. "You could put a big 'Danger - High
      Voltage" sign on the bike," she replied, "and that would probably
      only leave you with the risk of civil penalties.....". "So, I get my
      butt sued into the poorhouse, my wages garnished, and my life
      ruined? I'd be better off stealing a parked car, running over the
      sucker, and hoping the M.E. can't find the evidence of
      electrocution!" "That's about it.", she said. Then she told me about
      a case in Michigan that's published in the law textbooks. This guy
      had a '58 Corvette convertible in original, showroom condition. He
      parks it in front of a coffee shop and goes in for his double grande
      whatever. A car buff and his girlfriend are across the street. He
      sees the 'Vette, just HAS to go check it out, and starts to cross
      without looking. A truck runs them down, killing the girlfriend and
      crippling the car buff for life. The 'Vette owner was successfully
      sued for being civilly responsible for the accident, under the
      attractive nuisance theory, and lost everything - seems his insurance
      company got away with not paying, again under the attractive nuisance
      theory. He was criminally charged with negligent homicide, but the
      jury hung (finally, SOMEONE with some common sense!) and the ass't.
      D.A. declined to re-try the case.

      WTF do we do about this? Hire a security guard to ride with us? It's
      obvious to me the law's gotta be changed. Unfortunately, it seems to
      go all the way back to the Magna-freaking-Carta.

      Maybe it's time we formed the Electric Bicycle Association of North
      America to get us some lobbying power and group insurance.

      Dave Hammond
    • Jan
      Does that work for a woman in a bici---- never mind . . . leave it to a lawyer to be able to sue someone for someone elses stupidity. Harrassment can be as
      Message 2 of 7 , Apr 14, 2004
        Does that work for a woman in a bici---- never mind . . . leave it
        to a lawyer to be able to sue someone for someone elses stupidity.
        Harrassment can be as simple as you staring at someone who does not
        want to looking at them. What a world we live in!

        Jan
        Newport RI
      • dtofuboy
        Pardon my French, but: F***king lawyers!!! Come on! Uma Thurman and Johnny Depp are attractive nuisances by that definition. And, anyway, most e-bikes don t
        Message 3 of 7 , Apr 14, 2004
          Pardon my French, but: F***king lawyers!!!

          Come on! Uma Thurman and Johnny Depp are attractive nuisances by
          that definition. And, anyway, most e-bikes don't look that wild, do
          they? What about Porsches and hot cars like that? ARe they
          attractive nuisances? Oy.

          David

          --- In power-assist@yahoogroups.com, "voltaiadesigncoop"
          <dabbotthammond@c...> wrote:
          > I was talking to a friend of mine at school yesterday - a career
          > changer like me, she used to be a lawyer and is after a master's in
          > education. I was bragging about my bikes and she said I better not
          > leave them unattended for a second when I'm out with them. When I
          > asked why she said they sound like "attractive nuisances". She
          > explained it like this: When something is so unusual it tends to
          > attract a crowd, that poses a public safety issue. The local
          police
          > or magistrate has the sole authority to declare something an
          > attractive nuisance, and when they do, bad things happen: the
          > attractive nuisance loses any insurance coverage it might have had,
          > the police can "dispose" of it in any way they see fit, and if
          anyone
          > is hurt messing with it, its owner can be CRIMINALLY CHARGED WITH
          > NEGLIGENCE. "so, if I park the Wizard at Stop 'n' Shop to go get
          > some groceries, and some little darlin' gets electrocuted in the
          > course of vandalizing it, I can be charged (no pun
          intended)???" "If
          > he dies, try negligent homicide.", she said. She explained the
          > difference thus: If a ordinary bike was locked up outside the store
          > with a cable, and some idiot bike thief, in the course of
          attempting
          > a ripoff, slips and rips through his jugular on the chainring and
          > dies, NO PROBLEM. (except for the thief, of course). If it's an e-
          > bike in the same situation, and the thief gets fried, it's the
          > owner's fault.
          >
          > Sorry this is a longish post, folks, but I just can't freaking
          > believe this. "So what do I do, short of dismantling the bike and
          > selling off the parts?" I said. "You could put a big 'Danger - High
          > Voltage" sign on the bike," she replied, "and that would probably
          > only leave you with the risk of civil penalties.....". "So, I get
          my
          > butt sued into the poorhouse, my wages garnished, and my life
          > ruined? I'd be better off stealing a parked car, running over the
          > sucker, and hoping the M.E. can't find the evidence of
          > electrocution!" "That's about it.", she said. Then she told me
          about
          > a case in Michigan that's published in the law textbooks. This guy
          > had a '58 Corvette convertible in original, showroom condition. He
          > parks it in front of a coffee shop and goes in for his double
          grande
          > whatever. A car buff and his girlfriend are across the street. He
          > sees the 'Vette, just HAS to go check it out, and starts to cross
          > without looking. A truck runs them down, killing the girlfriend and
          > crippling the car buff for life. The 'Vette owner was successfully
          > sued for being civilly responsible for the accident, under the
          > attractive nuisance theory, and lost everything - seems his
          insurance
          > company got away with not paying, again under the attractive
          nuisance
          > theory. He was criminally charged with negligent homicide, but the
          > jury hung (finally, SOMEONE with some common sense!) and the ass't.
          > D.A. declined to re-try the case.
          >
          > WTF do we do about this? Hire a security guard to ride with us?
          It's
          > obvious to me the law's gotta be changed. Unfortunately, it seems
          to
          > go all the way back to the Magna-freaking-Carta.
          >
          > Maybe it's time we formed the Electric Bicycle Association of North
          > America to get us some lobbying power and group insurance.
          >
          > Dave Hammond
        • Jeff Lada
          ... ...and if anyone is hurt messing with it, its owner can be CRIMINALLY CHARGED WITH NEGLIGENCE. so, if I park the Wizard at Stop n Shop to go get some
          Message 4 of 7 , Apr 14, 2004
            >>>>>>>
            ...and if anyone
            is hurt messing with it, its owner can be CRIMINALLY CHARGED WITH
            NEGLIGENCE. "so, if I park the Wizard at Stop 'n' Shop to go get
            some groceries, and some little darlin' gets electrocuted in the
            course of vandalizing it, I can be charged (no pun intended)???" "If
            he dies, try negligent homicide...
            >>>>>>>

            Seems to me that the only real issue we can hope to deal with here is that of public safety. The 'Danger High Voltage' sign is a start. More than that, protective covers for battery posts, controller leads, and the like are essential. Try to avoid the 'negligent' moniker.

            Jeff



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • David Hammond
            I d heard of the attractive nuisance theory before, from my insurance agent, and before that, from a guy whose over-the-top Xmas light display was shut down by
            Message 5 of 7 , Apr 14, 2004
              I'd heard of the attractive nuisance theory before, from my insurance agent, and before that, from a guy whose over-the-top Xmas light display was shut down by the town because of sightseeing traffic, but I had no idea such legal nonsense was so serious. And, yes, celebs like Uma are always paying through the schnoz (read "settling") to folks who are hurt in stampedes of autograph seekers, and I'll bet the legal principle is the same. And as far as Porsches & etc.; that's up to a local cop, or a "boinking" lawyer, depending on the circumstances. Attractive doesn't mean pretty, it means 'drawing a crowd', and guess how the lawyers define a crowd?

              Shakespeare was right. But at least my friend at school did the right thing and got out.

              Dave Hammond


              ----- Original Message -----
              From: dtofuboy
              To: power-assist@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Wednesday, April 14, 2004 3:26 PM
              Subject: [power-assist] Re: E-Bikes: Attractive Nuisances!?!?


              Pardon my French, but: F***king lawyers!!!

              Come on! Uma Thurman and Johnny Depp are attractive nuisances by
              that definition. And, anyway, most e-bikes don't look that wild, do
              they? What about Porsches and hot cars like that? ARe they
              attractive nuisances? Oy.

              David



              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • David Hammond
              I m gonna make my own sign: DANGER - HIGH VOLTAGE in huge, bright letters, and then the fine print: As for those who ignore this sign, think of it as
              Message 6 of 7 , Apr 14, 2004
                I'm gonna make my own sign: "DANGER - HIGH VOLTAGE" in huge, bright letters, and then the fine print: "As for those who ignore this sign, think of it as evolution in action."

                Dave
                ----- Original Message -----
                From: Jeff Lada
                To: power-assist@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Wednesday, April 14, 2004 4:40 PM
                Subject: Re: [power-assist] E-Bikes: Attractive Nuisances!?!?



                >>>>>>>
                ...and if anyone
                is hurt messing with it, its owner can be CRIMINALLY CHARGED WITH
                NEGLIGENCE. "so, if I park the Wizard at Stop 'n' Shop to go get
                some groceries, and some little darlin' gets electrocuted in the
                course of vandalizing it, I can be charged (no pun intended)???" "If
                he dies, try negligent homicide...
                >>>>>>>

                Seems to me that the only real issue we can hope to deal with here is that of public safety. The 'Danger High Voltage' sign is a start. More than that, protective covers for battery posts, controller leads, and the like are essential. Try to avoid the 'negligent' moniker.

                Jeff



                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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              • Melinda Meahan
                ... I ve got a better idea -- Those who ignore this sign will be awarded the Darwin Award posthumously. (see www.darwinawards.com) -- I know God will not
                Message 7 of 7 , Apr 14, 2004
                  David Hammond wrote:

                  > I'm gonna make my own sign: "DANGER - HIGH VOLTAGE" in huge, bright
                  > letters, and then the fine print: "As for those who ignore this sign,
                  > think of it as evolution in action."

                  I've got a better idea -- "Those who ignore this sign will be awarded
                  the Darwin Award posthumously."

                  (see www.darwinawards.com)

                  --
                  I know God will not give me anything I can't handle.
                  I just wish that He didn't trust me so much. - Mother Teresa
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