Gilles Blackburn and his wife decided to ski out of bounds at Kicking Horse Resort. They got lost for 9 days and his wife died. After he was rescued, he decided to sue everyone and his brother for not being rescued soon enough. Now, because the province’s Provincial Emergency Program isn’t providing legal coverage, or isn’t providing enough, or something, rescue teams are reconsidering whether or not they can do rescues anymore.
I am confused by two things in this story. 1. the Golden and District Search and Rescue’s director says
GADSAR is now under the understanding that its directors can be held legally responsible for the actions of PEP registered SAR volunteers… and that the
directors of that society must act in defense of any legal accusations without the support of PEP. This is unacceptable.
the province responded with
The province covers volunteers for liability, but the search-and-rescue societies are responsible
for getting their own coverage because they are separate legal entities.
Whaaaa? How does that work? I feel like I’m listening to that old song I used to hear whenI was a kid.
Mother May I go out to swim?
Yes you may, my daughter.
Fold your clothes up neat and trim,
but don’t go near the water.
Am I missing something? I must be. they have coverage, but they don’t have coverage? I sort of kind of get it, I guess you can’t sue the actual volunteers for stuff they personally did while dragging your sorry self from the snow, but you can sue the overarching society? I don’t understand how that works. You can see why I do not a lawyer make.
the other thing I’m confused about is if search and rescue teams are saying they won’t do search and rescue…um…will they all disband? I mean, they’re refusing to do what they formed to do. I guess since they’re all volunteers, they’re perfectly allowed to do that, but is that what this means? Or is it just a temporary protest? Could it mean the disappearance of all search and rescue teams in that area? This would be sad, since I’m pretty sure not all search and rescue efforts are for dumbasses who ski out of bounds. If it was just for those dumbasses, I’d say they got what they deserved.
Way to go, gilles Blackburn. I hope everyone who decides not to go to ski resorts because they’re not sure if it’s safe anymore because of the lack of search and rescue teams sues you for everything you have, whether or not you win this lawsuit. After all, it is your fault that that service may be gone.