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  • Jousting risk assessment

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    09-11-2011, 02:10 AM
  #21
Yearling
All the jousters know what they are getting into, and we do not force them into anything. They do this under their own will, and we have never had any fatal accident, or anything even close to something of that sort. Our ground crew, AND our jousters have been properly trained and have practices AND have the proper equipment to keep theirselves safe, including everyone else. The most I have ever heard of someone getting in terms of pain, was a broken foot, which was caused by the horse and the groundcrew person trying to settle him.

If the person is not willing to accept the fact that we are not at fault for their decisions, then they will not joust, nor will they ever come close to touching our horses.
     
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    09-11-2011, 10:05 AM
  #22
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deschutes    
All the jousters know what they are getting into, and we do not force them into anything. They do this under their own will, and we have never had any fatal accident, or anything even close to something of that sort. Our ground crew, AND our jousters have been properly trained and have practices AND have the proper equipment to keep theirselves safe, including everyone else. The most I have ever heard of someone getting in terms of pain, was a broken foot, which was caused by the horse and the groundcrew person trying to settle him.

If the person is not willing to accept the fact that we are not at fault for their decisions, then they will not joust, nor will they ever come close to touching our horses.
The guys I know doing historical reenactments are the same way, with weapon safety checks, etc.... to prevent accidents from happening. But it only takes one time. My uncle-in-law did these until he was about 70, and boasted about how safe and careful they were. And yet he was at the 135 Gettysburg even in 1998 were a man was accidently shot in the neck.
It's like a risk assessment I did once something that didn't seem to bad on the surface. The actual risk of a major problem was very, very small. However, what had been ignored was the potential problems that would arise if the risk was actually realized. As my report noted. In most cases it's not a quiestion of the odds being extremely low or as one person put it "if" it ever happens. If the outcome is dire, then you have to look at it as "when" it happens, not "if".
Obviously these people are all willing to participate and take the risk. The man who got shot at the 1998 reenactment was willing to take the risk. The waivers protect the organizers, who were not held at fault. But it didn't prevent the man who fired the weapon from being charged. Fortunately is was, relatively speaking, a minor wound.
Just because everyone agrees to assume a risk, that doesn't mean the law and lawyers aren't going to get involved if something goes terribly wrong. There will always be some law that can be applied. If you're very lucky the worse that will happen is they'll pass a law banning the activity. But events in the past have shown that the legal system usually get's "it's pound of flesh" in the process.
     
    09-11-2011, 06:43 PM
  #23
Yearling
I don't see how the risk in jousting is any different than eventing or bull riding or... lots of other things.
     
    09-11-2011, 07:48 PM
  #24
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by ponyboy    
I don't see how the risk in jousting is any different than eventing or bull riding or... lots of other things.
:)) because there is no criminal code dealing with the charging of a bull with a crime for injuring, maiming or killing someone. Although the law can have it destroyed.

Just like there's no law against a lot of things, but there are general catagories when potentially life threating things injure people. Things like assault (with or without battery), reckless endangerment (or homicide if someone dies). You can get killed driving your car to work, but unless you're at fault the law is going to make someone answer for it. The end result will be up to the court. In a case with the jousting it would certainly be assault and battery. Most likely rickless endangerment too. These are "lesser" charges and hopefully the worse that someone would face.

I'm certainly not telling anyone they can't or even shouldn't do what they want. People can tie a rubberband to their ankles and jump off a bridge. But in cases like that if something happens and they are injured, maimed or killed it deals only with them.

Let's step outside the potential legal risk. Ever see some die from a violent physical act perpetrated by someone else? Imagine how a person would feel if their action resulted unintentionallly in maiming or killing someone. That alone would be bad enough, but imagine that it's someone you know and you have to face their family. Or in this hobby you have to face their family and friends at events (providing they continue participating). How much forgiveness would it take to be enough?

But of course we all know that nothing that serious will ever happen to a person. It would only be somone's horse that accidently catches a lance some day, and that will be a lot easier to live with. And unlikely to have any legal issues.

This is all simply fodder for conversation. People will do what they want. Things will sometimes happen. Some lives would be altered and the rest continue on.
     
    09-11-2011, 08:55 PM
  #25
Started
My fiance has been doing this for 10+ years. Though, not at ren. Fairs, but other similar events.
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    09-12-2011, 07:17 PM
  #26
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by its lbs not miles    
Just like there's no law against a lot of things, but there are general catagories when potentially life threating things injure people. Things like assault (with or without battery), reckless endangerment (or homicide if someone dies). You can get killed driving your car to work, but unless you're at fault the law is going to make someone answer for it. The end result will be up to the court. In a case with the jousting it would certainly be assault and battery. Most likely rickless endangerment too. These are "lesser" charges and hopefully the worse that someone would face.
Volenti non fit injuria. That's Latin for "no injury is done to one who consents." Accidentally killing your opponent in a boxing ring is not a crime, and neither would it be in jousting.

As for civil suits, barring gross negligence, liability depends on the strength of your wavier, not on the particulars of the activity. Anybody can attempt to sue anybody for anything; that doesn't mean they will win, or even get very far in the process (and it's a long process). There's a guy who tried to sue Bush for "misrepresenting the addictive properties of beer." The court threw the case out.

Incidentally, there was a lawsuit over a death in eventing last year. (It was on FHOTD).
     
    09-12-2011, 08:45 PM
  #27
Yearling
Your man was referring to criminal, not civil, charges. That said, I still think any prosecutor who pressed criminal charges would be on dodgy ground, as *most* relevant offenses require proof beyond a reasonable of not only the actus reus (criminal act) but mens rea (guilty mind). You must prove the defendant *intended* to injure or kill the victim, which would obviously not be the case under these circumstances. Sure, there are such things as "strict liability" offenses which do not require proof of mens rea, but that's stuff like statutory rape, not assault, manslaughter, or even homicide. There are also categories of offense along the lines of criminally negligent homicide, but you have to prove, again beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant did not act as any "reasonable" person should under the circumstances and behaved so negligently as to result in death or injury. Provided the usual jousting safety measures were in place and participants were properly trained and aware of the risks, I think this would be a very tenuous claim to make.
     
    09-12-2011, 10:11 PM
  #28
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by ponyboy    
Volenti non fit injuria. That's Latin for "no injury is done to one who consents."
Based on that people could bring back dueling to the death and have no fear of punishment if they win. Indeed, based on that you could give written consent for someone to kill you and face to punishment. Didn't keep Jack Kevorkian from going to prison. And he was performing mercy killings with consent. Was still charged and convicted of 2nd degree murder.

Of course I guess the "knight" could claim self defense :))

They Frenchman who accidently shot the man at a reenactment in 1998 did it accidently (using a borrowed pistol) and everyone out there by default consented to particpating in a recreation of an armed conflict.
Didn't stop him form being charged with assault and reckless endangerment. He didn't go to prison, but it's still not much fun working throught the legal system. And perhaps I represent a minority in the world, but killing someone that I didn't intend to, would haunt me the rest of my life.
     
    09-12-2011, 11:17 PM
  #29
Showing
What I'm wondering is why you are making such a huge deal about this, LBS. It seems to me like you are trying to make the OP feel bad about being involved in the sport simply because someone could get hurt. So the guy you heard about got charged...that means exactly nothing. Unless the OP is in the exact same jurisdiction with the exact same cops and lawyers to handle the investigation and the knights signed the same exact waiver as the reenactment guy, the chance that the outcome would be the same is virtually non-existent. Many other places, a death that occurred during a sporting event or game such as jousting (or football, or boxing, or motocross, or any other of the hundreds of dangerous sports where one person's death could be caused by another person) would be chalked up to a horrible accident and everyone would just go on with their lives. So just stop browbeating the topic already.

Deschutes, those are great pictures, I thoroughly enjoyed them. I would love to see more if you would be willing to share .
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    09-13-2011, 07:53 AM
  #30
Started
Wow, it's really not that serious. It's a sport and a hobby just like anything else involving horses and people. Accidents happen just like they do in jumping, eventing, racing, and even trail riding.

I can attest to the amount of hard work, practice, and very careful planning that goes into jousting. The purple who do know exactly what they're doing and are very good at it. I'll have to find some pictures from some of my fiance's events.
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