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Old 08-31-2021, 02:18 AM   #1
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Tim Farriss of INXS sues CHB/Clipper 34

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-08-...suit/100418328


Tim Farriss was the guitarist of INXS,in 2015 he hired/chartered what we call a Clipper 34, elsewhere called a CHB or Marine Trader, a 2 stateroom 2 head Taiwanese built 34ft trawler.



There`s some dispute about how, but somehow his fingers, the anchor chain, and gypsy got in contact, injuring all, severing one which was reattached with limited success as regards playing the guitar.
At one time there were dozens of these boats in charter, now they are largely replaced by houseboats, and Resort 35s. They were old boats in 2015, possibly 30yo.

The case could turn on several versions of "how" it happened, and what you tell the ambulance paramedic definitely gets recorded, it`s contemporaneous, and often highly regarded. Inadequate instruction can be an issue, if you don`t know what you are doing dropping an anchor, using it`s clutch, operating the "up" and "down" press buttons next to the horizontal windlass, you could easily find trouble, and maybe not find one of your fingers.
It`ll take all week to hear the case, maybe longer for a reserved judgement, or it may settle as the "facts" start to gell, but there is a dispute about economic loss too, so maybe not.

Boat cases were all too rare when I was practising,best one was a collision between an 18ft sailing racing skiff, well capable of planing at 20 knots + downwind, and a photographers boat. Always fun to get one.
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Old 08-31-2021, 03:14 AM   #2
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Would have been worth doing a piss and drug test at the time

Also a great argument for no foot switches.
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Old 08-31-2021, 07:04 AM   #3
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Reminds me of something that happened in Cape May. A big ketch came in at 0400 after an all night passage and started trying to anchor all over the place. They would let the chain out until the anchor just touched the bottom and put it in reverse. “It’s dragging”, the fellow at the bow would yell. They would then go try another spot. They then tried dragging the anchor around on the bottom at about 1:1.003 scope to see if it would grab something. That didn’t work so they decided that, if other boats were holding, those must be the good spots so they tried anchoring right in front of other boats right on top of their anchors. Chased away by lots of yelling and profanity by several boats, they tried about 50 feet abeam of me. I gave them instructions on how to anchor which they appreciated and pointed them towards a good spot (far away).

Next thing I knew, there was screaming and Coast Guard boats running out to the ketch. Because they had some scope, this time the anchor did set, and suddenly. The fellow had evidently been lifting the chain out over the gypsy and the sudden tension of the anchor grabbing pulled his fingers into it. I last saw him, he was riding in a USCG boat with his bandaged hand held high over his head. I met one of the crew, his wife I believe, the next day ashore and got yelled at. It was my fault because of the instructions I had given them. The boat did remain anchored however.
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Old 08-31-2021, 08:37 AM   #4
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What's more important, fingers and hand or a foot.
Without watching, we really dont know how he got his fingers involved.

Granted, I am no whiz at anchoring but I know enough not to put my fingers near anything that can rotate or really really hot.

A word of advice: If you are going to touch something that maybe hot, use the back of your hand. If it is too hot, the initial response will be to automatically pull your hand back. IF you use your fingers and it is very hot, you hand muscles will contract and you may very well end up grasping the hot surface even tighter. (US Navy)
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Old 08-31-2021, 09:02 PM   #5
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What's more important, fingers and hand or a foot.
Without watching, we really dont know how he got his fingers involved.

Granted, I am no whiz at anchoring but I know enough not to put my fingers near anything that can rotate or really really hot.

A word of advice: If you are going to touch something that maybe hot, use the back of your hand. If it is too hot, the initial response will be to automatically pull your hand back. IF you use your fingers and it is very hot, you hand muscles will contract and you may very well end up grasping the hot surface even tighter. (US Navy)
I thought that advice related to touching electrical componentry. Be surprised if anyone,including Farriss, knows for sure exactly how it happened.
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Old 08-31-2021, 09:33 PM   #6
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What's more important, fingers and hand or a foot.
Without watching, we really dont know how he got his fingers involved.

Granted, I am no whiz at anchoring but I know enough not to put my fingers near anything that can rotate or really really hot.

A word of advice: If you are going to touch something that maybe hot, use the back of your hand. If it is too hot, the initial response will be to automatically pull your hand back. IF you use your fingers and it is very hot, you hand muscles will contract and you may very well end up grasping the hot surface even tighter. (US Navy)

reminds me of a story: Old blacksmith was shoeing a horse, had the charcoal real hot, had the bellows blowing real good, had the current horse shoe a bright red, as he hammered it to fit. bystander fella comes by and watches. Then reaches out to grab a horseshoe to look at it. Old blacksmith says those shoes are a bit hot! Guy answers back I looked at real quick!
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Old 08-31-2021, 11:51 PM   #7
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From memory, the Clipper range never had foot operated anchor winch switches, so it was all done from the helm, and I would expect that to be definitely so for one in charter, and meeting the safety requirements required.

He might have a case if it was a situation where he was trying to free a jammed chain - possibly because they had forgotten to remove the snubber - and the thing suddenly freed itself up, and with the anchor weight it shot out taking his finger along with it.

However, if he was fiddling to free a jam, and someone else at the helm hit the switch - another reason to do it all yourself, so you can't do that, and why Simi made the comment he did - he might not have much of a case against the charter co, and should be suing the crew member instead. But of course he wouldn't do that.
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Old 09-01-2021, 02:18 AM   #8
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It`s speculative,but if the Clipper didn`t have windlass foot switches, a QC is unlikely to suggest to Farriss he told the Ambos he accidentally operated a switch with his foot. There`d be no point unless there was a switch. I`d be surprised if it had a snubber,something more for a usually inexperienced hirer to master.
Years ago I chartered a Clipper 34, maybe twice. I recall taking one back to the marina because of overheating. Boats in a hire fleet can be individually owned, and owner has input on maintenance.
Boats like this get hired to inexperienced unlicensed operators with a brief instruction intro while docked, maybe a Manual to read, and a phone or VHF name to call for help. Doesn`t surprise me hirers could strike trouble, not even recognizing when trouble was approaching. I`ve seen interesting attempts to pick up a mooring ball and to drop anchor,I`ve even offered polite help. You would not want most hirers anchoring near you.
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Old 09-01-2021, 06:45 AM   #9
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I`ve seen interesting attempts to pick up a mooring ball and to drop anchor,I`ve even offered polite help. You would not want most hirers anchoring near you.
BruceK, wanna instruct me on how to pick up a mooring ball?
Come on over. SMILE
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Old 09-01-2021, 06:49 AM   #10
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What's more important, fingers and hand or a foot.
I would say fingers for a professional guitarist. Sorry to hear about his loss.
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Old 09-01-2021, 07:08 AM   #11
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I would say fingers for a professional guitarist. Sorry to hear about his loss.
Maybe his brief said, "No one told me what could happen."
I guess they should have a check off list for him to sign???
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Old 09-01-2021, 10:04 PM   #12
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BruceK, wanna instruct me on how to pick up a mooring ball?
Come on over. SMILE
I`d like that, I`d like to go anywhere beyond my Local Govt(Municipal) area, or 5km from home if I go outside my LGA. We have to get to 80% vaxxed before that`s maybe on the table. In my State,we`re currently at 70% one dose(16 years>),approaching 40% with 2 doses.
C`mon Dan, you must know how to pick up a mooring ball. It`s easy, esp with the twins you don`t have.Ours have pennant lines,easy with a boathook. I think we have way more boats kept on moorings, and I`m used/was used to picking up free to use National Parks moorings in our near cruising areas. There is even a way to pick up solo, using a line from the bow leading back to the cockpit.
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Old 09-02-2021, 12:45 AM   #13
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Hoping to find an update on the progress of the case I didn`t, but I did find another report which gives more detail as to what might have happened.
I suspect the big issue in the case is economic loss but hey, you`re there, give the liability issue a good hard run.
https://www.theguardian.com/music/20...-boat-accident
Oh yes, I`ve seen "Omega" around, and it doesn`t look as nice as the pic I lifted from the charter co. website
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Old 09-02-2021, 05:21 AM   #14
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C`mon Dan, you must know how to pick up a mooring ball. It`s easy, esp with the twins you don`t have.Ours have pennant lines,easy with a boathook. I think we have way more boats kept on moorings, and I`m used/was used to picking up free to use National Parks moorings in our near cruising areas. There is even a way to pick up solo, using a line from the bow leading back to the cockpit.
old, bad back, dont flex like I used too.
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Old 09-02-2021, 12:06 PM   #15
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Like another thread, I would be shocked if the contract to charter didn't have all sorts of disclaimers of liability and even right to sue. Definitely sorry for his injury and realize the fact it's more severe due to career. However, there's another side of that. If you make your living with your hands, you know you must be more careful and take more precautions. We knew a hand model and the steps she went through to protect her hands made you wonder if it was really all worth it. She also had her hands insured and many guitarists do also.
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Old 09-02-2021, 01:02 PM   #16
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It is really too bad that this happened but why would he be chartering a 34í? You would think that he would be chartering a much more expensive boat. Maybe he just like smaller boats???
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Old 09-02-2021, 07:23 PM   #17
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old, bad back, dont flex like I used too.
I normally keep 2 back issues under good control with regular 1km lap swimming,but for now pools are closed, like everything else here. It`s worth a try, you might even enjoy it.
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Old 09-02-2021, 11:34 PM   #18
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A little more "information": https://www.nme.com/en_au/news/music...cident-3035531
Odd the defendants say they don`t know what happened but whatever it was, it wasn`t their fault. There seems no dispute the anchor chain was rusty, kinked,dirty, and I infer, the links were stuck together. Could be from from disuse, on a hire boats most hirers try to pick up a mooring rather than drop the anchor.
Even if Farriss did something causative wrong,it could be regarded as "contributory negligence" and damages diminished by his % contribution.
Exclusion of Liability clauses are construed "contra proferentem", ie against the party relying on the exclusion clause, and "read down" wherever possible.
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Old 09-03-2021, 11:18 AM   #19
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Exclusion of Liability clauses are construed "contra proferentem", ie against the party relying on the exclusion clause, and "read down" wherever possible.
In the US, the term often used in "contrary to public policy."

In business in a large company we had many contracts with smaller contractors. We attempted to write fair and equitable contracts as courts are adverse to letting you win simply because you wrote the contract or you had better lawyers. In the case of a boat rental, the typical "you signed it" may well fall of deaf ears in court. The charter company paid lawyers to spend considerable time developing the contract. Often the charterer only saw it briefly and signed it on the spot. A smart charter company would provide in advance and encourage them to have it reviewed by their attorney, but few do that.

Severance agreements are one of the most one sided agreements in the US. Employer agrees to pay former employee for x amount of time and employee agrees to forego all rights to sue or file claims or anything else. Either sign or you get no severance. Now normal practice is to not put agreement into effect for a period of time and require employee to return and sign either that they had a lawyer review it or chose not to do so in spite of being advised to do so. Still, in 30 years, I've never had a terminated employee refuse to sign.

I doubt seriously, that a boat rental company or charterer has had customers refuse to sign. The contract is written to protect the owner and most are very one sided. We chartered about about 8 to 10 boats in 2012-13. We refused the standard contract. They didn't like it but we had a good reputation for our chartering. Our charter broker made it clear we would not sign the standard form. The standard MYBA form is actually equitable between owner and charterer, but it's drawn by a broker association and has clauses such as broker fee is considered to be earned when signed so if contract cancelled even by force majeure and by either party, broker still gets full commission. Also, if charterer buys the boat within 2 years, the broker gets a 15% commission. Pretty obvious who wrote the agreement.

Typically though I'd think when you charter a crewed boat, the liability on the part of the owner is very high. However, when you charter without a crew, to operate yourself, your attesting to your own knowledge and to release the owner from liability is more a factor. You are saying you're knowledgeable and capable.
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Old 09-11-2021, 01:39 AM   #20
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More recent "media" report says case is complete, judgement in November/December. Defendants counsel(Turnbull) is quoted as admitting the unguarded chain system was dangerous but claims Farriss behaved unreasonably dealing with it. Verdict for the Plaintiff I expect, ? contributory negligence reducing damages. The real fight is economic loss, was the band already washed up,unlikely to ever tour/perform, finger or no finger?
https://ultimateclassicrock.com/inxs...cident-finger/
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