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Wrongful death suit filed by parent of man who drowned

Discussion in 'Accidents and Near Misses' started by Ram, Aug 23, 2018.

  1. Ram

    Ram

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    This makes me sad and angry. Thoughts?

    https://norcalrecord.com/stories/51...-drowned-on-kings-canyon-national-forest-trip

    More info and our discussion here, in the past
    http://canyoncollective.com/threads/luca-rip.24847/

    Wrongful death suit filed by parent of man who drowned on Kings Canyon National Forest trip
    Filings

    By Jenie Mallari-Torres | Aug 21, 2018

    FRESNO – The parent of a man who drowned while on an expedition in Kings Canyon National Forest has filed a wrongful death suit against one of man's companions.


    [​IMG]

    FRESNO – The parent of a man who drowned while on an expedition in Kings Canyon National Forest has filed a wrongful death suit against one of man's companions.

    Dante Chiarabini, as personal representative of the estate of Luca Chiarabini, filed a complaint on July 27 in the Fresno County Superior Court against Richard Ianniello and Does 1-10 alleging wrongful death.

    According to the complaint, on Aug. 3, 2017, Luca Chiarabini was on a wilderness canyoneering expedition with Ianniello and another companion, William Hunt.

    The suit states as the decedent attempted to cross the Kings River in the Kings Canyon National Forest, he explicitly instructed defendant Ianniello to properly anchor the rope so that he did not drift into the rapids, which were located downstream. The suit states Ianniello failed to execute this, causing the decedent to be swept downstream.

    The plaintiff holds Ianniello and Does 1-10 responsible because the defendants allegedly allowed the rope to extend past the knot connected the ropes against instruction, failed to properly anchor the rope and failed to keep Chiarabini in sight.

    The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks judgment against defendants for general and special damages, interest, funeral and burial expenses, costs of suit, and further relief as the court deems just. The plaintiff is represented by Grant G. Teeple, Frederick M. Reich and Christine T. Levu of Teeple Hall LLP in San Diego.

    Fresno County Superior Court case number 18-CECG-02801
  2. Dan Ransom

    Dan Ransom Staff Member

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    What in the world? This is insane. I can't see how this benefits anyone in any way. What a vain and selfish action.
  3. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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    Yikes. Not great timing given the rendezvous in Ticino starting...this weekend. Fair number of folks going to celebrate Luca's legacy.

    In fact:

    https://www.canyonland.ch/photo-contest

    August 2018 1st photo contest

    In memory of Luca Chiarabini

    ACTIVE, ADVENTUROUS, ITALIAN
    MAY 19, 1970 - ITALY
    AUG 3, 2017 - CALIFORNIA

    He shared the great adventure of this world with everyone, just look at his legacy to have proof.

    Luca was a good friend to so many, charismatic, nature enthusiast, always ready to help. His business card stated: ‘Active, Adventurous, Italian’… and he was indeed!

    Luca was born in 1970 together with his twin brother near the Como Lake (Italy) and enjoyed his youth in Barcelona (Spain) where he graduated as IT Engineer. While working for Hewlett-Packard he moved with his wife and daughter to San Diego where he discovered his greatest passions: Caving & Canyoneering. Luca made countless expeditions all over the world, becoming the biggest contributor to Ropewiki and member of the San Bernardino Cave Rescue Team.

    Luca drowned in August 2017 while crossing the South Fork of Kings river in California.

    At the location of the accident a planted sequoia in his honor and a memorial plaque will remember Luca to all of us.

    “Hi, I’m Luca Chiarabini. 30 years ago a CalTech University professor and avid waterfall hiker had a group of rock climbing students in his class. Together they devised a way to descend waterfalls and explore canyons that had never been visited by mankind before. Chris Brennen started writing detailed beta of their explorations, that they called Adventure Hikes, and started publishing it all online for free. His beta would go on to inspire a whole new generation of adventurers, now called ‘Canyoneers’. Chris Brennen has even arranged his website to be hosted indefinitely after his death and guarantee permanent free access for all.

    I don’t know about you... but when I grow up, I want to be like Chris Brennen! That is why I post all my beta on Ropewiki, and I encourage anyone to do the same. Some canyoneers prefer to keep canyons secret, sometimes for noble reasons but more often than not, just to keep a canyon for their inner circle exclusive enjoyment.

    ‘Jump canyon’ (the BEST canyon in the US) was kept secret for almost 10 years until Brennen put an end to their monopoly by publishing information about it. I had just done Jump canyon for the first time that Summer when my good friend and lifelong canyoneer Roger Arhart told me he was dying: in 6 months he would be on a wheelchair and in a year he would be gone. I immediately planned a canyoning trip for him and his family. Jump was the last canyon Roger ever did. Before he died he told me “I’m glad we did Jump, that is a great canyon to go out with!”. I was able to give my friend a departing gift in great part thanks to Chris Brennen posting the beta on the canyon.”

    Friendship, adventure, and goodhearted sharing: this was Luca.
  4. townsend

    townsend

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    Was Dante Chiarabini on the canyoneering trip when Luca met his demise? It sounds like there were only three members -- Luca, (Rick) Ianniello, and William Hunt. If that's the case, it would seem that William Hunt might be source of the information (reported to Dante) of the charge.

    By no means am I suggesting that William Hunt's recounting of the events is problematic in the least. I am just trying to understand the basis of the allegation against Ianniello.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2019
  5. Dan Ransom

    Dan Ransom Staff Member

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    I'd say speculating is just that - speculation. Here's what the lawsuit alleges. I still don't see how this is the basis for a lawsuit, or how anything positive can come of this for anyone involved.

    upload_2018-8-23_19-57-15.
    upload_2018-8-23_19-58-22.
  6. Kuenn

    Kuenn

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    If I may be so presumptuous, the Luca that I knew briefly (by way of a one-time joint caving trip) would not want this or agree with the motive behind it, whatever that motivation is.

    Then there are the personal injury lawyers. Ick!

    Seems to me this tragedy would fall under Good Samaritan protection laws.

    1799.102.
    (a) No person who in good faith, and not for compensation, renders emergency medical or nonmedical care at the scene of an emergency shall be liable for any civil damages resulting from any act or omission.

    Although I believe California has some screwy proviso that failed rescue attempts are not protected during selfless-acts.

    Mistakes may have been unintentionally made, including poor judgment, and or failure to accurately execution safety principles...it happens all the time in unscripted adventures.

    Does bad execution of a belay failing to arrest a climber’s fall make the belayer liable? Hardly. It’s an assumed risk that comes with the territory. What’s the difference here?
    Rapterman likes this.
  7. Canyonero

    Canyonero

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    Do I need to start having my canyoneering buddies and their friends and family sign waivers/releases?
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2018
    Rapterman likes this.
  8. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Asking for a waiver is an admission that you have a duty of care, and waivers are not effective.

    Better would be for us'all to leave a letter to our next of kin, insisting that we accept responsibility for the risks we take, and that our companions are not liable if something goes wrong.

    Tom
  9. Canyonero

    Canyonero

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    Well, bring a copy of your letter then. :)
    qcard and Rapterman like this.
  10. BobRoss

    BobRoss Make them birds...

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  11. townsend

    townsend

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    .
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2019
  12. MeiDayMeiDay

    MeiDayMeiDay

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    From the other post that was made on the subject, it sounds as if the anchor wasn't the problem: it was that someone was tied to the end of a rope without a way to release themselves, and they didn't use a PFD. Is this wrong?
  13. townsend

    townsend

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    MeiDay -- see this thread for more discussion about the incident: http://canyoncollective.com/threads/luca-rip.24847/#post-107317

    The take home message is: ropes and rivers don't mix well. Swift water adds an exponential danger factor.

    =================================================================================================

    This case was last updated from Fresno County Superior Courts on 8/6/19: https://unicourt.com/case/ca-fre-dante-chiarabini-vs-richard-ianniello-868862

    It looks like both parties have requested a jury trial, which is scheduled to take place in May 2020. I tried logging in, only to eventually be "greeted" by a page requesting 39.00 per month for "personal use".

    Does anyone have an update on recent developments of this case?
    MeiDayMeiDay likes this.
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