San Diego surfing injuries occur with some frequency because of the large numbers of people who flock to the beach whenever there is a good opportunity to catch a few waves. Most of them will tell you that when it comes to riding a wave, “bigger is always better.” However, the higher the waves, the greater the chance of injury to the surfer. Common surfer injuries include back and neck injuries suffered as a result of “wiping out” and colliding with the ocean floor, muscle strains from the physical exertion of surfing, and minor cuts and bruises, which are usually caused by either the sharper ends of a surfboard or being carried forcefully along the ocean floor by waves and currents.
Although surfboard injuries can involve lacerations, including those caused by the sharp edges of a surfboard, these lacerations are typically not severe enough to cause long-term or permanent damage. However, according to an L.A. Times article, that was allegedly not the case for a surfer by the name of Tom Gregg. Mr. Gregg recently filed a California products liability lawsuit against Channel Islands Surfboards, a company that manufactures and markets surfboards. The lawsuit alleges that a Channel Islands surfboard caused a laceration to Gregg’s leg that was so severe it cut through several layers of tissue and muscle and resulted in permanent muscle damage.
In a California products liability lawsuit such as this one, where the allegations point to a defect in design, the plaintiff must prove that the product’s manufacturer designed the product in such a way that it would be unreasonably dangerous when used in reasonably foreseeable ways. In Gregg’s case, his use of the surfboard was obviously foreseeable since he was using it as intended by the manufacturer, so the major question in his case will be whether the design of the surfboard, with its sharp edges, will be found to be unreasonably dangerous. Channel Islands will no doubt try to point to the fact that common surfing injuries do include lacerations from the sharp edges of surfboards, but Gregg will emphasize the unusual severity of his injury and the fact that the cut to his leg was so deep that it caused permanent damage to his muscles.
Although surfing is an inherently risky sport even under the best conditions, that does not mean that surfers have no rights against product suppliers who do not use due care when manufacturing their equipment. Everyone has a right to know what risks he or she is facing and to make an informed decision about whether or not to participate in dangerous sports like surfing or other risky activities. However, when products are unsafe, people cannot accurately assess the risks that they undertake. By representing the victims who are injured in such situations, California products liability attorneys make products safer for use by the public by influencing manufacturers and providing them with great financial incentives to find safer ways of designing their products.
If you have suffered a surfing injury or any other kind of California sports injury because of a problem with your equipment, you may also have a products liability case. Local residents should be sure to contact a San Diego products liability lawyer to see if they are entitled to compensation for your injuries.
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