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    Greg and Beth

    the political and personal musings of two
    mountaineers living in west-central Florida
     
    Florida and Commercial Space Flight Comment
    Gregory Morris, 10/1/08 12:26:21 pm
    The Legislature passed a law (which takes effect today) removing liability from companies offering commercial space flights.

    This isn't a bad thing in and of itself. If you don't understand the dangers involved in strapping yourself to a BIG-ASS ROCKET, then I can't feel sorry for you if something bad happens. What is bad is that the court system can't be trusted to handle it properly without more legislation.

    If I sign a contract saying, "I know space flight is dangerous and there's a good chance I'll be hurt or more likely killed while I'm pretending to be a space cowboy," then the company offering the flight shouldn't have to worry about being sued by my family when the rocket explodes on the launch pad.

    The new law basically obviates the need for such wording in a contract (although believe me, it'll still be there.) But why did the state legislature have to step in to write this law?

    I still must applaud laws like this, since they do nothing but encourage private space flight. Privatizing NASA won't ever happen. However, NASA can certainly be replaced, in part, by private industry. I believe this is the key to the future of manned space exploration.

    [Comments are closed after a month.]

    Re: Florida and Commercial Space Flight
    MadRocketScientist, 10/3/08 10:15:14 am
    Why? Because if we've learned anything these days, a liability waiver in a contract does not prevent a lawsuit. Even if the contract is ironclad, a scummy lawyer will try to take it to court, and some idiot judge will decide to hear it. Pass a law and it makes it a wee bit harder for a judge to justify hearing it, or it makes the lawyer be a lot more creative.
    Re: Florida and Commercial Space Flight
    Gregory Morris, 10/3/08 10:17:19 am
    Believe me, I know! I was just saying what it OUGHT to be. That's why I said the court system can't be trusted without this legislation.

    When I am declared Supreme Dictator, scummy lawyers will be the first up against the wall.
    Re: Florida and Commercial Space Flight
    name, 10/3/08 1:14:39 pm
    Seeing that Florida had this in the bill, I have to agree that this is a great thing:

    "The immunity provided by the bill does not apply if the spaceflight
    entity:

    Commits gross negligence or willful or wanton disregard for the safety of the participant;

    Has actual knowledge or reasonably should have known of a dangerous condition; or

    Intentionally injures the participant."

    When I read your post, I was actually a little worried that they had made the commercial companies completely free from any possible liability, which left me picturing a commercial version of the Challenger launch.
    Re: Florida and Commercial Space Flight
    Gregory Morris, 10/3/08 1:17:41 pm
    Oh, I agree. If the law gave them a blank check to commit any manner of nastiness with impunity, then I wouldn't be happy with it either!
    < "Crist Appoints Polston to FL Supreme Court"
    "More Reciprocity Followup" >


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