Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Mad Dog River Boarding Fined. Operators Need To Take More Care

See other posts about the trial here: Emily Jordan

Mad Dog River Boarding has been fined substantially less than the maximum penalty of $250,000 per offence - just $33,000 on each of the two charges. From the Southland Times:

"Adventure tourism company Mad Dog River Boarding has been fined $66,000 and ordered to pay $80,000 in reparation to the family of drowned British tourist Emily Jordan.

Ms Jordan, 21, drowned after getting trapped beneath a rock while on a trip with the company in April last year.

Parent company Black Sheep Adventures Ltd yesterday pleaded guilty to Health and Safety in Employment Act charges, which were brought by Maritime New Zealand.

This morning, Judge Brian Callaghan fined the company $33,000 on each of the two charges.

He found that the company failed to take six practicable steps to protect employees and customers, noting the whitewater environment in which it operated did not minimise its liability.

"The more risky the situation, the more care operators need to take."

The company was also ordered to pay the Jordan family $80,000 in reparation, however this amount was covered by insurance held by the company."

A deal was struck on Friday which resulted in four of the charges being dropped and the company pleading guilty to the remaining two.

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