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WaScubaDude
12-13-2007, 12:14
Hi All,
Few questions about Dive Master Certification.
1) Do you think just having DM cert brings with it more legal liability when diving in general and not in a DM capacity?

2) Do you have to maintain insurance with your DM cert? How much does that cost?

3) Does your DM cert earn you anything? Real cash money? Benifits with a dive shop (free air, free boat trips, free maintanence on gear, dicount on gear?) Can you travel and just hook up a DM gig? What compensation would you expect?

Thanks for any thoughts.

I am AOW, years ago I assisted in OW classes with my LDS with just my OW cert. Last month while diving in Jamaica, the DM liked my diving well enough to ask me to "take up the rear, solo" to help look after a group of 7 divers, as the op was short one DM. I gladely agreed. I like looking after others and not being buddied. On this trip there were two divers that needed assitance
with bouyancy issues. One was corking up and I caught up with him to help dump the last of the air out of his BC. The other, I put rocks in his BC pockets toward the end of the dive. All went well, but it really had me wondering what kind of liability I might really be taking on?? Would it increase or decrease my liability if I had DM cert and/or DM cert with insurance??
Any thoughts on this one??

scubaculture
12-13-2007, 12:24
1) Do you think just having DM cert brings with it more legal liability when diving in general and not in a DM capacity?

2) Do you have to maintain insurance with your DM cert? How much does that cost?

3) Does your DM cert earn you anything? Real cash money? Benifits with a dive shop (free air, free boat trips, free maintanence on gear, dicount on gear?) Can you travel and just hook up a DM gig? What compensation would you expect?

1) Yep

2) Depends where you are, it is very pricey in the US in my opinion ($500+ a year), one of the reasons I'm not active at the moment, just sustaining.

3) Depends on the store. You will prob be able to get free air, gear discounts if you DM for them, possibly free trips.

When I was a DM I didn't make any cash at all, I did get to dive a lot though with free air and trips with the students. In theory you can get a DM gig anywhere, but don't expect a ton of cash, I doubt its a liveable wage in most places.

adv_diver1
12-13-2007, 12:39
It is the same as a karate master... if you were to get into a fight and hurt somebody really bad, your experience would qualify you for a whole new set of questions and liability.

Same with a boxer, a doctor, or anyone with certified credentials.

Rigdiver
12-13-2007, 13:29
I believe in a sue-happy society like we live in here in the US anything is possible and the possibility of someone suing you is real. On the other hand you hate to live your life worried about wheather or not someone is going to sue you. Yes, a Divemaster cert. is added liability but the DM is always under the watchful eye of the Instructor. If you learned what was taught in DM class you'll do just just fine. Do your job to the best of your ability and you'll have no problems.

kancho
12-13-2007, 14:44
I am a DMC.. But I was told, if you are not in a DM Capacity you are not really liable. You are laible like any other diver..

You are not giving any service so I wonder what they would sue you for?
Do you guys have a good samaritan law?.

if you were assisiting a instructor that is different. But you still need to be insured since the inst. insurance doesn't cover you. I am in Canada and someone told me it is cheaper than US for the insurance.

in_cavediver
12-13-2007, 17:16
DM definitely make you a target. Whether its valid or holds up is another matter.

The real question is why do you want DM? Do you want to lead divers in a professional capacity? Do you want to assist classes in a professional capacity?

There are other classes better suited to improving your diving if you don't want to teach/assist new divers.

CompuDude
12-13-2007, 18:51
Yes, it makes you more liable, but more liable doesn't necessarily mean you will be sued (or at least, sued successfully).

Basic insurance policies for full coverage (so you can run independent DM-lead programs, where permitted) starts at $325 per year. "Assisting-only" policies start at $225, and may be sufficient.

If you work, you can probably get discounts on gear and "pro deals" to save some significant money on equipment. Beyond that, however, I hope to just make enough to offset the cost of insurance, which shouldn't be too tough. Don't be under any illusion that you're going to make a lot of money, however. Not in this country, at least.

WaScubaDude
12-20-2007, 12:18
DM definitely make you a target. Whether its valid or holds up is another matter.

The real question is why do you want DM? Do you want to lead divers in a professional capacity? Do you want to assist classes in a professional capacity?

There are other classes better suited to improving your diving if you don't want to teach/assist new divers.

My next cert will be Rescue.
In my OP I spoke of assisting a DM by being at the back of the pack. I ended up assisting two divers and it got me thinking about the liability issue.

I like the role of assisting and being the watchfull eyes and am thinking seriously of getting on the training/teaching track.

mm_dm
12-20-2007, 12:38
Since anyone can sue anybody for almost anything in our litigious society you have to assume that, as a dive professional, you could be targeted. A good lawyer will find a way to get almost any case into court, or at least force a settlement. That's what they get paid to do.

But...you can't really worry about that if you want to DM. There's no money in it, so if you DM you do it because it's part of your passion for diving and you get the best training you can. When it's time to hit the water, don't forget your "A" game. And don't forget... it's still fun.

DivingCRNA
12-20-2007, 12:42
Yes, it makes you more liable, but more liable doesn't necessarily mean you will be sued (or at least, sued successfully).

Basic insurance policies for full coverage (so you can run independent DM-lead programs, where permitted) starts at $325 per year. "Assisting-only" policies start at $225, and may be sufficient.

If you work, you can probably get discounts on gear and "pro deals" to save some significant money on equipment. Beyond that, however, I hope to just make enough to offset the cost of insurance, which shouldn't be too tough. Don't be under any illusion that you're going to make a lot of money, however. Not in this country, at least.

PADI standards only require insurance when leading PADI DM lead programs, and not when assisting an instructor or supervising certified divers. The do, however, recommend insurance in all circumstances.

georoc01
12-20-2007, 13:22
I can tell you that my AOW instructors when not teaching dive on their PADI Master Diver card, not under their Instructor #. They don't want to be on the list as an instructor if something did go wrong.

Kingpatzer
12-20-2007, 13:28
PADI standards only require insurance when leading PADI DM lead programs, and not when assisting an instructor or supervising certified divers. The do, however, recommend insurance in all circumstances.


Insurance isn't about meeting PADI standards, it's about making sure you can keep your savings, home and income when some lawyer tries to get ahold of you. If you are going to have the DM certification, then having insurance to cover any potential liability exposure is essential.

CompuDude
12-20-2007, 13:50
PADI standards only require insurance when leading PADI DM lead programs, and not when assisting an instructor or supervising certified divers. The do, however, recommend insurance in all circumstances.

Insurance isn't about meeting PADI standards, it's about making sure you can keep your savings, home and income when some lawyer tries to get ahold of you. If you are going to have the DM certification, then having insurance to cover any potential liability exposure is essential.

Agreed. In addition, while it is not "required" for you to have insurance while assisting a class (with an insured instructor), most instructor policies specifically exclude covering any DiveMasters, so while the instructor is covered in an accident, you are not... unless you buy your own policy. The cheaper "assisting-only" policy will suffice there, since you are not conducting programs on your own, but I decided it was worth it to me to spend the little extra to get a full policy so I never have to worry about it.

It's up to you if you want the full policy to cover you completely independently, but IMO, if you plan to work at all, even if it's not technically required, it would behoove you to be covered at least in the once circumstance where you are most likely to need it: A teaching scenario with untrained students.

scubaculture
12-20-2007, 14:05
I can tell you that my AOW instructors when not teaching dive on their PADI Master Diver card, not under their Instructor #. They don't want to be on the list as an instructor if something did go wrong.

I have heard a few horror stories about just that, they have a pleasure dive (as they should be allowed to!) something happens to a diver who is not their buddy and somehow it comes out that they are an instructor and they get into trouble for not helping out.

Will try find some old forum links about it

WaScubaDude
12-20-2007, 14:11
Great stuff. Love to hear about the "real world" situations

DivingCRNA
12-20-2007, 14:42
I can tell you that my AOW instructors when not teaching dive on their PADI Master Diver card, not under their Instructor #. They don't want to be on the list as an instructor if something did go wrong.

Heck, I just have rescue and master diver and use my AOW or EAN number when going on a guided dive on a trip. After I finish DM I will NOT flash the DM card when getting on a charter boat. No way.

I do not use DMs or instructors at home.

CompuDude
12-20-2007, 14:54
I can tell you that my AOW instructors when not teaching dive on their PADI Master Diver card, not under their Instructor #. They don't want to be on the list as an instructor if something did go wrong.

I have heard a few horror stories about just that, they have a pleasure dive (as they should be allowed to!) something happens to a diver who is not their buddy and somehow it comes out that they are an instructor and they get into trouble for not helping out.

Will try find some old forum links about it

From a legal standpoint, I can tell you that in a diving accident where someone wants to sue, EVERYONE within 300' of that diver is going to get sued. Most will be dropped, but the general method is a scattergun approach to make sure you don't miss anyone. Once discovery starts, it WILL easily be discovered (via subpoenas and/or various other litigation tools) if you are an instructor or not. So trying to "hide" the fact that you are instructor in this manner, for this reason, is simply a false peace of mind, but hey, whatever lets you sleep at night.

ReefHound
12-20-2007, 15:00
It may be discovered but it also demonstrates that you were not holding yourself out to others on the boat that you are a dm or instructor which could have a bearing on liability.

CompuDude
12-20-2007, 15:08
It may be discovered but it also demonstrates that you were not holding yourself out to others on the boat that you are a dm or instructor which could have a bearing on liability.

Doubtful. The fact that you (theoretically) had the skills to assist and did not, or did not adequately, pretty much negates that argument.

You need to think like a plaintiff's lawyer, not use common sense, if you want to predict litigation outcomes. And in either case, you're already being sued... the difference is, if you have insurance, they're paying for the lawyers, not you. ;)

WaScubaDude
12-20-2007, 15:31
It may be discovered but it also demonstrates that you were not holding yourself out to others on the boat that you are a dm or instructor which could have a bearing on liability.

Doubtful. The fact that you (theoretically) had the skills to assist and did not, or did not adequately, pretty much negates that argument.

You need to think like a plaintiff's lawyer, not use common sense, if you want to predict litigation outcomes. And in either case, you're already being sued... the difference is, if you have insurance, they're paying for the lawyers, not you. ;)

Having been in court, I will have to agree with compudude. A lawsuit, the trial, and proceedings have nothing to do with common sense. Has everything to do with how lawers on each side can twist information. I am imagining the cross examination..."so Mr. DM you were trained to handle said situation were you not?" and "you didn't even attempt to help in this situation!"

ReefHound
12-20-2007, 15:35
No it doesn't negate anything. How you hold yourself out is often a crucial factor in determining the reasonable expectations of others. There is no legal duty for a bystander to act in a rescue, period.

Lawyers can spin their arguments however they wish, at the end of the day it's jurors like you and I, not lawyers, who render verdicts.

I agree that professional liability insurance is essentially prepaid legal defense. It's the second best defense you have. The first is to be judgment-proof. One might even argue that having insurance makes you a bigger target.

But while it's easy to yap in general terms about "our litigious society" and point out a few bizaare cases out of the millions that pass through our legal system, it's just not that big a deal. You're more at risk driving to the dive site than losing your house in a lawsuit.

Provide me one solid reference, not hearsay, not a friend of a frend of a friend, a verifiable reference where a diver - of any level - has lost a big judgment when they did not directly cause the accident.

Puffer Fish
12-20-2007, 15:49
I can tell you that my AOW instructors when not teaching dive on their PADI Master Diver card, not under their Instructor #. They don't want to be on the list as an instructor if something did go wrong.
Boy, there is a mistake waiting to happen.

Assume for a minute that something does happen...

If something does happen, depending on the state, you have just put yourself in a terrible box. If you don't help, you could be more legally involved that you would think. Even the act of attempting to cover up your training could be considered in a trial.

This gets to the issue of a doctor or knowing CPR... not rendering help if you have the training and skills is very different from not doing something when you don't know how.

Puffer Fish
12-20-2007, 16:10
No it doesn't negate anything. How you hold yourself out is often a crucial factor in determining the reasonable expectations of others. There is no legal duty for a bystander to act in a rescue, period.

Lawyers can spin their arguments however they wish, at the end of the day it's jurors like you and I, not lawyers, who render verdicts.

I agree that professional liability insurance is essentially prepaid legal defense. It's the second best defense you have. The first is to be judgment-proof. One might even argue that having insurance makes you a bigger target.

But while it's easy to yap in general terms about "our litigious society" and point out a few bizaare cases out of the millions that pass through our legal system, it's just not that big a deal. You're more at risk driving to the dive site than losing your house in a lawsuit.

Provide me one solid reference, not hearsay, not a friend of a frend of a friend, a verifiable reference where a diver - of any level - has lost a big judgment when they did not directly cause the accident.


Sadly, there are a fair number...just look at a history of NAUI.. 1976... they lost a major judgement in a case where a student was hit by a drunk boat driver.. They had flags out.. and had taught all the correct actions. The jury found the instructor guilty of having the person there, as had they not been there, it never would have happened. That ended up being 30% of around $2,500,000. My cost for insurance went from just over $200 a year to just under $3,000 (and I was no where near California).

The reason you don't see them, is that many are settled out of court or settled with sealed results. California, for example, assigns responsiblity by dividing it up...so just being in the wrong place can sometimes cost money.

Also, in most states (but not all), it is against the law to not provide assistance, if you have certain skills. Having CPR, for example, requires that you do provide assistance. Being a lifeguard, actually requires that you assist if they see someone drowning.

Most states have the "good sameritan" laws that prevent someone from sueing if the assistance does go well, but even that is not 100%.

On a business level, I have been involved in more than a dozen law suits... most of which I was providing expert witness testimony. All resulted in settlements, and not one could you ever find any evidence they ever happened. The largest resulted in a payout of over $1.2 billion... and the entire record was sealed.

Navy OnStar
12-20-2007, 16:18
The largest resulted in a payout of over $1.2 billion... and the entire record was sealed. Not sealed to well I see! I think I'll sue..........:smiley36:

ReefHound
12-20-2007, 16:37
This gets to the issue of a doctor or knowing CPR... not rendering help if you have the training and skills is very different from not doing something when you don't know how.

Don't confuse a licensed and registered doctor with a diver. You're simply wrong. There is no legal obligation to render assistance except in narrow circumstances. But if you do, absent gross negligence, Good Samaritan laws are nearly bulletproof.

Furthermore, lawyers who attempt to file lawsuits on Good Samaritans have a high burden to prove such gross negligence and face sanctions for violations.

How convenient that you provide all these examples that are "sealed". Well if a diver doesn't have insurance they can't settle, thus no seal. Where are these references?

I predict I'll get a lot of armchair expertise and anecdotal evidence but not one verifiable reference of a diver, not one acting in a professional capacity such as instructing students, but on a pleasure dive being successfully sued when he was not directly responsible.

Puffer Fish
12-20-2007, 19:40
The largest resulted in a payout of over $1.2 billion... and the entire record was sealed. Not sealed to well I see! I think I'll sue..........:smiley36:
I was working for the receiving company... and while I sure never got even a penny, I did get to spend some of it building mfg plants.

in_cavediver
12-20-2007, 20:06
OK, for a point of reference here. My concern is not the right or wrong of my actions but what it will cost me to be proven right or wrong. Its the cost of legal defense that scares me.

On topic though. The question is does the DM/OWSI/Diver have a duty of care to the victim. If the answer is a clear yes, then there is a clear case of needing to act. If you just happen to be around the accident but have no contact with the individual, you do not have a duty to act, anywhere. Period. Training and skills does not equal obligation. If you are in a special class of people, such as an ER Doc, paramedic, etc and on duty, you have a duty to act by way of your PAID profession. Good Samaritan laws come into play when you do act, without a duty to act, and do what a reasonable and prudent person would do within the scope of your training, abilities and facilities.

Again, its not the judgments that should concern you, its the cost to defend yourself. As a DM or OWSI, your a bigger target due to a perceived duty of care.

ReefHound
12-20-2007, 20:30
Having insurance makes you a bigger target. Lawyers don't sue people for entertainment, they sue for money. If you have no readily available supply of money, they aren't interested. They know an insurance company will write a check, either after judgment or after appeal of judgment. Your average diver typically has few attachable assets. Your personal home up to a million dollars is off limits. Your car and tools if needed to work are off limits. Your personal items are off limits. Your retirement investments are off limits. Ask Mr. Goldman how much he has gotten out of OJ from his $33 million judgment.

As for cost of defending yourself, it's clear that most people have not only fallen for the legal scaremongering and sensationalism perpetrated by the insurance industry but have in fact helped propagate it. As a Good Samaritan, chances are you will be dismissed from the suit before you even know you were named.

CompuDude
12-20-2007, 20:38
Having insurance makes you a bigger target. Lawyers don't sue people for entertainment, they sue for money. If you have no readily available supply of money, they aren't interested. They know an insurance company will write a check, either after judgment or after appeal of judgment. Your average diver typically has few attachable assets. Your personal home up to a million dollars is off limits. Your car and tools if needed to work are off limits. Your personal items are off limits. Your retirement investments are off limits. Ask Mr. Goldman how much he has gotten out of OJ from his $33 million judgment.

As for cost of defending yourself, it's clear that most people have not only fallen for the legal scaremongering and sensationalism perpetrated by the insurance industry but have in fact helped propagate it. As a Good Samaritan, chances are you will be dismissed from the suit before you even know you were named.

I've worked in the legal industry since 1990 (on the insurance end, for much of that). I can personally say that this is not true, having witnessed far too many frivolous (and non-frivolous) lawsuits cross my desk, and seen people that never should have been involved need a lawyer's assistance in getting out of the mess. Even people that aren't directly named in a lawsuit can be impacted considerably, in terms of subpoenas, interviews, depositions, and trial appearances... all time off work that goes uncompensated, and the need to pay an attorney to represent you to make sure you aren't dragged into something you shouldn't be.

ian
12-20-2007, 20:43
There is no legal duty for a bystander to act in a rescue, period.
I agree!



Provide me one solid reference, not hearsay, not a friend of a frend of a friend, a verifiable reference where a diver - of any level - has lost a big judgment when they did not directly cause the accident.
Well put! I, too, would like to see such a verifiable reference.


Sadly, there are a fair number...just look at a history of NAUI.. 1976... they lost a major judgement in a case where a student was hit by a drunk boat driver.. They had flags out.. and had taught all the correct actions. The jury found the instructor guilty of having the person there, as had they not been there, it never would have happened. That ended up being 30% of around $2,500,000. My cost for insurance went from just over $200 a year to just under $3,000 (and I was no where near California).
This is a reference to a NAUI lawsuit and an instructor involved in the situation. It is NOT a reference to an "bystander" DM being sued. THATís the reference Iím looking for.


Also, in most states (but not all), it is against the law to not provide assistance, if you have certain skills. Having CPR, for example, requires that you do provide assistance. Being a lifeguard, actually requires that you assist if they see someone drowning.
Pardon? Can you provide me with the citations for such laws, please?

In fact, if you have ever taught a CPR or First Aid class, one of the points to stress is that the trained person is NOT required by law to respond!


The question is does the DM/OWSI/Diver have a duty of care to the victim.
Even more to the topic: Does the DM/OWSI/Diver not on duty, but merely a "bystander" have a duty of care to the victim?


Again, its not the judgments that should concern you, its the cost to defend yourself. As a DM or OWSI, your a bigger target due to a perceived duty of care.
I agree wholeheartedly with your first statement but disagree strongly with your last.

Does ANYONE have a verifiable case of a Divemaster who was an "bystander" being sued for not responding in an emergency?

Puffer Fish
12-20-2007, 21:04
This gets to the issue of a doctor or knowing CPR... not rendering help if you have the training and skills is very different from not doing something when you don't know how.

Don't confuse a licensed and registered doctor with a diver. You're simply wrong. There is no legal obligation to render assistance except in narrow circumstances. But if you do, absent gross negligence, Good Samaritan laws are nearly bulletproof.

Furthermore, lawyers who attempt to file lawsuits on Good Samaritans have a high burden to prove such gross negligence and face sanctions for violations.

How convenient that you provide all these examples that are "sealed". Well if a diver doesn't have insurance they can't settle, thus no seal. Where are these references?

I predict I'll get a lot of armchair expertise and anecdotal evidence but not one verifiable reference of a diver, not one acting in a professional capacity such as instructing students, but on a pleasure dive being successfully sued when he was not directly responsible.
I think you are applying common sense to the legal system...

First off, to my knowledge, only 36 states have good Samaritan laws.. you know which one don't? Of those 36, not all cover everyone... the easiest to understand is California, where the law only covers medical professionals and now only covers medical assistance.

Good Samaritan Ruling - California Good Samaritan Law - Good Samaritan Appellate Court Decision (http://firstaid.about.com/od/medicallegal/a/07_no_good_sam.htm)

There are also a series of laws (Mass has one) that do require assistance (with a lot of rules). Canada is somewhat famous for their's.

I would agree with you that I have no knowledge of a diver -just a regular diver being sued. But then, that information can be very hard to find....

Take this gem:

CDNN :: Dive Buddy Killed Scuba Diving Husband Says Widow (http://www.cdnn.info/news/safety/s050324.html)



You might find this interesting, although the case he is refering to is no longer available -

Overlawyered letters: Scuba diving (http://www.overlawyered.com/letters/archives/001340.html)

As you can see, there are cases, not common, but cases where being a professional diver does have legal responsibilities.

Note: Just get old copies of Scuba Diver, and the case is very real.

PADI has long made the claim that they have not lost a law suit... yet their legal costs have gone up faster than any other agency...yet finding any case they have "lost" is not easy to do.

It is common practice today, that settlements for any really public organization, are not made public....making your arguement that if you don't see it, it must not have happened, somewhat less that valid.

This information from a legal site, give an indication that there may be a few more law suits than one would guess by reading the news:

Diving into Scuba Litigation - Maryland Physician / Attorneys, Merck, Heart Attacks, Strokes - Lawyers (http://www.medlawlegalteam.com/article_jenner_scuba.html)

I should note, that the issue of a dive professional is not addressed in this article, but if you email them, you will get a far different legal perspective than the one you have stated as fact.

ReefHound
12-20-2007, 22:03
I predict I'll get a lot of armchair expertise and anecdotal evidence but not one verifiable reference of a diver, not one acting in a professional capacity such as instructing students, but on a pleasure dive being successfully sued when he was not directly responsible.
I think you are applying common sense to the legal system...

I would agree with you that I have no knowledge of a diver -just a regular diver being sued. But then, that information can be very hard to find....

Just as I predicted...

That was quite a bit of blathering to mask the only relevant point.

Re: California, you might note that CA *does* have a Good Samaritan law on the books. The issue you cite is an appellate ruling earlier this year that has raised doubts about it, expect the legislature to close them next session. In the meantime, don't try to save anyone there.

ReefHound
12-20-2007, 22:10
I've worked in the legal industry since 1990 (on the insurance end, for much of that). I can personally say that this is not true, having witnessed far too many frivolous (and non-frivolous) lawsuits cross my desk, and seen people that never should have been involved need a lawyer's assistance in getting out of the mess. Even people that aren't directly named in a lawsuit can be impacted considerably, in terms of subpoenas, interviews, depositions, and trial appearances... all time off work that goes uncompensated, and the need to pay an attorney to represent you to make sure you aren't dragged into something you shouldn't be.

Are you sure you're not confusing insurance claims with lawsuits? So you've seen so many cases, where are the references that I asked for? Like I said, lots of anecdotal stories, no verifiable references.

My BIL is a personal injury lawyer and he has often said he wished it was 1/100th as easy to "go after" people as the public thinks it is. When you file a lawsuit you are petitioning the court to accept it, you must show cause why a rescuer named in the suit is not subject to Good Samaritan or other applicable civil immunity protections, and if you sue in bad faith you can be disbarred.

You might be interested in knowing that lawyers do not file personal suits on their own behalf with any more frequency than average.

Re: being affected by subpoenas, interviews, depositions, and trial appearances is irrelevant... insurance does not protect you from that.

CompuDude
12-20-2007, 22:18
I've worked in the legal industry since 1990 (on the insurance end, for much of that). I can personally say that this is not true, having witnessed far too many frivolous (and non-frivolous) lawsuits cross my desk, and seen people that never should have been involved need a lawyer's assistance in getting out of the mess. Even people that aren't directly named in a lawsuit can be impacted considerably, in terms of subpoenas, interviews, depositions, and trial appearances... all time off work that goes uncompensated, and the need to pay an attorney to represent you to make sure you aren't dragged into something you shouldn't be.

Are you sure you're not confusing insurance claims with lawsuits? So you've seen so many cases, where are the references that I asked for? Like I said, lots of anecdotal stories, no verifiable references.

My BIL is a personal injury lawyer and he has often said he wished it was 1/100th as easy to "go after" people as the public thinks it is. When you file a lawsuit you are petitioning the court to accept it, you must show cause why a rescuer named in the suit is not subject to Good Samaritan or other applicable civil immunity protections, and if you sue in bad faith you can be disbarred.

You might be interested in knowing that lawyers do not file personal suits on their own behalf with any more frequency than average.

Re: being affected by subpoenas, interviews, depositions, and trial appearances is irrelevant... insurance does not protect you from that.

I give up. You clearly know more about this than I do. You obviously have a better way to prove a negative than I do of accessing confidential settlement files from law firms scattered around the country.

ReefHound
12-20-2007, 22:20
It is common practice today, that settlements for any really public organization, are not made public....making your arguement that if you don't see it, it must not have happened, somewhat less that valid.

No it doesn't because we are not talking about large public organizations but rather individual divers. You're introducing irrelevant and out of scope information to distract from the subject at hand - the liability of an average diver who is a DM but not acting in a professional capacity. Re-read the thread title, please.

ReefHound
12-20-2007, 22:32
I give up. You clearly know more about this than I do. You obviously have a better way to prove a negative than I do of accessing confidential settlement files from law firms scattered around the country.

OK, so you believe every lawsuit ever filed against an average diver has been settled confidentially and the records sealed? How convenient?

I suppose next you'll tell me you know for a fact that ghosts exist, except you can't provide actual evidence because... well... they're INVISIBLE!

You guys are probably the same ones who blasted the media for sensationalizing incidents of accidental shark bites and hyping it up into the Summer of the Shark a few years ago. You're doing the same thing with this legal scaremongering, as if divers are losing their houses right and left over frivolous lawsuits.

Let me ask ya a real question. Why do you feel protected by having insurance? There is no law that limits your liability to your coverage limits or prevents a lawyer for suing for more. If you have a million dollars coverage and a jury awards 2 million, you're on the hook for the extra million. Could it be because lawyers typically sue/settle for the coverage limits of the policy? And without insurance your coverage limits are what?

Puffer Fish
12-20-2007, 23:15
I give up. You clearly know more about this than I do. You obviously have a better way to prove a negative than I do of accessing confidential settlement files from law firms scattered around the country.

OK, so you believe every lawsuit ever filed against an average diver has been settled confidentially and the records sealed? How convenient?

I suppose next you'll tell me you know for a fact that ghosts exist, except you can't provide actual evidence because... well... they're INVISIBLE!

You guys are probably the same ones who blasted the media for sensationalizing incidents of accidental shark bites and hyping it up into the Summer of the Shark a few years ago. You're doing the same thing with this legal scaremongering, as if divers are losing their houses right and left over frivolous lawsuits.

Let me ask ya a real question. Why do you feel protected by having insurance? There is no law that limits your liability to your coverage limits or prevents a lawyer for suing for more. If you have a million dollars coverage and a jury awards 2 million, you're on the hook for the extra million. Could it be because lawyers typically sue/settle for the coverage limits of the policy? And without insurance your coverage limits are what?


Reef, all of the links I used were individual's sued by other divers...one for being a buddy.. nothing more than that. One for being an instructor on a boat (not working... just going diving)...

I only showed that the good samaritan laws are not the protection you said they were, because of your post.

The legal thread discussed the fact that any diver, who is diving as a "buddy" actually has a whole set of legal responsibilities.

I cannot speak for others, but I don't believe that there are thousands of lawsuits....I would doubt hundreds...but the thread subject is about increased liability... and like it or not, it does.

I also do not believe that all cases are sealed....those that do involve insurance settlements normally are, and that would include dive professionals that get sued and have insurance.

What I believe is the case, is that they are just not reported. Did you know of the ones in those threads? I didn't.

Just where would you go to find that information...when I was an active instructor, NAUI had an annual review of the legal cases associated with the diving. Typically it was around 50 cases a year, of which around 25-30% were against individual's. I don't have a clue what that is today.

Yea, it sure is hard to bring a law suit... 15,000,000 this year...with, interestingly enough, Texas being rather famous for them:

Reduce the large number of lawsuits (http://www.legalreform-now.org/menu3_3.htm)

And there is some protection with the good samaritan laws, in some states, but more than 20 provide absolutely none...(17 don't have any... and at least three that do, only protect medical professionals).

True this, you are far more likely to be sued than to be hit by lighting... or be bit by a shark...

ReefHound
12-20-2007, 23:56
Puff, I saw two cites on individual divers, one of them was on an instructional dive (over lawyered) and the other was a case of alleged murder. Hardly what we are talking about. I'll be the first to say that dive professionals should have insurance if they are acting in a professional capacity.

Name some of the states with no Good Samaritan law. Here's a site (http://www.momsteam.com/alpha/features/cardiac_awareness_center/good_samaritan_laws.shtml) that claims to list not only the immunity coverage but the applicable statute numbers for ALL 50 states plus DC. So for which 17 did they make up statute numbers?

Or this site (http://pa.essortment.com/goodsamaritanl_redg.htm) that says "Some form of good-samaritan legislation has been enacted in all 50 states and the District of Columbia."

California does not *limit* protection to medical personnel, it specifically addresses them because they are at higher risk.

Pointing out "15 million suits" per year is yet another piece of irrelevant distracting info. We aren't talking about general litigation for everything, and I'll bet over half of them involve an automobile. We are talking about divers being sued for just being there, and I think the diver is more likely to get struck by lightning than that.

Just for fun, how would you guess the number of insured divers sued compared to the number of uninsured divers sued?

10,000 divers here and 50,000 on Scubaboard, any of them willing to say they have been sued for "everything they got" for "just being there"?

CompuDude
12-21-2007, 01:57
<snipped>

Take a chill, sparky. You're starting to make personal attacks that really aren't justified. We're trying to keep this board friendlier than the others.

in_cavediver
12-21-2007, 05:38
There is no legal duty for a bystander to act in a rescue, period.
I agree!



Provide me one solid reference, not hearsay, not a friend of a frend of a friend, a verifiable reference where a diver - of any level - has lost a big judgment when they did not directly cause the accident.
Well put! I, too, would like to see such a verifiable reference.


Sadly, there are a fair number...just look at a history of NAUI.. 1976... they lost a major judgement in a case where a student was hit by a drunk boat driver.. They had flags out.. and had taught all the correct actions. The jury found the instructor guilty of having the person there, as had they not been there, it never would have happened. That ended up being 30% of around $2,500,000. My cost for insurance went from just over $200 a year to just under $3,000 (and I was no where near California).
This is a reference to a NAUI lawsuit and an instructor involved in the situation. It is NOT a reference to an "bystander" DM being sued. THATís the reference Iím looking for.


Also, in most states (but not all), it is against the law to not provide assistance, if you have certain skills. Having CPR, for example, requires that you do provide assistance. Being a lifeguard, actually requires that you assist if they see someone drowning.
Pardon? Can you provide me with the citations for such laws, please?

In fact, if you have ever taught a CPR or First Aid class, one of the points to stress is that the trained person is NOT required by law to respond!


The question is does the DM/OWSI/Diver have a duty of care to the victim.
Even more to the topic: Does the DM/OWSI/Diver not on duty, but merely a "bystander" have a duty of care to the victim?


Again, its not the judgments that should concern you, its the cost to defend yourself. As a DM or OWSI, your a bigger target due to a perceived duty of care.
I agree wholeheartedly with your first statement but disagree strongly with your last.

Does ANYONE have a verifiable case of a Divemaster who was an "bystander" being sued for not responding in an emergency?

I think we actually agree. My last point was not that a DM/OWSI would always get sued but would garner more attention due to the increased level of training etc. Its like this, if there was a car accident, two people were present, a paramedic and ordinary guy. Wouldn't you look into whether the paramedic had any obligation to act more so than the other guy?

Puffer Fish
12-21-2007, 05:42
California does not *limit* protection to medical personnel, it specifically addresses them because they are at higher risk.


Difficult to discuss a subject, when I post the actual court ruling (which states that their law on none medical people only addresses medical conditions and nothing else and your response is the above).

I went so far as to actually read the law... and read cases that involved the law.

I believe your point was that no one had any examples, and if they do, then you don't believe them...

You do bring up a valid point... How many divers do you know that have been sued? (unless you know all 50,000 on SB, and their life history, using that number as a basis is rather silly).

I personally only know of two... one involving the instructor in California, one involving a PADI instructor and DM in Panama. That is it.

I only read about the incidental sueing of the instructor for not rendering assistance in 2002.. did not know the person.

How many people do I know that have been eaten by sharks - zero. (I have investigated two shark deaths, but did not know either person before hand)

How many people do I know that have been thru an automobile lawsuit - zero.

I have heard of lawsuits from people tripping in someone's back yard.. don't know anyone.

But then again, it could be that the people I know don't talk about those things...

Based on my personal knowledge, I would have to conclude that half of all the individual lawsuits are dive related...if I just went on my experience. (Ok, I know of three other, non-company related law suits, so that would actually be 40%)

I don't for a minute believe that is true, but if you are going on just personal experience, that is the sort of results you will get.

cgvmer
12-21-2007, 07:17
I checked in NJ the law is pretty broad notice it starts with "ANY INDIVIDUAL" then goes on to make sure that includes trained persons.
New Jersey
Good Samaritan Act2A:62A-1.


Any individual, including a person licensed to practice any method of treatment of human ailments, disease, pain, deformity, mental or physical condition, or licensed to render service *******ry thereto, who in good faith renders emergency care at the scene of an accident or emergency to the victim or victims thereof, shall not be liable for any civil damages as a result of any act or omissions by such person in rendering the emergency care.L. 1986

the only ruling exempting anyone from this is: Doctors who treat people other than their own patients in a hospital setting are not protected under the state Good Samaritan Act and may be sued for malpractice, the New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled in a case of first impression. (Velazquez v. Jiminez, No. A-105-00 (N.J. May 29, 2002).)

ReefHound
12-21-2007, 08:44
Difficult to discuss a subject, when I post the actual court ruling (which states that their law on none medical people only addresses medical conditions and nothing else and your response is the above).

No what you posted was an opinion of the ruling by some third party and you totally (hopefully unintentionally) distorted what it actually says. Now read this more in depth account (http://www.metnews.com/articles/2007/conf032207.htm). This ruling is an appellate decision overturning a lower court who summarily dismissed based on one particular statue. The appellate court isn't saying Good Samaritan doesn't apply, it was saying the judge used the wrong statute of many statutes.

Let's start off with the statute in question. It begins as "1799.102. No person who in good faith, and not for compensation, renders emergency care at the scene of an emergency shall be liable for any civil damages resulting from any act or omission." Let's note the "no person" part. Not "no medical person".

We might also note that the California appellate court - where zany rulings are routinely the laughing stock of the nation - reached their decision by interpreting that the consequences of remaining in the car if the car caught fire or exploded, would not be considered "medical". The case is still on higher appeal, expect it to get reversed back like so many other zany California rulings. If not, the legislature will clarify their intent shortly.

The justice concluded that Tortiís liability must be evaluated at trial under a negligence standard pursuant to the common law Good Samaritan rule, which provides that if a person voluntarily comes to the aid of someone in harmís way, the aider has a duty to act reasonably. Under the rule, there is no duty on bystanders to render aid, but only a duty to act reasonably if they choose to.

You see, they are simply saying it falls under other more general Good Samaritan statutes in California law not the one specific to emergency services that the lower court judge used.

Note that last sentence and reconcile that with your claim that there is a duty to act.

You claimed 17 states have no Good Samaritan laws and I provided you the statute numbers for all 50 states plus DC. Care to admit you were wrong?

You haven't provided a single example of a case that is relevant to the topic at hand - liability for merely being a DM. You are in essence making the claim that a passenger in a car can be sued if there is an accident for merely being in the car, then when asked for proof presenting examples of drivers being sued.




You do bring up a valid point... How many divers do you know that have been sued? (unless you know all 50,000 on SB, and their life history, using that number as a basis is rather silly).

I personally only know of two... one involving the instructor in California, one involving a PADI instructor and DM in Panama. That is it.

More obfuscation and distraction, who said anything about personally knowing someone?

ReefHound
12-21-2007, 08:48
<snipped>

Take a chill, sparky. You're starting to make personal attacks that really aren't justified. We're trying to keep this board friendlier than the others.

Insisting on people to provide references to back up their assertions is not a personal attack. Proving that someone's claims are factually wrong is not a personal attack. Illustrating how they are blowing something out of proportion is not a personal attack. I'm not even sure saying something like "You obviously have a better way to prove a negative than I do of accessing confidential settlement files from law firms scattered around the country." is a personal attack, but it is a smart aleck remark that is not particularly friendly.

ReefHound
12-21-2007, 08:58
Let's also note that in the California case the victim was a passenger in one car, the Good Samaritan was a passenger in another car behind the victim, and the occupants of both cars had been socializing at a bar having a few drinks.

cummings66
12-21-2007, 10:30
I can personally say that this is not true, having witnessed far too many frivolous (and non-frivolous) lawsuits cross my desk, and seen people that never should have been involved need a lawyer's assistance

While I can't say that people who shouldn't be sued don't get sued I can say with 100% confidence that the Lawyers I know won't sue you if there's not a pot of gold at the end for them. They will go after a truck driver at the drop of a hat, yet won't touch a small Festiva that hits somebody. Why? It's the money. They want hundreds of thousands to millions in a settlement and they get it when they take a case. If they can't get it the case is referred to another Lawyer.

If a truck driver is the one hit forget it, they won't take the case because a car hitting a truck is not worth as much as a truck hitting a car. That's a case that would be referred out and maybe the other guy would take it.

I also know they won't take cases of uninsured motorists because there is no money to be made there, they must be insured and must have the ability to get a SUBSTANTIAL settlement out of it. They won't chase you for $10,000, it's not worth it to them.

To relate it to diving, or at least water activity they won a case for a LARGE amount against a heater manufacturer on a boat for CO2 poisoning when the owner of the new to him boat turned it on and died. The fact that the previous owner was told it was bad and not to use it didn't stop them. They won a suit where a person jumped into a pool, climbing a tall fence to do it, and broke their neck. I could tell you of many others that should have never been brought but they won and they took them because of insurance money somewhere.

No insurance means no lawsuit.

DiveSooner
01-11-2008, 22:40
Interesting thread.

I personally will move forward, get the ball rolling with my DM cert, get good insurance and advise as needed. I would help anybody that I can, within my limits, during any form of accident. I would not worry about getting sued, a life could be on the line and that is more important.

GOD willing, I would do the best I can in such situations.

Besides, who says that this "professional" hobby was cheap and at times without risk.

Smile, and let's go dive!

shadragon
01-15-2008, 11:17
I am in Canada and someone told me it is cheaper than US for the insurance.
If in Canada, check out HUB International (Barton). I got my DM insurance through them as they have a deal with PADI. Was much cheaper than US ones.

Do a Google search for them.

theduckguru
10-19-2009, 11:26
Hi All,
Few questions about Dive Master Certification.
1) Do you think just having DM cert brings with it more legal liability when diving in general and not in a DM capacity?

2) Do you have to maintain insurance with your DM cert? How much does that cost?

3) Does your DM cert earn you anything? Real cash money? Benifits with a dive shop (free air, free boat trips, free maintanence on gear, dicount on gear?) Can you travel and just hook up a DM gig? What compensation would you expect?

Thanks for any thoughts.

I am AOW, years ago I assisted in OW classes with my LDS with just my OW cert. Last month while diving in Jamaica, the DM liked my diving well enough to ask me to "take up the rear, solo" to help look after a group of 7 divers, as the op was short one DM. I gladely agreed. I like looking after others and not being buddied. On this trip there were two divers that needed assitance
with bouyancy issues. One was corking up and I caught up with him to help dump the last of the air out of his BC. The other, I put rocks in his BC pockets toward the end of the dive. All went well, but it really had me wondering what kind of liability I might really be taking on?? Would it increase or decrease my liability if I had DM cert and/or DM cert with insurance??
Any thoughts on this one??

When you accept responsibility, you increase liability. A DM cert by itself doesn't mean you have accepted responsibility for other divers, especially if you haven't indentified yourself as a DM or represented yourself as some kind of expert and you wouldn't need liability insurance.

If you are going to be a DM, only a fool wouldn't have insurance and your not going to be happy with a $500-$1000 premium.

I think you also going to find a seniority system in place at the LDS's for perks.

CalBearister99
10-19-2009, 21:07
It may be discovered but it also demonstrates that you were not holding yourself out to others on the boat that you are a dm or instructor which could have a bearing on liability.

Doubtful. The fact that you (theoretically) had the skills to assist and did not, or did not adequately, pretty much negates that argument.

You need to think like a plaintiff's lawyer, not use common sense, if you want to predict litigation outcomes. And in either case, you're already being sued... the difference is, if you have insurance, they're paying for the lawyers, not you. ;)

Like all good lawyers, I'll try to split the baby here a little. The legal standard for negligence is that one must act like an ordinary reasonable person under the circumstances. The main exception is for professionals - a lawyer must behave like an ordinary reasonable lawyer (assuming any of us are reasonable of course ;) ) So for a DM, you'd be held to the standard of an ordinary reasonable DM.

What's this mean? Let's say you're diving and you're a DM. A diver gets in trouble, and you go to help. The diver dies. Regardless of whether you showed your DM card or not, you're going to be held to a higher standard than a normal OW diver would in that situation because you're a professional. So not showing your DM card would do you no good.

On the other hand, let's say you're diving and you're a DM, and tell everyone on the boat. A diver gets in trouble, and you decide not to get involved (or just don't notice). You might be subjected to the duty to rescue - whereas a normal OW diver would not. And of course, from a practical standpoint, if nobody knew or had reason to believe you were a DM, it's possible nobody would bother suing you or sending you a deposition notice (although it's possible they would).

So long story short? If you don't want to act as a DM, I wouldn't show your DM card or mention that you are a DM to anyone on the boat. That's no guarantee that you won't get dragged into something, but the opposite is almost a guarantee that you will.

And of course, being a lawyer - The legal information in this post is of a general nature and cannot substitute for professional legal advice. It does not create an attorney-client relationship, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice. Always seek the advice of competent counsel with any questions you may have regarding a legal issue. As legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and laws are constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent counsel. :smiley2:

CompuDude
10-19-2009, 21:40
In a lawsuit involving a diver death, everyone on the boat is going to be investigated. Hiding the fact that you're a DM will do no good in the long run. You don't have to walk up and down trumpeting the fact, either, but again, hiding it won't help... it's going to come out in discovery. And once it does, meet Doe #1... assuming they don't just sue everyone to cover the bases, and drop them along the line if it turns out fruitless.

CalBearister99
10-20-2009, 10:48
In a lawsuit involving a diver death, everyone on the boat is going to be investigated. Hiding the fact that you're a DM will do no good in the long run. You don't have to walk up and down trumpeting the fact, either, but again, hiding it won't help... it's going to come out in discovery. And once it does, meet Doe #1... assuming they don't just sue everyone to cover the bases, and drop them along the line if it turns out fruitless.

Agreed - but I do think there's at least some marginal benefit in taking steps to ensure that nobody on the boat reasonably relied on you to save them (because they knew you were a DM). I'm not saying it saves you, but as a litigator I'd rather have the case where my client didn't hold him/herself out to be a DM.

rednose83
10-20-2009, 12:01
I can tell you that my AOW instructors when not teaching dive on their PADI Master Diver card, not under their Instructor #.

I've heard this from several instructors but mostly because they want a pleasure dive and not to get paired with someone to babysit.

TJDiver
10-20-2009, 12:28
It may be discovered but it also demonstrates that you were not holding yourself out to others on the boat that you are a dm or instructor which could have a bearing on liability.

Doubtful. The fact that you (theoretically) had the skills to assist and did not, or did not adequately, pretty much negates that argument.

You need to think like a plaintiff's lawyer, not use common sense, if you want to predict litigation outcomes. And in either case, you're already being sued... the difference is, if you have insurance, they're paying for the lawyers, not you. ;)

Like all good lawyers, I'll try to split the baby here a little. The legal standard for negligence is that one must act like an ordinary reasonable person under the circumstances. The main exception is for professionals - a lawyer must behave like an ordinary reasonable lawyer (assuming any of us are reasonable of course ;) ) So for a DM, you'd be held to the standard of an ordinary reasonable DM.

What's this mean? Let's say you're diving and you're a DM. A diver gets in trouble, and you go to help. The diver dies. Regardless of whether you showed your DM card or not, you're going to be held to a higher standard than a normal OW diver would in that situation because you're a professional. So not showing your DM card would do you no good.

On the other hand, let's say you're diving and you're a DM, and tell everyone on the boat. A diver gets in trouble, and you decide not to get involved (or just don't notice). You might be subjected to the duty to rescue - whereas a normal OW diver would not. And of course, from a practical standpoint, if nobody knew or had reason to believe you were a DM, it's possible nobody would bother suing you or sending you a deposition notice (although it's possible they would).

So long story short? If you don't want to act as a DM, I wouldn't show your DM card or mention that you are a DM to anyone on the boat. That's no guarantee that you won't get dragged into something, but the opposite is almost a guarantee that you will.

And of course, being a lawyer - The legal information in this post is of a general nature and cannot substitute for professional legal advice. It does not create an attorney-client relationship, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice. Always seek the advice of competent counsel with any questions you may have regarding a legal issue. As legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and laws are constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent counsel. :smiley2:

Ah...finally...a REAL lawyer in this thread. :smiley36:

Hey, what are the repercussions of asking if a diver in distress is a lawyer before rendering assistance? :smilie39:

scubadiver888
10-20-2009, 12:52
I can tell you that my AOW instructors when not teaching dive on their PADI Master Diver card, not under their Instructor #.

I've heard this from several instructors but mostly because they want a pleasure dive and not to get paired with someone to babysit.

I saw this thread and a similar one on the 'other' board. I noticed a few people saying they dive with an old card, e.g. AOW, MD, etc. so no one knows they are a professional, e.g. DM, OWSI, etc.

I mentioned this to my instructor. She thought this was a bad idea. It is like you are trying to hide something. She has been making sure I know what to say, when I'm covered by the shop and when I'm not.

CompuDude
10-20-2009, 14:06
I mentioned this to my instructor. She thought this was a bad idea. It is like you are trying to hide something. She has been making sure I know what to say, when I'm covered by the shop and when I'm not.

I think this is a best option. Don't "advertise" that you're a DM if you're not working, but if it comes up, make it clear that you're not on the boat in any professional capacity. That's about all you can do.

scubadiver888
10-20-2009, 14:32
I mentioned this to my instructor. She thought this was a bad idea. It is like you are trying to hide something. She has been making sure I know what to say, when I'm covered by the shop and when I'm not.

I think this is a best option. Don't "advertise" that you're a DM if you're not working, but if it comes up, make it clear that you're not on the boat in any professional capacity. That's about all you can do.

Yes, this is what I've been told. I've been diving with a few guys in the Caribbean. At the time they seemed pretty good but they kept a low profile and drew no attention to themselves. I later found out a few of them were instructors. The biggest trick is don't go into teaching mode. Resist the urge to help people unless they ask for help.

theduckguru
10-20-2009, 20:25
In a lawsuit involving a diver death, everyone on the boat is going to be investigated. Hiding the fact that you're a DM will do no good in the long run. You don't have to walk up and down trumpeting the fact, either, but again, hiding it won't help... it's going to come out in discovery. And once it does, meet Doe #1... assuming they don't just sue everyone to cover the bases, and drop them along the line if it turns out fruitless.

Agreed - but I do think there's at least some marginal benefit in taking steps to ensure that nobody on the boat reasonably relied on you to save them (because they knew you were a DM). I'm not saying it saves you, but as a litigator I'd rather have the case where my client didn't hold him/herself out to be a DM.

The benefit would be no one board could even remember you being there and those who did thought you were just another diver.

theduckguru
10-20-2009, 20:39
In a lawsuit involving a diver death, everyone on the boat is going to be investigated. Hiding the fact that you're a DM will do no good in the long run. You don't have to walk up and down trumpeting the fact, either, but again, hiding it won't help... it's going to come out in discovery. And once it does, meet Doe #1... assuming they don't just sue everyone to cover the bases, and drop them along the line if it turns out fruitless.

So one gets a DM certification, at what point in time does one become a DM and cease being a DM?

CompuDude
10-20-2009, 21:18
In a lawsuit involving a diver death, everyone on the boat is going to be investigated. Hiding the fact that you're a DM will do no good in the long run. You don't have to walk up and down trumpeting the fact, either, but again, hiding it won't help... it's going to come out in discovery. And once it does, meet Doe #1... assuming they don't just sue everyone to cover the bases, and drop them along the line if it turns out fruitless.

So one gets a DM certification, at what point in time does one become a DM and cease being a DM?

Legally? I'm not sure. I'm not a lawyer.

As far as PADI is concerned, you're no longer an active DM as soon as you stop paying your annual dues. ;)

Tekdivr
10-20-2009, 21:52
In a lawsuit involving a diver death, everyone on the boat is going to be investigated. Hiding the fact that you're a DM will do no good in the long run. You don't have to walk up and down trumpeting the fact, either, but again, hiding it won't help... it's going to come out in discovery. And once it does, meet Doe #1... assuming they don't just sue everyone to cover the bases, and drop them along the line if it turns out fruitless.

So one gets a DM certification, at what point in time does one become a DM and cease being a DM?

Legally? I'm not sure. I'm not a lawyer.

As far as PADI is concerned, you're no longer an active DM as soon as you stop paying your annual dues. ;)

Or when one recieves their assistant instructor card. Sorry couldn't resist!