What ever happened to people being responsible for their own actions?
Thats right, when Lawyers get involved and somone can possibly make some money out of it
Well, that's exactly what is being argued about in the court case.
I see both sides of this.
Of course, there's the responsibility for own actions thing. Goes without saying.
On the other hand... it is, and has always been, bloody ridiculous for Strava to have leaderboards for downhill sections. It doesn't cause stupid behaviour, but it certainly encourages it. In the beginning, Strava segments were all about the climbs - hence the KOM terminology. Then the downhill segments started to be a thing. Obvious potential for stupid behaviour... much moreso than climbs.
Strava has more than enough information necessary to determine whether a segment is uphill or down, and it would be trivial to include an "IF" statement in the code to disallow segments with - to be arbitrary - more than 1% average downhill gradient... if they chose to do so. They didn't, so it's difficult to argue that they didn't deliberately allow downhill KOM chasing to happen.
As for the "someone can possibly make money out of it"... that's an easy thing to say from a distance.
Especially in the USA, if you get killed or - worse - disabled, there is essentially no public support available. You pay your own medical bills. You pay your own rehab. You pay for your own personal care for the rest of your life. You pay for your own equipment needs... probably without an income... or go bankrupt trying. No medicare, no TAC, negligible social security. Declaring bankruptcy over medical bills after an accident or illness is not at all uncommon. If a family's main breadwinner is killed, then that family just has to suck it up and work out how to live without that income.
Unless... somebody can be found to have contributed, through deliberate act or through negligence, and their insurance company made to foot the bill. Essentially, liability insurance IS the social security safety net in USA.
I'm sure there are some cases where people are making money out of suing for negligence and laughing all the way to the bank. But in many more cases it's just a matter of covering some of the enormous costs involved in getting injured or killed.
In this case, the guy f*cked up. That's obvious, and nobody is disputing it. But now his kids (if he had any) have to be raised by a single mum... which is a tough gig anywhere, and even moreso in the Land of the Free. Almost certainly a one-way ticket to the poverty line. Is it their fault that their Dad f*cked up and crashed his bike? Is it their fault that Strava chose to encourage people to do stupid things that led to this guy screwing up and getting dead? Or at very least, chose not to stop encouraging people?
Who here has never screwed up and almost
got severely injured? Who would want their kids held responsible for that?
Getting disabled is, in many ways, a tougher outcome than getting killed. A friend of friends took the moral high road and refused to sue the landholder for damages after he broke his neck in a mountain bike accident. He and his partner (who is now his full-time carer) live off charity - essentially, by begging. That's a hard way to live the rest of your life after a simple over-the-bars XC mountain bike crash in your 20s. And if everybody did it... there's only so much money to be raised by begging.
Nobody chooses to get killed or injured in an accident, even if they were doing something stupid at the time. It's the beginning of a world of misery for all involved. If you could secure financial support from an insurance company - somebody else's if you don't have your own - you would. Even if you do have your own insurance, the policy might require you to try and claim on somebody else's insurance first (by suing for damages) before they will pay out.
The whole thing is just crap for everybody.