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altasnob
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PostMon Oct 12, 2020 8:18 pm 
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Interesting lawsuit currently pending in King County Superior Court. Bookman (the client), a tech CEO, lawyer, Yale and Harvard grad, who runs a tech company partially owned by Jared Kushner's brother sued Madison (the guide), who is an Everest guide based in Seattle and Bainbridge Island. Bookman got invited on an Everest trip that was sponsored by Mountain Hardware and the Mountain Hardware CEO was on the trip. Madison made the call to cancel the expedition because he thought conditions were too dangerous. Bookman claims it was because the Mountain Hardware CEO was out of shape.

Bookman claims Madison felt bad about canceling the trip and verbally offered to refund $50,000 of the $65,000 he had paid. Bookman claims this verbal agreement was made both at Everest base camp and later at Bookman's house in California. Madison never paid and Bookman sent Madison a demand letter or else he would sue. Madison still didn't pay. Bookman then filed suit in California, against Madison personally based on the alleged verbal agreement they had made in California. Judge dismissed that case because the suit should have been against the LLC, which is based in Washington. Madison per-emptively filed a motion for declaratory judgment in King County, which if successful, will prevent Bookman from sueing him. Madison is being represented for free by a former Everest guide turned lawyer in Seattle. Lots of drama:

https://www.geekwire.com/2020/seattle-mountaineering-guide-legal-battle-tech-ceo-wants-refund-failed-everest-climb/amp/

https://www.outsideonline.com/2417327/madison-mountaineering-zac-bookman-everest-lawsuit
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Cyclopath
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PostMon Oct 12, 2020 8:32 pm 
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I sued a guide once for cancelling an attempt on Mailbox Peak.
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Slugman
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PostMon Oct 12, 2020 8:46 pm 
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Interesting. Does a person have to keep a promise they didnít have to make?

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Pyrites
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PostMon Oct 12, 2020 9:14 pm 
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Cyclopath wrote:
I sued a guide once for cancelling an attempt on Mailbox Peak.

What damage were you expecting to be awarded? A for a forever 1st class stamp or this first day cover?


https://store.usps.com/store/product/stamp-collectors/enjoy-the-great-outdoors-first-day-cover-S_572816
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altasnob
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PostTue Oct 13, 2020 10:36 am 
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Docket for case in King County Superior Court:

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Randito
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PostTue Oct 13, 2020 11:52 am 
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Hopefully this case will get dismissed quickly -- but even if it is, the very act of being sued by a client is significant burden on the guiding business.   

My observation from friends and associates that have used the guide services on Mt Rainier is that when the weather is poor and that a summit attempt under those conditions is very unlikely to be successfull, the guides none the less set forth with their clients in tow, until the clients are miserable and glad to turn back.    This practice appears to cut down on the demands for refunds.

With the serac, the "make the clients suffer" option wasn't available -- the guide faced a "Schrodinger's cat" type dilemma, no way to know whether they would be killed at any moment or not while travelling below the serac or even what the odds actually were. 

Given that the disgruntled client isn't willing to accept credit toward a future trip -- this seems more like someone pursuing their giant ego rather than someone that was deeply motivated to stand on the summit of Everest.
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Anne Elk
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PostTue Oct 13, 2020 1:50 pm 
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Hmmm.  Alleged verbal agreement is hearsay, and unless it's flawed, a contract is a contract.  Why does this client think he should be treated differently than anyone else in that party?   My guess is that it will get nowhere, but the poor guide  will still be out a bundle in legal fees to defend himself.  huh.gif

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altasnob
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PostTue Oct 13, 2020 1:54 pm 
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The guide is being represented for free by this attorney, who is a former Everest guide himself:

https://www.bakerlaw.com/DouglasAGrady#experience
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Malachai Constant
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PostTue Oct 13, 2020 2:05 pm 
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Sounds like it was a nudem  pactum or naked promise I.e. contract without consideration. In order to have a valid contract there usually has to be a promise for a promise. In most cases contracts without consideration are not enforceable at law. In addition there may be a Statute of Frauds problem contracts over a certain value must be in writing.

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altasnob
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PostTue Oct 13, 2020 5:07 pm 
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The client who is bringing the lawsuit against the guide went to Yale law school and clerked for a 9th Circuit Judge. Not saying he has a valid case, but is really weird he is going after this guide for $50,000 based on something the guide allegedly told him sitting on his couch with no other witnesses around. And he runs a multi-million dollar tech company. I don't understand his motivations.
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Malachai Constant
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PostTue Oct 13, 2020 5:15 pm 
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I guess they are not friends anymore. tongue.gif

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33teeth
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PostTue Oct 13, 2020 5:19 pm 
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altasnob wrote:
I don't understand his motivations.

I would estimate that he's a dick.  Plain and simple.  That seems plenty of motivation for a lot of people.

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Chief Joseph
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PostTue Oct 13, 2020 5:23 pm 
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Randito wrote:
Given that the disgruntled client isn't willing to accept credit toward a future trip -- this seems more like someone pursuing their giant ego rather than someone that was deeply motivated to stand on the summit of Everest.

I agree, he should just accept the credit for a future trip and avoid all the drama and legality.

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Cyclopath
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PostTue Oct 13, 2020 6:01 pm 
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The case was dismissed on procedural grounds.  Plaintiff says he hasn't decided whether to file a new one or let it go.

Slugman wrote:
Interesting. Does a person have to keep a promise they didnít have to make?

Does a person have to keep a promise they didn't make?  There's no evidence of one, and it's funny that a successful tech bro never thought to get it in writing or record any of these multiple conversations where a promise may or may not have been made.
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Bootpathguy
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PostTue Oct 13, 2020 6:03 pm 
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That would be like me suing Dirty Dan's Fly Shop because the Red Tail Wooley Worm he sold me didn't catch fish

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Forum Index > Full Moon Saloon > Seattle mountaineering guide in legal battle with tech CEO seeking refund for failed Everest climb
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