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Manufacturer Liability


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#1 Stephen Murphy

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Posted 27 September 2004 - 04:24 AM

With all the talk over the last few months about disfigured socket blocks, and broken arms im wondering is the manufacturer of our products liable if they fail catastrophically while we are working?
If my 3A/Pro/masters arm breaks and my rig hits the deck can i look for compensation from the manufacturing company, irrespective of warranty status?
I have heard of two people whose arms have failed in the past 6 weeks, and Doc Karman mentioned another few cases in a different post (different company).
By using an arm on a back mounted vest does that render the manufacturers liability void because it is being used for a purpose not originally considered by the manufacturer?
If that is the case does that mean a Garfield/vehicle mount would be considered a purpose not originally considered by the manufacturer as well?
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#2 RobVanGelder

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Posted 27 September 2004 - 09:16 AM

Well, I´m sure that if we bring in the lawyers, soon the shooting will come to a stand still!

Let´s be fair about this, although everybody is trying to keep everything in one piece as hard as possible, shit happens.
Material weakens. If you would sue the manufacturer, he could insist on regular checks and possible renewing of all parts under stress. Are you willing to do so? who pays for that? It is an expensive tool and trade already.

Even than, there are situation that could lead to possible problems that only appear much later, on other shoots. I think of a hard mount where you bottom out but everything "looks" ok. You can have a collaps a few shoots later, or maybe never.

How about second hand gear?

Or mounting that Imax camera or 535a with speedramp and follow focus/iris with Cooke S4 lenses and other shit?
Officially it should hold, at least in most static situations. But the moving situations are often unpredictable so are we really sure?

In my opinion it is: insurance and let them fight if they want their money back.
Or take the risk.....
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#3 Michael Stumpf

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Posted 27 September 2004 - 11:38 AM

Stephen,

From my understanding (I was told before I bought) and I asked when I bought my PRO arm (George wasn't in that day but Jerry said he believes it is) basically it's got a lifetime warranty (except spring canisters of course).
So if the socket block split or cracked, I'd expect to get a new one...no charge.

As for mounting on a backmounted vest.
Well that can't void any warranty when GPI was selling
the backmounted vest and was the LA rep for them (not sure if
GPI still is with Walter or not).
That implies they have no problem with the backmounted vest and
PRO equipment working in tandem.

Also, our wonderful and esteemed leader, Mr. Garrett Brown, just bought
a backmounted vest from Walter as well.
**Garrett and Walter are going to try to work on building a
Hybrid (front and back) mounted version...so I'm told by Walter...we'll see.

That also in itself shows that Garrett doesn't have any objections to the Steadicam
Arm being used in backmounted vests either.

Maybe the best thing would be to just go back to steel socket blocks.
They're cheaper and to my knowledge stronger and couldn't possibly weigh that much more.
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#4 Stephen Murphy

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Posted 27 September 2004 - 11:59 AM

my PRO arm (George wasn't in that day but Jerry said he believes it is) basically it's got a lifetime warranty (except spring canisters of course).
So if the socket block split or cracked, I'd expect to get a new one...no charge.

Michael,

If i recall correctly, when this socket block disfigurement issue first arose (was it Erwin that had the problem?) he brought it to the attention of GPI who said, as you did, that there was a lifetime chasis warranty BUT the socket block wasnt covered in that warranty.

I know Sweet FA about metals but if switching to hardened steel socket block gave me more piece of mind, id happily carry a small bit of extra weight.
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