Every month seems to bring new products, goods and services to the recreational diving community. The end of the Cold War and the emergence of a computer literate generation brings new and exciting technology and equipment which allow individuals to dive deeper and longer with greater access to environments which were previously inaccessible to all except those in the military or commercial diving communities. The advent of computer generated decompression tables, the progress of mixed-gas technology and the promise of consumer accessible closed-circuit breathing systems brings the opportunity and the lure to “push the envelope” and “to go where no one has gone before.”
Oftentimes, however, access to this technology and equipment far exceeds the training, expertise and “educational curve” of the
general consuming public. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that the diving community has recently seen what many believe to be an unacceptable rate of death and injury.
While technology oftentimes moves faster than the market can sustain, the law is fully prepared and able to address rapid changes within the diving community. If manufacturers, providers, inventors or designers “jump the gun” by introducing unproven products without appropriate trial runs or complete development the consuming public may face an unreasonable risk of harm. Should that occur, products liability law will act to ensure the safety of the consumer. Likewise, should the general diving consumer venture into a method of diving beyond their expertise and training, they will be held legally accountable for their conduct.