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Idaho family sues USFS for $1M after tree hit son
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Jeremy and Angela
(requiem) - F

Locale: Northern California
Re: Torte vs. Tort on 04/12/2013 20:38:44 MDT Print View

In my opinion, the best torte reform would be to replicate the chocolate Sachertorte, which can still be had at the Sacher Hotel in Vienna.

A bit dry for my taste, even with the whipped cream, but its legal history is certainly apropos. The strudel, on the other hand....

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
bad case on 04/12/2013 20:41:18 MDT Print View

As a personal injury lawyer strongly opposed to tort reform, I can tell you this does not sound like a case I would file. And it has won no money yet, before anyone gets too outraged. On the other hand, there was recently a case where a doctor amputated the wrong limb, leaving the patient with one bad limb and his good limb is now gone. Jury found against the patient. Press ignores it.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: Sachertorte on 04/12/2013 20:41:31 MDT Print View

"Isn't there something called "due diligence" here, in that the family should not have had sense enough not to camp next to a dead tree?"

Absolutely. We have a federal campground near where I live which has a very large and very dead tree which is now leaning towards a few established campsites. Its arguable if it eventually falls on someone that the Corps of Engineers should have spent a couple bucks on gas and cut it down before it became a problem. I don't think it's safe and I wish they would show some initiative and avoid the issue all together.

On the other hand, dispersed/stealth/back 40 camping, the BLM/USDA/EIEIO can't be held responsible for every widow maker out there.

BRB off to the bakery!

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: Re: Re: Idaho family sues USFS for $1M after tree hit son on 04/12/2013 20:43:07 MDT Print View

Oh the horror of setting up in the dark in heavy wind and waking up at first daylight to a partially burned, partially rotten redwood tree big enough to flatten a house with a partially hollowed out base leaning right over where you slept.

Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Health Care on 04/12/2013 20:48:45 MDT Print View

I cant tell from the link but is the insurance company suborogating the claim and suing on the families behalf or making the family sue? Private insurers generally have a suborogation clause.

One reason the US sees more law suits than say Canada or Austrailia is the lack of public health care. If you look at the Mcdonalds coffee case at the root of it was Mcdonalds refusal to pay for the health care costs of the women so she sued.

I dont want to derail this thread on the merits of public or private health care but one of the consequences is that when situations lie this occur insuance companies require law suits to recoop their costs

Daniel Fish

Locale: PDX
... on 04/12/2013 21:55:53 MDT Print View


Edited by on 06/09/2013 21:58:26 MDT.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Idaho family sues USFS for $1M after tree hit son on 04/13/2013 10:16:11 MDT Print View

This just in... "child sues parents for $1M for camping under potential deadfall".

"In this case I'd be looking for a down tree to snuggle up next to. Never had any close calls to find out if it's a smart tactic.

In my first big lesson on how all-day exposure to high winds and light rain could potentially lead to hypothermia, even in not so cold weather, I actually pitched my tarp over a huge fallen split-trunked tree. It was majorly cozy in there with tree trunks for walls and the wind howling outside! Thing to remember it to make sure all the dead-falling part is well over first! lol Oh... also make sure some other critter doesn't already have dibs.

I'd like to place my vote for LINZER torte as the world's best dessert!

Edited by millonas on 04/13/2013 12:00:55 MDT.

Sharon J.
(squark) - F

Locale: SF Bay area
Re: RE: "setting up in the dark in heavy wind" on 04/13/2013 14:58:15 MDT Print View

"... I'd be looking for a down tree to snuggle up next to."

Problem with reading these threads from the newest to oldest and out of context, is that I started picturing a snuggly down tree as part of the sleep system, and wondering about the fill power.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: RE: "setting up in the dark in heavy wind" on 04/13/2013 16:04:31 MDT Print View

Well, the wind wasn't that heavy, just heavy for a closed forest.
I stay out of the woods during big windstorms. I have seen the destruction caused by wind and it's freaking scary, especially in places that have many burned trees. I actually prolonged a trip for an extra day because the only way back to my car was through thousands of dead/burned trees and the wind was really blowing hard.
The issue is hiking in at night and not being able to see potential hazards like widow makers or leaning trees.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Open mouth insert foot on 04/13/2013 17:01:47 MDT Print View

"I'd like to place my vote for LINZER torte as the world's best dessert!"

Keep 'em coming.... I can take it....

I'd feel silly if it wasn't for the fact that my otherwise highly intelligent supervisor sent a flyer to several of our stakeholders on how to get in touch with the local "Pubic" Defenders.

Edited by IDBLOOM on 04/13/2013 17:04:50 MDT.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
"Idaho family sues USFS on 04/13/2013 17:42:23 MDT Print View

I think I blew it--I put in an extra "not"!

Should have read: "The family should have had sense enough not to camp next to a dead tree." The due diligence should have been on the part o the family IMHO. I went back and corrected the original but that's already on another page.

Subrogation--I used to work for an HMO and they most definitely urged suing if there was any chance at all that a third party (or their insurance company) could be made to pay.

Linzertorte, sachertorte, dobostorte (the last Hungarian)--I tried almost all of them!

Edited by hikinggranny on 04/13/2013 17:47:57 MDT.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
I followed you on 04/13/2013 18:23:18 MDT Print View

I understood your underlying statement and I agree. You can't hold other people or agencies accountable for "acts of God."

Edit: and in this case, for their own poor camp site selection. I think it gets sticky in the case of KOAesque campgrounds and they have some responsibility to maintain a reasonably safe environment around the campsites. Should they be held responsible for a rogue branch which falls out of a tree and damages a RV; no. Should they remove a dead tree which is leaning over a campsite; yes (IMO). Should the camper use enough common sense not to camp there; yes.

They are going to spend money, tie up the court, stress over this case, and otherwise not move on with their lives mentally and emotionally for a case that they are unlikely to win. It will depend on a number of factors and not all attorneys are created equal (not commenting on present company.)

Edited by IDBLOOM on 04/13/2013 18:37:06 MDT.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: I followed you on 04/13/2013 18:33:28 MDT Print View

But Ian, this 'Merica. Ain't nuthin' my fault. I gotta sue somebody. Plus, my rights were violated.

Edited by T.L. on 04/13/2013 18:34:32 MDT.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Funny man! on 04/13/2013 18:42:46 MDT Print View

Yeah isn't that the truth! I had to edit and refine my point because I don't wan't to come across as some litigious person. I'm not. I deal with the criminal courts every day at work and I have no desire to deal with any of the courts in my personal life. The confrontational nature of it is exhausting and emotionally draining.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Darwin wept on 04/13/2013 19:54:17 MDT Print View

You'll get em next time Mr. Darwin.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: RE: "setting up in the dark in heavy wind" on 04/14/2013 03:47:36 MDT Print View

> I stay out of the woods during big windstorms.

Ever seen what happens when lightning hits the top of a tree? A hardwood tree?
The current, millions of amps, runs down inside the tree. The sap inside the tree boils furiously. The tree explodes. Think 6' long 'matchsticks' of hardwood, flying outwards at very high speed.

Ridges in a thunderstorm can also be dangerous.


Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Lightning on 04/14/2013 10:46:50 MDT Print View

I've seen that same phenomenon with Engelmann spruce, which has a spiral grain. Enormous splinters, 10 to 30 feet long, were driven way into the ground for at least 100 yards surrounding the tree. This was in the Colorado Rockies on a level plateau in relatively (for 10,000 feet elevation) thick forest--that just happened to be the one tree that developed the electrical charge. There was no way to tell if that tree had been taller than the surrounding forest.

The scariest thing was that this happened right along the trail we were following. We were horse packing, and one of the horses had her pack tip over, forcing us to stop, rebalance the pack and reload. It was while we were reloading the horse that the lightning struck. We got to the tree 20 minutes later, and realized that if that pack hadn't gone over, we'd have been right there when the lightning struck!

Awesome force, lightning, deserving of great respect. Ben Franklin was really lucky that he didn't get fried!

Edited by hikinggranny on 04/14/2013 10:48:11 MDT.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Sooo?? on 04/14/2013 14:05:40 MDT Print View

You guys make that suit sound like it's a bad thing.

C'mon, this is AMERICA, land of the tort. Maybe the family can "settle out of court" and get enough for a Bahamas vacation.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: RE: "setting up in the dark in heavy wind" on 04/14/2013 16:52:53 MDT Print View

"Problem with reading these threads from the newest to oldest and out of context, is that I started picturing a snuggly down tree as part of the sleep system, and wondering about the fill power."

If it were me, I'd be wondering about the fall power. ;0)

Dena Kelley

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
"Idaho family sues USFS for $1M after tree hit son" on 04/18/2013 18:14:31 MDT Print View

I don't know whether this is a greedy family trying to cash in on tragedy or if they really are so ignorant that they think National Parks are somehow maintained for perfect safety- no dead trees, no wild animals, no potential for bodily harm. The latter would not surprise me. Maybe we should stop calling them "parks" and start calling them "wilderness areas" to try and dispel that notion. In this instance, I do not see a case for this family. They were negligent when they set up their camp to not check for dead trees. Setting up a tent next to a widow maker had the predictable but catastrophic result. They have no one but themselves to blame.