Dec 22, 2011 at 11:03 pm #1283288
The family of an 11-year-old Lake Stevens girl who was killed when she was struck by a boulder of ice in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest last year is suing the U.S. Forest Service.
The suit filed Tuesday alleges that signs at the popular Big Four Ice Caves fail to adequately warn visitors about the potential danger from the kind of ice avalanche that killed Grace Tam on July 31, 2010. According to the suit, the Forest Service failed to maintain danger signs warning people of the risks of collapsing ice, snow and unstable caves along the trail to the caves.
Dec 22, 2011 at 11:08 pm #1815222
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
I was at Lassen National Park and there was an official NSPS sign at Bumpass Hell (the geothermal area) that said something like, "You are entering an active geothermal area. Hazards include, but are not limited to the following: steam, scalding hot water, thin crusts, sulphuric acid fumes, and walkways that could give way. Parents are strongly advised to maintain close supervision and physical control of children at all times."
Under which, someone had handwritten in Sharpie:
"A watched child never boils."Dec 23, 2011 at 6:22 am #1815263
"Warning, Life is Hazardous"Dec 23, 2011 at 7:35 am #1815279
@gregfLocale: Canadian Rockies
This actually might be a legitamate complaint.
The forest service provide a bridge over a river in 2009 and didn't replace the warning signs that were previously there. If this is true then the forest service may be liable as they had previously identified that this area poses a risk that may not be obvious and they improved access to the area while removing a warning sign. He also states that the forest service has been un-responive in his requests for improved signage in the area.
I think the level of warning required really depends on how accessible the area is. Anything within 3 miles from a road with a state maintained trail or infastruture should have some information on risks posted at the trailhead. The minimum trialhead sign with a map of the area and the standard wildlife warnings along with anything else unusalDec 23, 2011 at 8:37 am #1815295
Tragedy happened, we should make money. After the lawyer gets his cut. It's the American way. Having warning signs would have made absolutely no difference, that family would have still gone down the trail. It's just ridiculous the hoops everyone has to jump thru to protect themselves from ambulance chasers.Dec 23, 2011 at 12:33 pm #1815374
@ewolinLocale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
"Having warning signs would have made absolutely no difference, that family would have still gone down the trail."
Sad but very likely true…Dec 23, 2011 at 5:11 pm #1815447
@fderooscomcast-netLocale: Mid Atlantic
it's always someone elses responsibility when something tragic happens and never your own bad decisions or an accident, particularly, in our country, when dollars are involved. This "blame everyone else and make them pay" mentality for mishaps and unfortunate events is one of the cancers growing and slowly crippling our country. I'm truly sorry for their loss but don't blame anyone, that's not productive.Dec 23, 2011 at 5:35 pm #1815454
From the article it sounds like the Forest Service failed to replace a sign after building the bridge and according to the father was unresponsive to his pleas to add more warnings after the incident. If my daughter was crushed by a car sized boulder and the forest service was unresponsive to my pleas to add more warnings, I'd probably want to sue them too.Dec 23, 2011 at 9:38 pm #1815501
While I too dislike the "sue first, ask questions later" mentality of many in this country, I'm realizing more and more complaints are legitimate.
It's expensive and a PITA to sue someone. This looks like a case where a grieving father was trying work with the USFS to improve warning signs (whether he would have heeded them is irrelevant). However being a large bureaucracy they probably rebuffed him expecting him to disappear. Given the historical presence of signage he actually had a legitimate concern and when dismissed he decided to pursue the issue more aggressively.
I do believe most people would prefer to work out an issue, it's when people in bureaucracies think they're god that the small fight tends to fight with a legitimate enough law suit to make them think twice.Dec 24, 2011 at 7:48 pm #1815670
I sympathize with the tragedy.
But people need to take responsibility for themselves and their own protection, or we might as well forfeit access to everything. You do not have a right to be forewarned of every natural hazard when you step off the pavement. What used to be a courtesy, provided by the government, is now being demanded as a RIGHT to be warned of all dangers.
If a bridge the forest service maintained collapsed and killed someone, they would be negligent.
Just because they did not warn sufficiently that natural hazards existed in the outdoors, is a bit more of a stretch, and perpetuates the problem that most americans wrongfully expect the great outdoors to be packaged to them as safe, convenient, entertainment.Dec 25, 2011 at 1:17 pm #1815767
@owareLocale: Steptoe Butte
It was the case that only improvements to the land, not natural hazards are things subjective to control and hence one could litigate about things like bridges but
not lightening or wild animals.
If land owners are held accountable for natural hazards, access is going to be closed everywhere, private and public.
The recreation budget of the USFS in CA spends more money on signage than on anything else
according to an employee we met doing trail maintenance. With money in short supply,
no signs might mean no access.Dec 25, 2011 at 2:35 pm #1815774
Well I changed my mind…
I am not fond of visually polluting warning signs but…
I wasn't there and till you are in a situation you don't know how you are going to react.
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