[nabs-l] Blind man sues Wienerschnitzel over run-in with tree

Mary Fernandez trillian551 at gmail.com
Sat Aug 14 03:34:10 UTC 2010

Hello All,
I think that Kurt has a valid point. Think about it from a non-biased
point of view. A man is walking and gets knocked down by a tree. For
those of you who live in areas where it snows heavily in the winter,
or even in the tri-state where the snow isn't so heavy, how many law
suits occur every year because someone slips on ice? Someone who is
sighted. What if it had been a tall gentleman jabbering on his cell,
looks away, in some manner misses the huge branch coming up, and gets
knocked down? Would it be such an issue then? I totally understand the
independence issue here, and the message it sends to the sighted. But
to me this story isn't so much about the law suit, because lets face
it Americans are eager to file a suit whenever the occasion arises.
It's more of how the blind have to think and rethink every action. If
it had been any other case, equally as bizzarre,  it would have
gotten some coverage but it wouldn't even be controversial. The
reporter wouldn't have taken the pitying  and somewhat enabling tone
in his article. To me, it's double standards. If someone slips in snow
and they are blind, is it because they aren't using their canes
properly or is it because it is bound to happen to anyone. When they
sue, is it going to come up that they should have been using better
mobility skills, or perhaps that because of their blindness snow and
ice is even more of a hazard?
Just some thoughts.

P.S. Gosh, this makes me so thankful I'm 5 ft 2! All I ever run into
is over grown bushes!

On 8/13/10, Valerie Gibson <valandkayla at gmail.com> wrote:
> I do not think that the guy should keep his hand up all day. that would look
> a bit silly to me, and isn't the goal to fit into the sighted world?
> His cane could have easily missed the tree; that's understandible, but think
> about it from a scientific point of view.  Can you imagine how fast the man
> must have been w walking to have a  tree knock him down?
> And why hadn't the man noticed the tree before? was this a new place? if so,
> why was he walking so fast?
> On Aug 13, 2010, at 9:14 PM, Sarah Alawami wrote:
>> I do. If I feel a shadow infront of me my hand goes up this would be my
>> right hand if I'm working my dog or my left hand if I don't have anything
>> in it when using my cane.
>> On Aug 13, 2010, at 6:59 PM, Jedi wrote:
>>> Well, if he did that, his arm would be quite tired by the end of the day.
>>> After all, it sounds like this person didn't even know the tree was
>>> coming. In that case, is he supposed to walk around town with his hand in
>>> front of his face just in case something like this happens again? Just a
>>> thought.
>>> For issues like this, I use echolocation to detect overhanging items. The
>>> deaf-blind alternative would be a sonic guide or a hand guide. In any
>>> case, once I get a sense that something loarge is in front of my face, I
>>> slow down, either put my hand in front of my face to block the object, or
>>> hold my cane near verticle to get both ground coverage and overhead
>>> coverage. This generally works well enough accept in instances where the
>>> branch is so small that it would be difficult to echolocate for the
>>> average blind person. In that case, I generally prefer to wear dark
>>> glasses partially for eye protection (and for other reasons as well).
>>> Does anyone else have techniques on this issue they'd like to share?
>>> Respectfully,
>>> Jedi
>>> Original message:
>>>> Hi All,
>>>> This is ridiculous   the guy should have been using not only his cane
>>>> but he should have also had his arm up in a protective way so that he
>>>> knew the tree was going to be coming up. The city may not be able to do
>>>> anything because especially if the tree roots are going under the
>>>> sidewalk it would most likely cost them to much to have to cut up the
>>>> sidewalk pull out the tree and redo the sidewalk. I lived on the West
>>>> Side of Salt Lake for five years. And, I did see that sometimes.
>>>> Jessica
>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>> From: nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org] On
>>>> Behalf Of Jedi
>>>> Sent: Friday, August 13, 2010 7:31 PM
>>>> To: nabs-l at nfbnet.org
>>>> Subject: Re: [nabs-l] Blind man sues Wienerschnitzel over run-in with
>>>> tree
>>>> The tree could be an annoying obstacle for anyone, particularly tall
>>>> people. And yes, it is true that tall blind people who don't use guide
>>>> dogs or some sort of hand guide device/echolocation are going to miss
>>>> those overhead branches. However, suing could set a bad precedent as it
>>>> would reaify the notion that obstacles of any kind are hazardous to
>>>> blind people because we are blind; the public may take this incident
>>>> and generalize it to all obstacles whether they're really an
>>>> inconvenience to one/all of us or not.
>>>> Respectfully,
>>>> Jedi
>>>> Original message:
>>>>> I thought this story was interesting. What do you think? Is the
>>>>> lawsuit appropriate?
>>>>> Arielle
>>>>> Blind man sues Wienerschnitzel over run-in with tree
>>>>> http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/50092926-78/tree-reynolds-wienerschnitzel-suit.html.csp
>>>>> By bob mims
>>>>> The Salt Lake Tribune
>>>>> Updated Aug 12, 2010 10:59PM
>>>>> All Nathan Reynolds wanted was a hot dog. Instead, as the blind man
>>>>> walked toward a Wienerschnitzel restaurant last year, he got a face
>>>>> full of tree — and severe neck injuries.
>>>>> Now, the 36-year-old Utah County man has filed a personal injury
>>>>> lawsuit against the owners of the Wienerschnitzel at the corner of
>>>>> North Temple and 800 West in Salt Lake City.
>>>>> The complaint contends that on June 9, 2009, Reynolds — who had been
>>>>> on his way to the Utah School for the Deaf and the Blind — got off a
>>>>> bus near the Wienerschnitzel to get a meal. As the 6-foot-5 man
>>>>> navigated toward the entrance with his cane swinging in front of him,
>>>>> he hit the tree, which the suit contends had encroached on the
>>>>> sidewalk.
>>>>> “The tree struck him squarely in the face and knocked him to the
>>>>> ground,” states the suit, filed Tuesday. “The tree was allowed to grow
>>>>> in such a way that it was impossible for Mr. Reynolds to detect its
>>>>> presence by use of his cane.”
>>>>> The suit argues that because the tree was “rooted in the ground far to
>>>>> one side of the sidewalk and [had grown] diagonally across the
>>>>> sidewalk,” it had become a “clear hazard.”
>>>>> Reynolds seeks unspecified reimbursement for past and future medical
>>>>> expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering stemming from alleged
>>>>> negligence in the maintenance of the tree.
>>>>> Along with Grundmann Enterprises of South Jordan, the owner of the
>>>>> eatery, Reynolds’ 3rd District Court suit names Salt Lake City Corp.
>>>>> and five John Does as defendants. Reynolds seeks a jury trial; 3rd
>>>>> District Judge Sandra Peuler has been assigned the case.
>>>>> Daniel J. Grundmann of Grundmann Enterprises declined to comment
>>>>> Wednesday, noting he had not yet been served with the suit.
>>>>> Tom Amberger, vice president of marketing for Irvine, Calif.-based
>>>>> Galaradi Group Inc., which runs Wienerschnitzel, also declined to
>>>>> discuss the case. “We are unaware of this lawsuit and will look into
>>>>> it,” he said.
>>>>> Ed Rutan, city attorney for Salt Lake City, would not comment, either,
>>>>> citing the pending nature of the litigation.
>>>>> __._,_.___
>>>>> --
>>>>> Arielle Silverman
>>>>> President, National Association of Blind Students
>>>>> Phone:  602-502-2255
>>>>> Email:
>>>>> nabs.president at gmail.com
>>>>> Website:
>>>>> www.nabslink.org
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Mary Fernandez
Emory University 2012
P.O. Box 123056
Atlanta Ga.
Phone: 732-857-7004
"Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the
most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of
Charles W. Eliot

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