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

Joe Orozco jsorozco at gmail.com
Sat Aug 14 15:06:40 UTC 2010


And what would happen if a blind driver were involved in an accident?  Would
the same attitudes prevail for a possible lawsuit against the car
manufacturer?  It only goes to show that we need to properly set the stage
for the invention by first fixing attitudes rather than the other way
around.

Sorry, couldn't help it.

As to this incident, I'm embarrassed to admit I laughed my head off.  No,
it's not at all funny that the guy was knocked over by a tree, but I think
the impetus for his proclaimed lawsuit came more out of an injured pride
than an injured body.  Yet, there are obstruction laws, and his case may
very well gain minor traction if only because of their existence.

Best,

Joe

"Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves,
some turn up their noses, and some don't turn up at all."--Sam Ewing 

-----Original Message-----
From: nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org 
[mailto:nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Kirt Manwaring
Sent: Friday, August 13, 2010 11:01 PM
To: National Association of Blind Students mailing list
Subject: Re: [nabs-l] Blind man sues Wienerschnitzel over 
run-in with tree

I totally agree with pretty much everything that's been said so far.
But, allow me to go out on a limb for a second.  (sorry, I'm tired)
The suit doesn't worry me as much as the way the newspaper portrays
it.  I mean...it seems like this reporter's already pretty much just
gone and made the opening arguments for the plaintiff here.  Whatever
happened to balanced journalism?  Seriously though- all this guy's
lawyer has to do is read this article in front of the judge.  No need
to prepare any sort of argument, the reporter's pretty much summarized
(and agreed with) this guy's case.
  I'm sure there's nothing ill-intentioned about it.  The newspaper
writer probably felt quite sympathetic and wanted to help the poor,
hurt blind boy out.  Or- and this is what really scares me- social
atitudes about blind people not being able to travel independently
without getting hurt have influenced this reporter so much that he (or
maybe she, I dunno) perhaps didn't even realize the bias in the story?
 Just a thought.  Let me know if I'm being a bit overdramatic here,
but the atitude which clearly is conveyed in this article worries me
much, much more than a silly law suit ever could.

On 8/13/10, Sarah Alawami <marrie12 at gmail.com> 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-wien
erschnitzel-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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