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

Kirt Manwaring kirt.crazydude at gmail.com
Sat Aug 14 17:55:53 UTC 2010


If there was a crack in the sidewalk, I think he should've been able
to feel it with his cane.  And, Mary, I'm not saying you walk really
slow down a sidewalk.  But, if the roots caused a crack in the
sidwalk, that's totally the sort of thing a cane _should_ be able to
pick up.  And, for a 6-5 man to get "knocked to the ground" by a tree
branch (even if it's a thick one) would take more than just walking at
a brisk pace.  Any thoughts?

On 8/14/10, Joe Orozco <jsorozco at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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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