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

Anmol Bhatia anmolpbhatia at yahoo.com
Sat Aug 14 21:18:18 UTC 2010


All good points but I especially like your objection two and I agree with Mark that filing a lawsuit will set a bad precedent. Unfortunately a big battle that blind people have to fight is the false proseption that society holds and even though law suits is sometimes necessary, but unfortunately it presents a fear to the sighted world when dealing with a blind person. Growing up I would spend my holidays in Chicago with my uncle and his family. My uncle based on news reports of families getting in trouble with law enforcement for leaving their disabled child home alone and something happening. This caused him not to leave me alone at home and mostly because he took a insident and totally exploited it without carefully researching the insidents where the families got in trouble for leaving their disabled child at home. These insidents even though may have some marrit but do not serve usas blind people well. I do not think this tree insident would have
 made a difference even if the person was sighted.
Anmol 

I seldom think about my limitations, and they never make me sad. Perhaps there is just a touch of yearning at times; but it is vague, like a breeze among flowers.
Hellen Keller


--- On Sat, 8/14/10, Marc Workman <mworkman.lists at gmail.com> wrote:

> From: Marc Workman <mworkman.lists at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [nabs-l] Blind man sues Wienerschnitzel over run-in with tree
> To: "National Association of Blind Students mailing list" <nabs-l at nfbnet.org>
> Date: Saturday, August 14, 2010, 3:24 PM
> I'm not very surprised, but
> nevertheless still disturbed, by a majority of the responses
> to this article.  Based on one reporters account of
> this story, we have rediculous proposals insisting that
> blind people ought to walk around holding one arm in the
> air, we have unjustified claims about how fast the person
> must have been walking, we have unfounded assumptions about
> what this person may have tried to do before escalating to a
> law suit, and we have highly speculative claims about how
> this one incident is going to set every confident,
> independent blind person back 20 years.
> 
> Jedi wrote the following, and this is not directed at Jedi;
> she only said first, and with brevity and clarity, what many
> others said afterwards.
> 
> 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.
> 
> I would raise three objections to this line of
> thinking.  None of them are devastating, but, taken
> together, I think there is good reason to not be completely
> convinced that people who fight these sorts of battles are
> doing us all harm.
> 
> 1. We shouldn't be so quick to think that we can predict
> how any one individual, let alone the so called public, is
> going to react to these sorts of stories.  Someone
> reading the story might respond more to the fact that the
> person was travelling in the community independently, she
> might focus on the person's willingness to stand up for what
> he believes, she might begin to think about her own front
> yard tree with its low hanging branches, or most likely in
> my opinion, she won't think twice about it, assuming she
> reads it at all.  The point is that there is a lot of
> speculation involved here, and we should be cautious in the
> face of so much speculation.
> 
> 2. Let's say, for the sake of argument, that there is this
> thing called the public, and the public generalizes from the
> experience of one person and applies it to all of us blind
> people.  The public believes that we all need help
> getting around all these obsticles, and eventually this
> leads to discrimination and unemployment.  Should we
> base our positions on what we judge to be right, or should
> we base them on how the public will react to them? Probably
> the response will be to say that we should base our
> positions on both what we think is right and how the public
> will react.  Fine, I'm not saying we should ignore
> public reaction, but in the face of so much speculation, see
> objection 1, where public reaction is highly unpredictable,
> it should play only a very minor role in deciding what sort
> of activities we should engage in.
> 
> 3. Even if the public does develop negative misconceptions
> based on these sorts of stories, this doesn't mean that
> people can't be educated.  Why couldn't it be the case
> that by fighting to remove these barriers, we suffer a
> short-term increase in negative conceptions for a decrease
> of such conceptions in the long term? Get blind people out
> in the community, and that's how you will change
> attitudes.  The more people that feel they can
> comfortably and independently travel throughout the
> community, without having first spent 8 months intensively
> studying the latest hand-in-front-of-face technique for
> detecting over-hanging obsticles, the more people you will
> have out in the community, the more relationships will be
> developed, and the more likely you are to change attitudes.
> 
> Many of the comments thus far in this thread illustrate two
> of the most fundamental ways in which I think NFB policies
> are misguided.  First, the failure to promote universal
> design.  Universal design means creating institutions,
> products, processes, services, and so on that are as
> accessible as possible to the widest number of people,
> without the user having to possess special equipment or
> training.  If environment A is only navigable by some
> blind person who has been blind for ten years, who has had
> training at an NFB Center, and who has no other disabling
> physical variations, and environment B is navigable by
> someone recently blind, with little training, and with a bad
> hip, then we should adopt stances towards design that bring
> us closer to environment B.  It might be true that, at
> first, taking these positions causes that foolish public to
> believe that blindness equals incompetence, but this leads
> me to my second concern with NFB policy: there is far too
> much concern with the variety of ways that the public might
> think less of us.  Of course public perceptions matter,
> but they are highly unpredictable, changeable over time, and
> should not make us afraid to fight for what is right.
> 
> I've been preaching this sort of attitude for a while now,
> and I don't really expect to change anyone's mind, but there
> is another perspective to this story that hasn't been aired
> fully.
> 
> Best,
> 
> Marc
> 
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Jedi" <loneblindjedi at samobile.net>
> To: <nabs-l at nfbnet.org>
> Sent: Friday, August 13, 2010 7:30 PM
> 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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