[nabs-l] I think this point is importent for cross-posting: Re: Blind man sues Wienerschnitzel over run-in with tree

Jedi loneblindjedi at samobile.net
Sat Aug 14 21:49:52 UTC 2010


Will,

While it's important to be aware of how our individual actions and 
reactions affect the larger blindness community, it's equally important 
that we don't force blind individuals to be responsible for upkeeping a 
certain image of the entire blindness community. I think there's a lot 
we don't know about this case, and how the reporter wrote about the 
incident will definitely affect how we process the events mentally. The 
man may not have been knocked down at all. For that matter, he may have 
some other reason to sue and blindness just got in the middle somehow.

Some thoughts cross my mind at this point. The first is that victim 
blaming is not a good idea. Even if this person is using blindness to 
their advantage in a way that deminishes our work and increases the 
validity of stereotypes, we have to look at the systems of discourse 
that control his actions, the actions of the court, how the public 
interprets the event in the context of civil law and blindness, and how 
we interpret this event in the same contexts. In other words, this 
blind man may believe that he is entitled to certain demands because 
he's blind and thereby less able than his sighted counterparts. What 
events, people, places, ideas, and philosophies might have helped him 
to develop his beliefs? On the same line, what events, people, places, 
ideas, and philosophies have shaped our beliefs as a group and as 
individuals? Personally, I think the whole system of blindness 
discourse is at fault here, not the individual blind person in 
question. As to the incident itself, there's no good reason why a 
public establishment shouldn't maintain the surrounding grounds 
regardless of whomever should traverse them. In that sense, the 
accident is their fault because it could really have been anyone.

Respectfully,
Jedi

Original message:
> I want to cross post because this topic infuriates me.
> Stories like this make me want to say the following to the individual 
> who sued or who is planning to sue because of a tree near a sidewalk:
> Dear sir/madam, I would like to thank you for reinventing the wheel of 
> negativity towards the blind as well as keeping old stereotypes alive 
> and thriving about us as careless people in need of special demands. We 
> are demanding blind people who will radically demand hour way because 
> we are “blind people.” I am a blind person who feels that society owes 
> us nothing.  Thank you for making me and others work harder at fixing 
> the damage you caused.  A sudden careless action from individuals such 
> as you will easily undo efforts of extensive leadership, education, 
> legislation, etc.  Put yourself in the shoes of the next blind person 
> who may decide to rent an apartment, seek employment, or just attempt 
> to make a new friend or establish a relationship with a member of this 
> company.  You just set the precedent that they need to be mindful of us 
> in such a horrible context.  The next time you are told that someone is 
> denied because they suspect discrimination of
>  blindness, I want you to adequately reflect on your actions.  I hope 
> you lose in court.  I hope they see that this is an individual acting 
> as if they are owed something from society and not a poor blind person 
> who is inadequate, untrained, and most importantly demanding of society 
> to revolve around them.  Sincerely,
> -Will-


> --- On Fri, 8/13/10, Arielle Silverman <nabs.president at gmail.com> wrote:

>> From: Arielle Silverman <nabs.president at gmail.com>
>> Subject: [nabs-l] Blind man sues Wienerschnitzel over run-in with tree
>> To: nabs-l at nfbnet.org
>> Date: Friday, August 13, 2010, 6:53 PM
>> 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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