Posts Tagged ‘recreation’

Football-keeping neighbor sues parents

Ohio: “The 88-year-old Blue Ash woman arrested after refusing to give a 13-year-old neighborhood boy his football back after it landed in her yard has sued the youth’s parents, alleging emotional distress. The lawsuit by attorney H. Louis Sirkin on behalf of Edna Jester contends that Paul and Kelly Tanis “and their minor children ‘regularly and without permission’ enter Jester’s yard to retrieve footballs and other play items that have been ‘carelessly tossed’ onto her property, the suit adds. …The Blue Ash city solicitor and city prosecutor later dropped the misdemeanor theft charge filed against Jester after she refused a police officer’s order to return the Tanis boy’s football.” (Barry M. Horstman, “Football keeper files lawsuit”, Cincinnati Enquirer, Jan. 3).

Birthday surprise doesn’t work out

This much seems to be agreed: Itzamargrid Ramos took her friend Clarissa Marino to scenic but hazardous Kaaterskill Falls in the Catskills as a surprise for her 20th birthday. The two were hiking when Marino slipped on a rock — her footwear at the time was “flat, rubber-soled slip-on shoes with no tread” — and fell into a stream from which it took ninety minutes to rescue her. She sued the state of New York for failure to warn, but just lost her case in the state Court of Claims, which hears cases against the state government.

The two friends are now described as estranged, which may put in perspective a noteworthy discrepancy between their respective testimony. Marino “said she was never blindfolded at any point during the day”, while Ramos “told the court Marino was blindfolded for the entire two-hour car ride and even as they traversed most of the trail until just before the top of the falls. … In the end, the court said it found Ramos’ version more credible and that the ‘profound danger posed by the Kaaterskill Falls was open and obvious to anyone employing the reasonable use of her senses.'” (Paul Nelson, “Court rules against fall victim”, Albany Times-Union, Sept. 7).

N.J.: mower sent golf ball flying

At least that was Thomas Guhl’s theory as to why the ball struck his windshield with high velocity while he was driving near the Eagle Oaks Golf and Country Club, injuring him. His $725,000 settlement is based on the theory that the golf club was negligent for not installing netting along Asbury Avenue that would have kept balls from landing on a neighboring homeowner’s lawn, and that Canfield Lawn and Landscaping was negligent because it hadn’t checked that lawn for golf balls before mowing. (“Man injured by golf ball gets $725K”, AP/Newark Star-Ledger, Jul. 31).

“Build a Wiffle Ball Field and Lawyers Will Come”

This particular dispute, over noisy kids’ recreation in an otherwise quiet neighborhood of famously expensive Greenwich, Connecticut, might have led to legal ramifications in almost any day and age. Opponents of the wiffle ball, though, get a lot of mileage from everyone’s awareness of the case a few years ago in which the town was ordered to pay $6.3 million to a doctor who broke his leg while sledding on town land with his 4-year-old son. (Peter Applebome, New York Times, Jul. 10; Patrick Healy, “Town’s Downhill Pastime May Face an Uphill Fight”, New York Times, Apr. 26, 2004). More: Giacalone.

“Liability concerns and high water bills”

They’re why the Weymouth, Mass. housing authority is banning residents from using inflatable kiddie pools at municipal housing. The state housing department sent a memo to town authorities five years ago recommending a ban on pools as well as trampolines and swing sets: “Housing authorities routinely get sued for incidents even when a tenant is the responsible party,” it said. (Jack Encarnacao, “Weymouth bans kiddie pools at public housing”, Quincy Patriot-Ledger, Jun. 7).

“Skate park told comply or close”

A group of volunteer parents and teens built the Uncle Bud Skate Park in downtown Marshfield, Massachusetts over the last five years, but the state Office on Disability is threatening to order the park closed to the public because the park does not meet accessibility requirements. (The park does contain an ampitheater, so it’s not just an issue of accommodating disabled roller-bladers.) So far Public Works Superintendent R. Jeb DeLoach has responded in Harrison Bergeron fashion, by removing a bench and a portable toilet that was not handicapped accessible. (Needless to say, this does not make the park any friendlier to the handicapped, but rather makes it equally unfriendly to the non-disabled.) There’s still an issue because only one of the three entrances to the park is accessible; compliance costs for this and other violations will raise the cost of the park 25%. (Shamus McGillicuddy, Patriot-Ledger, Apr. 12) (via Newman, who asks, “[I]f you hated the handicapped and wanted to hatch a plot that would cause children and their families to resent them, could you really do better than this?”). For the tale of the wheelchair ramp in the mountains, see Jul. 9, 2003.