Idaho family sues USFS for $1M after tree hit son
BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- An Idaho family has sued the U.S. Forest Service demanding more than $1 million after a large dead tree at a remote campsite fell and injured their young son.
Richard and Melinda Armstrong, of Caldwell, said their family was camping in the Boise National Forest in September 2010 when a gust of wind blew over the dead tree. It fell on their son, resulting in a large laceration, a compound fracture and a puncture wound in his back that impaired his breathing.Now, look, I'm sorry that their son was injured, but damn, that's camping 101. You don't make your camp under anything that looks even remotely dead, dying, or loose. It's common sense even in an established campground - always take a minute or two to identify any potential hazards and set up camp accordingly. I've camped in some fairly remote areas, including one that would definitely be considered primitive (you got a fire ring and that was it; you bathed in the river and do not under any circumstances drink the water!), and a few moments of precaution saves a lot of heartache later.
It's the great outdoors, folks. It's not a sanitized Disney experience, this is the real thing. I wonder who they would have sued if they had been attacked by an animal? Would the Department of Fish & Game be on the hook if they left their food out and were attacked by a grizzly bear? Is the USGS responsible if they camped on an uneven stretch of ground and had a rock under their sleeping bag? It's a little frightening just how little responsibility people want to take for their poor life choices, it really is. I feel sorry for the little boy who was injured, but there are two people and two people only who are responsible for what happened: The parents who decided to go camping without selecting a safe area.
The one bright spot are the comments to the article - go read, there are still some sane people left...
That is all.