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Lawsuit in sledding tragedy
Ottawa Sun ^ | Wed, July 27, 2005 | Sean Meagher

Posted on 07/27/2005 11:42:57 AM PDT by Stevieboy

Lawsuit in sledding tragedy
Family of crash victim launches $255G action against City of Gatineau, claiming hill was unsafe

THE FAMILY of a 12-year-old Gatineau boy who died in a sledding accident last winter has launched a lawsuit against the City of Gatineau in the hope that no one else will have to experience what they have lived through.

"It hurts so much when the doctor is telling you that your son is dead following an activity like that, so I don't want no one else to live it," said Francois Lessard, whose son Simon died as a result of head trauma he received after hitting a tree while sledding with a friend on Feb. 5 at Lemoyne Park.

The family is asking for $255,000 -- $100,000 each for both Francois and his wife, France, $25,000 for their daughter, Nathalie, and another $30,000 for pain, suffering and funeral expenses.

TREES DANGEROUS

"We're not doing it for the money, we're doing it for our son," said Lessard.

(Excerpt) Read more at ottawasun.com ...


TOPICS: Canada; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: accident; lawsuit; litigation; personal; responsibility; simonlessard; sledding; sleigh
You know, losing a son in a sledding accident is a horrendous thing: I can't even imagine what that would feel like. But we do have to be careful when assigning blame. Simon Lessard's safety was not and never was the responsibility of the City of Gatineau; it was his own and that of his parents. We can't ever make our society 100 percent safe, even if we banned rock-climbing, snowmobing, skiing, ice hockey, horseback riding, auto racing, go-carting, fishing and swimming, because accidents are just an unfortunate part of an active life. What we can do, however, is learn from these tragedies and impress upon other people what we have learned. To sue the government for negligence is tantamount to saying that we surrender as individuals.
1 posted on 07/27/2005 11:43:02 AM PDT by Stevieboy
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To: Stevieboy
You got that right. And if they REALLY aren't doing it for the money, then I'm sure they will be happy to donate any award they get from this lawsuit to an appropriate charity.

But for some strange reason I doubt that will happen.

2 posted on 07/27/2005 11:45:16 AM PDT by Rokke
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To: Stevieboy

We SHOULD ban snowmobing, I don't know anybody who has anything positive to say about it.


3 posted on 07/27/2005 11:47:20 AM PDT by biggerten
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To: Rokke

Great. Now we'll see kids wearing helmets as they sled. Fellas, how the hell did we make it this far in our lives without killing ourselves?


4 posted on 07/27/2005 11:47:57 AM PDT by goarmy
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To: Stevieboy

Clearly, we just need to cut down all the trees. They create a patently unsafe environment, no matter where they're growing. And if it'll save just one life, then it'll be worth it. It's for the children, after all.


5 posted on 07/27/2005 11:48:45 AM PDT by Slainte
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To: biggerten

Good eye. I think I'll go buy snowbobing.com right now. It has a ring!


6 posted on 07/27/2005 11:49:10 AM PDT by Stevieboy
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To: biggerten
We SHOULD ban snowmobing, I don't know anybody who has anything positive to say about it.

I don't know anybody who's ever said anything about "snowmobing," positive or negative...but I'll take your advice. Next time someone wants me to go out and snowmobe, I'll "just say NO."

Does that make me a snowmobaphobe?

7 posted on 07/27/2005 11:51:40 AM PDT by Oberon (What does it take to make government shrink?)
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To: Stevieboy

"We're not doing it for the money, we're doing it for our son," said Lessard.


{sigh}


8 posted on 07/27/2005 11:52:33 AM PDT by BenLurkin (O beautiful for patriot dream - that sees beyond the years)
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To: Stevieboy

I see their point. If that tree had been planted 3 feet in any direction instead of where it was, this tragedy would never have happened. (sarc)


9 posted on 07/27/2005 11:53:33 AM PDT by Spok
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To: Stevieboy

BAN SLEDDING! "If it saves just one child..."


10 posted on 07/27/2005 11:53:49 AM PDT by pabianice
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To: Stevieboy

Well this is going to confuse the George W. Bush haters.

He is supposedly trying to rid the world of trees so they can't pin this one on him!


11 posted on 07/27/2005 11:53:56 AM PDT by Gator101
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To: Stevieboy

Well, I went and read the whole article and I still don't quite follow what excatly they're suing for - $100,000 each for mother and father and $25,000 for their daughter, but for what?

In any case, their claim that the city is somehow at fault for having trees on this hill is ridiculous - if anything it is obviously the responsibility of those going sledding, or their parents in this case, to choose a venue for sledding without any solid ojbects in the way that they might run into. AND, the city had signs posted that the hill was not meant for tobogganing.


12 posted on 07/27/2005 11:54:55 AM PDT by -YYZ-
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To: -YYZ-

When I lived in the Ottawa area years ago, I always felt that sledding was a dangerous sport, having broken both my arms on two different occasions. For that reason, I stuck to the sport we called "bunking," which required slick streets, a pair of ice skates, and a tolerant motorist, to whose car we would hang on as we were dragged all over the neighborhood.
None of those pesky trees to get in the way.


13 posted on 07/27/2005 11:59:10 AM PDT by xroadie
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To: xroadie
For that reason, I stuck to the sport we called "bunking,"

Ah, but did you ever combine bunking with sledding. Now that was fun!
14 posted on 07/27/2005 12:01:40 PM PDT by Stevieboy
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To: Gator101

Don't forget that the global warming he is causing will prevent all such accidents.

No snow, no sledding accidents.


15 posted on 07/27/2005 12:02:11 PM PDT by Restorer (Liberalism: the auto-immune disease of societies.)
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To: Stevieboy

Isn't it about time that we all accepted resposibility for our own actions and not blame everyone else.


16 posted on 07/27/2005 12:04:11 PM PDT by concordKIWI
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To: Stevieboy

The only way to stop these lawsuits is for them to start turning around and counter-suing. It was up to the parents to make the initial determination of the safety of the area. If they had concerns, the son wouldn't have been there.


17 posted on 07/27/2005 12:05:55 PM PDT by sageb1 (This is the Final Crusade. There are only 2 sides. Pick one.)
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Comment #18 Removed by Moderator

To: xroadie
None of those pesky trees to get in the way.

My dad once offered to take me sledding behind his car at dusk because it took all day to find my sled and polish the runners. (I thought he was out of his mind and told him I could afford to wait until tomorrow. What was he thinking?)

19 posted on 07/27/2005 12:08:56 PM PDT by KC_for_Freedom (Sailing the highways of America, and loving it.)
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To: biggerten
We SHOULD ban snowmobing, I don't know anybody who has anything positive to say about it.

You're joking, right?

First, this was an article about sledding, not snomobiling. Second if you haven't found anybody with something positive to say about snowmobiling, you're not trying very hard.

20 posted on 07/27/2005 12:08:59 PM PDT by TChris ("You tweachewous miscweant!" - Elmer Fudd)
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To: goarmy
Oh I know...it's amazing any of us are alive!

I swear, I think that kids don't exercise basic survival skills anymore because they TOO protected and sheltered.

They think their safety is all taken care of and not their responsibility.

When I was young we knew that if we hit trees bad things would happen. If you didn't want to get hurt you needed to exercise your own judgment and not wait for somebody to put up a sign or guard rail.
21 posted on 07/27/2005 12:11:36 PM PDT by Gator101
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To: goarmy
Oh I know...it's amazing any of us are alive!

I swear, I think that kids don't exercise basic survival skills anymore because they TOO protected and sheltered.

They think their safety is all taken care of and not their responsibility.

When I was young we knew that if we hit trees bad things would happen. If you didn't want to get hurt you needed to exercise your own judgment and not wait for somebody to put up a sign or guard rail.
22 posted on 07/27/2005 12:11:36 PM PDT by Gator101
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To: Stevieboy

I had a friend crippled surfing in "hurricane" surf can his family sue the countries this storm originated from ?


23 posted on 07/27/2005 12:11:41 PM PDT by kendu
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Yes...someone sue the parents for allowing their son to take part in such a dangerous sport. Negligence! Can't believe they put a price on their son...wonder what the daughter is worth?


24 posted on 07/27/2005 12:12:30 PM PDT by petpeeve
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To: biggerten

"We SHOULD ban snowmobing, I don't know anybody who has anything positive to say about it."

What is snowmobing? ;) I'm sure you meant snowmobiling, or what we Alaskan's refer to as snowmachining.

Don't know anybody who has anything positive to say about it? Ask an Alaskan! Many Alaskans even get to work on their "machines". Many kids use them as transportation to school. And of course, snowmachining is FUN!


25 posted on 07/27/2005 12:15:43 PM PDT by Chena (I'm not young enough to know everything)
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To: biggerten
We used to Snowmob down a sledding hill.

Large tractor inner tube (>10ft diameter). Mob of drunk people on it. Spinning down the hill sending people flying.

The only negative thing I can say is don't be the guy in the hole in the inner tube. That sucks.

26 posted on 07/27/2005 12:16:59 PM PDT by Dinsdale
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To: Gator101
I swear, I think that kids don't exercise basic survival skills anymore because they are TOO protected and sheltered.

It's like the driver who waits for the light to turn green before proceeding, as opposed to the libertarian who waits for the green, looks both ways and then proceeds.
27 posted on 07/27/2005 12:17:26 PM PDT by Stevieboy
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To: Stevieboy

Wow. Darwin at work.

Where was the parental supervision? Why is there no countersuit by the city against the parents for clean-up costs, mental anguish of city workers, etc.?


28 posted on 07/27/2005 12:18:46 PM PDT by Triggerhippie (Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.)
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To: Stevieboy
A STATEMENT THAT IS ALWAYS FALSE:

We're not doing it for the money...

29 posted on 07/27/2005 12:19:34 PM PDT by Diplomat
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To: Stevieboy
"We're not doing it for the money, we're doing it for our son," said Lessard.

Then don't accept any money and get a free lawyer.

30 posted on 07/27/2005 12:21:04 PM PDT by Triggerhippie (Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.)
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To: Stevieboy

Do they sue each other over hockey injuries too? I mean seriously, those long sticks and sharp skates and slippery ice have got to go.


31 posted on 07/27/2005 12:22:28 PM PDT by Sender (Team Infidel USA)
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To: Slainte
Clearly, we just need to cut down all the trees.

That might not be enough. Probably need to level out all of the hills while you are at it.

32 posted on 07/27/2005 12:22:43 PM PDT by PAR35
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To: Stevieboy
launched a lawsuit against the City of Gatineau in the hope that no one else will ever be allowed to enjoy sledding.

Seriously, in NY we have laws against it and you can be arrested. What used to be the funnest part of winter is now outlawed.

33 posted on 07/27/2005 12:24:16 PM PDT by bird4four4
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To: Triggerhippie

Sleds should obviously be licensed, require a waiting period prior to purchase, have an instant background check performed and kept in a locked safe to prevent such terrible things from happening. We should all be glad that ths was not an assault sled or more people could have been tragically and needlessly murdered. ... or perhaps it is trees that this should apply to...


34 posted on 07/27/2005 12:24:40 PM PDT by Vercingetorix_Gaul (Veni, Vedi, Butti (I came. I saw. I kicked butt.))
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To: TChris
A snowmob is not a pretty sight ;-)


35 posted on 07/27/2005 12:25:38 PM PDT by UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide (Give Them Liberty Or Give Them Death! - IT'S ISLAM, STUPID! - Islam Delenda Est! - Rumble thee forth)
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To: Rokke
then I'm sure they will be happy to donate any award they get from this lawsuit to an appropriate charity.

Like the taxpayers?

If they win this case I would expect the Jude to sent a letter to every taxpayer in the city with a bill for their share of the judgment, and a have the Judge include a clear statement of what the Taxpayers did wrong. I would also have him send a letter to every voter explaining how their decisions at the ballot box helped caused the Taxpayer to be liable. (Some folks will get two letters).

36 posted on 07/27/2005 12:26:52 PM PDT by Mark was here (My tag line was about to be censored.)
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To: biggerten

The company I work for sells snowmobile trailers, it's part of our business so to us it's a good thing!


37 posted on 07/27/2005 12:30:51 PM PDT by kx9088
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To: Stevieboy
"We're not doing it for the money, we're doing it for our son," said Lessard.

Really? How does that work?

Does winning a lawsuit somehow improve his son's standing in the afterworld?

38 posted on 07/27/2005 12:45:03 PM PDT by Egon (By the way, I took the liberty of fertilizing your caviar.)
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To: Stevieboy

The city should sue the parents for a million dollars for failing to act like parents resulting in the death of their son and smearing the good name of the city.


39 posted on 07/27/2005 12:45:26 PM PDT by DB (©)
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To: Stevieboy

Maybe the city should put 3' concrete barriers around the trees, and paint them red. Then nobody could run into the trees.

Or, if people think the concrete barriers are too dangerous, maybe a 6' barbed wire fence would work.

How about planting so damned many trees, boulders and brambles on the hill that they can't get their sleds up it to slide down the 'no sliding' zone?


40 posted on 07/27/2005 2:12:17 PM PDT by ApplegateRanch (The world needs more work horses, and fewer Jackasses!)
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To: ApplegateRanch
Anybody else notice this in the article?

"...at the time of Simon's sledding accident, there was a sign posted at Lemoyne Park notifying the public that the Brebeuf Hill was not meant for sliding.

I think this suit is simply another case of the parents having to blame someone, anyone for the child's death.

41 posted on 07/27/2005 3:30:16 PM PDT by lOKKI (You can ignore reality until it bites you in the ass.)
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To: Oberon; TChris; Chena; Dinsdale; kx9088

Prizes to Oberon and Dinsdale. To the rest, sorry, I did not mean to be obtuse.


42 posted on 08/01/2005 8:29:14 AM PDT by biggerten
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To: lOKKI
"...there was a sign posted at Lemoyne Park notifying the public that the Brebeuf Hill was not meant for sliding."

Nonsense. Any child will tell you that all hills are meant for sliding...it's just that some are crazier than others.

As a kid I broke the top out of a runner sled while forcing the sled to turn tight enough to avoid the barbed-wire-topped fieldstone fence at the bottom of the hill. I was disappointed at having broken the sled, because I really wanted to go again.

43 posted on 08/01/2005 8:45:33 AM PDT by Oberon (What does it take to make government shrink?)
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