Lampman tragedy and greed

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Lorgasm
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Postby Lorgasm » Thu Feb 02, 2006 7:14 am

Hey, didn't anyone read the back of their Burningman ticket? It was on the 2003 Ticket. I know I cannot remember it word for word, but didn't it state that you do risk the possibility of death or injury.... Something like that. With that in mind wouln't be like a waiver of sorts. Kathy (Bless her sweet soul) knew and wanted to go. She did. Halleluja! Her mom (bless her as well) must've seen the ticket as well; either before or after the event.

I am very saddened for Kathy's family and friends and I wish them well. I know when someone dies you want to blame someone...ANYONE. When my sister passed of cancer I wanted to blame everyone in target range. My sister was and still is a great human being and she would've been pissed if I was to go after anyone for her death like that. Not a very good way to honor her.

I wish Kathy's family could just let her rest. Honor her memory and just cherish what they have now.

Kathy loved Burningman. For her family to go against something that she loved so dearly and believed in so passionately, is just tragic.
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Bungiti
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Postby Bungiti » Wed Feb 15, 2006 9:13 am

I don't know much about the terminlogy used in CA law suits, but it seems to me from looking at the case status website that a whole bunch of people (i will assume the members of the theme camp) were broguht into the litigation not by the plaintiff estate but by some of the originial defendants (New Vision Design, Steve Hermosillo, Randy Emata).

I don't know any of the peoe involved in this case, in fact i did not know anyone had died until a saw this thread. I throw the info outthere becuase some of the threads accused the estate of suing the fellow camp members.

Also, did the claims agiasnt BRC LLC get dismissed? there is a notiation after their name that says: "CV-BT EntryReqDism-No ADR" which i take it to mean "Entry of order req. dismissal"

But again, who can understand CA courts?

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Postby Karma13 » Wed Jun 07, 2006 11:18 am

Update: The lawsuit is moving forward (Kathy died in August 2003), but they are still in the part of the process in which parties are being served and hiring lawyers. To date, 36 people have been sued by the Plaintiffs or joined by the Defendants.

And it should concern every Burner out there that EVERY CAMP MEMBER was personally sued for the wrongful death of Kathy, even though for many of them their only connection to the accident was being in the camp and contributing $40 or so per person for trash cans, community utensils, a camp shower, art car decoration, etc.

It's a crazy situation. I wonder what that courtroom will be like - they'll have to bring in bleacher seating for the 36 attorneys.

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Postby MrMullen » Wed Jun 07, 2006 1:51 pm

Just amazing.

What I don't understand is why is this in a California Court? The event happens in Nevada, why does California have to be involved.

Check out who they are summoning:

Against: Randy Emata / DXD
Against: Tim Oates / XDF
Against: Jake Lerios / XDF
Against: Kennedy Kabasares / XDF
Against: Randy Zechman / XDF
Against: Lance Freeman / XDF
Against: Grace Hameister / XDF
Against: Dave Lepori / XDF
Against: Buff Greider / XDF
Against: Haroun Serang / XDF
Against: Cherie Serang / XDF
Against: Natalie Nobles / XDF
Against: Trung Pham / XDF
Against: Gentry Terhune / XDF
Against: Craig Cabral / XDF
Against: Shawna Hill / XDF
Against: Jeff Ritchey / XDF
Against: Robert Blackmore / XDF
Against: Freddie Laker / XDF
Against: Chris Beer / XDF
Against: Bryan Thistle / XDF
Against: Loren Thisle / XDF
Against: Humphrey Ogg / XDF
Against: Tiffany Nelson / XDF
Against: Jollen Steinberg / XDF
Against: John Griffith / XDF
Against: Sebastian Hassell / XDF
Against: James Griffiths / XDF
Against: Michael A. Hawk / XDF

I just think this is so lame, but the big question is, how do I protect myself from being sued?
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theCryptofishist
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Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Jun 07, 2006 2:15 pm

Live in a society so represive that burning man would never happen at all?
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Postby Kinetic IV » Wed Jun 07, 2006 2:26 pm

The aspect of suing any and everyone in the camp over this borders on insanity. People that had nothing to do with the tragedy are being forced to come up with attorneys and spend money they shouldn't have to...in fact I'd like to see someone on that "guilty by mere association or proximity list" find a way to legally slap back at the family over what's becoming a frivolous lawsuit.

Can you say Tort Reform?
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theCryptofishist
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Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Jun 07, 2006 2:50 pm

Unfortunately, "tort reform" is a stealth issue more about protecting big businesses than actual citizens.
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Rockdad
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Postby Rockdad » Wed Jun 07, 2006 2:53 pm

Am I going to get sued because I thought about going in 2003 and probably would of had a ride on a art car?
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Postby capjbadger » Wed Jun 07, 2006 2:56 pm

I'm in the process of building an art car. Sue me too? :P

Can't they counter sue for court and lawyer fees?
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Badger
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Postby Badger » Wed Jun 07, 2006 5:34 pm

As was mentioned in a previous post it might not be prudent to assume that Lampman's family is the entity doing all the suing.

I might be wrong here but if the family makes a claim to a insurance company then the insurer can then go after any party it feels might was even marginally responsible in order to recoup losses.

Mind you I'm not a lawyer.
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theCryptofishist
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Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Jun 08, 2006 9:13 am

No, but at least you're treating this as a complex issue rather than a simple one.
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Lassen Forge
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Postby Lassen Forge » Thu Jun 08, 2006 11:15 am

This whole thing is so sad (and potentially scary) it's not funny.

First, a burner dies in a horrible way. Then those already *also* going through the grief of dealing with a death of a campmate get to go through more grief of possibly losing everything they own, because they "participated" in BRC.

As I remember - RG is right - part of the way insurance companies recoup their losses is by going after anyone culpable. So it may well not be the family but the insurance company going after these "involved" people. It's amazing just how big that the legal department of most insurance companies are, as well as the depth of experience those lawyers have - usually those insurance companies' legal departmernts are a separate law firm dealing soley with the insurance co. (Know of one of those firsthand...)

Someone asked, Why in California? Well, the victim or their family may live (or have lived in) California, the Insurance Comapny may be based or have offices in California, the company that operates BRC is a California llc, etc. Lotsa reasons.

This is the warning - if you participate in ANY way in BRC you can expect to be a party to a suit. If you volunteer for BRC you're hung out even farther. If you have an art car or *any* kind of camp where someone may walk through r ride on you are hung way out there. Even if the injured is a friend or family member, expect the insurer to come after you - after all, you're not *their* family, and they don't have friends (unless they're selling you a policy...)

Speaking of... then I'll shut up... Most insurace companies have their own internal private law firms that handle their cases exclusively, made up of experienced attorneys known for 2 things - writing ironclad tight contracts and winning cases - especially civil cases. And these aren't cheapy firms - they pay very well and require scads of positive experience. These firms have their own letterhead, own pricing, own etc... tho for intents and purposes the insurer's legal department. They are NOT known for losing cases or losing their "employer's" money. Something to think about. My 1st stepmom was a legal secretary for one of those firms for years and years - kinda spooky when you see the onion layers from the inside.

Have a day...
bb

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Rockdad
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Postby Rockdad » Thu Jun 08, 2006 11:31 am

Bay Bridge Sue wrote:This is the warning - if you participate in ANY way in BRC you can expect to be a party to a suit. If you volunteer for BRC you're hung out even farther. bb


Love you Sue but isn't this a bit of a stretch? I should "expect to be a party to a suit"?
I would think the odds are better for getting hit by lightning than getting sued for participating at Burning Man, It would seem to me to be an exception not a rule.
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Postby Cabanasprings » Thu Jun 08, 2006 11:37 am

If you call assuming the insurance company may be responsible for the suit, complex then you all have me confused.


What is the basis for speculating that the plantiff is an insurance company?
Did Kathy have a large enough life insurance policy to warrant the expense of suing 30 odd people? That would be a grandiose assumption, wouldn't it? Did someone file a claim against the art car? Their policy wouldn't be large enough in today's market to warrant suing that many people.

Why is it okay to refer to someone as a five star ass for speculating and then make a wild ass assumption about an insurance claim?

Maybe it's just all too complex for me to understand!

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Lorgasm
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Postby Lorgasm » Thu Jun 08, 2006 11:39 am

Next thing you'll know we'll have the back of the BM ticket rewritten:

"You voluntarily assume the risk of serious injury, death, or lawsuit by attending this event...."

Nonetheless, as stated by previous post and pursuant to the ticket on hand,

"... and release Burning Man from any claim arising from this risk."

All I can say is Brava for the folks at Burning Man for fighting the good fight.

Losing a loved one is a terrible thing. But when does it end? Let her rest now. Please!!!
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Postby Badger » Thu Jun 08, 2006 12:19 pm

If you volunteer for BRC you're hung out even farther.


I'm not so sure of that Sue. The very question has been raised more than a few times in the past by volunteers from several of the larger BM departments (Rangers, ESD, DPW). The answer we received seems to satisfy at least two lawyers who volunteer as Black Rock Rangers.

As I understand it *if* a volunteer is sued and the suit is due to something that happened while the volunteer was performing his/her duties then the LLC's insurance kicks in and any legal fees are paid for.
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Postby Bin Noddin » Thu Jun 08, 2006 12:32 pm

Cabanasprings wrote:If you call assuming the insurance company may be responsible for the suit, complex then you all have me confused.


What is the basis for speculating that the plantiff is an insurance company?
Did Kathy have a large enough life insurance policy to warrant the expense of suing 30 odd people? That would be a grandiose assumption, wouldn't it? Did someone file a claim against the art car? Their policy wouldn't be large enough in today's market to warrant suing that many people.

Why is it okay to refer to someone as a five star ass for speculating and then make a wild ass assumption about an insurance claim?

Maybe it's just all too complex for me to understand!


Here's how it might work (hypothetical, since I haven't seen the actual papers): Lampman sues the LLC. LLC's insurer (not Lampman's life insurer) steps in to defend the LLC as required by the terms of the policy, and impleads anyone it can think of who may have a link to the accident. Most of the cases will be dismissed - but it will be a big nuisance to each of those people to make it happen. Would be good before we speculate further to actually look at the file.
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Cabanasprings
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Postby Cabanasprings » Thu Jun 08, 2006 12:54 pm

I just can't see any way that an insurance company would be the plantiff if it weren't for the gain of the Lampmans.

So why are we blaming the insurance company?

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Postby Bin Noddin » Thu Jun 08, 2006 1:13 pm

Cabanasprings wrote:I just can't see any way that an insurance company would be the plantiff if it weren't for the gain of the Lampmans.

So why are we blaming the insurance company?


In my hypothetical, the llc's insurance company is not the plaintiff - it steps into the shoes of the defendant llc and drags in all the other people to cover its ass and get contribution from them in case it has to pay out on the claim. But like I said, its hypothetical unless we read the court file.
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Lassen Forge
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Postby Lassen Forge » Thu Jun 08, 2006 1:30 pm

Cabanasprings wrote:I just can't see any way that an insurance company would be the plantiff if it weren't for the gain of the Lampmans.

So why are we blaming the insurance company?


It *could* work this way - one of possible hypotheses, but plausable. Figures are just stuck in for argument's sake, I have no idea if this is what happened or not.

"Victim" has $1.5 million life insurance policy, bought last year, covering such an occurance (fatal vehicle accident). Insurance company, after trying, is unable to squirm out of payment (maybe under duress from beneficiaries attorney), as such pays off beneficiary to policy term.

Just taking a 1.5 mil hit for which they got maybe a few hundred in premiums (in other words they lost their ass on this one) because insured only had policy for short time and was young, they then start trying to recover the money in the one way possible - find enough "at faults" and take them to court civilly.

As such - the beneficiaries may have nothing to do (and prolly have no say) in the inurance company's legal actions. So (if this is the case) the Lampmans (beneficiaries) may have absolutely nothing to do with (and maybe even no knowledge of) the suit - they could even be dead set opposed to it, but it's the insurer's game, not theirs. Usually the insurer closes the case with the benificiary and then starts legal action to recover their loss without notifying the benif. Even if it's in their name.

It's all about a corporation's bottom line, turning a profit, and keeping their boardmembers, directors, and investors happy. Contrary to their advertising and sales people, they're NOT there to be nice guys - they're there to make money. In any way they legally can.

Here's a good example - To get a loan to buy a house in some parts of the Oakland Hills you are MANDATED to have both fire and earthquake insurance. The premiums are exhorbant (thousands per year for each), the deductables (what you have to pay BEFORE the insurance kicks in) are in the 10's of thousands minimum (usually $50,000), and if enough people make claims due to a disaster, they can pay you like 10 cents on the dollar, so they don't lose their butts. It happens all the time.

Isn't it great the Insurance Companies lobby to MANDATE you buy insurance?
bb

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Postby Kinetic IV » Thu Jun 08, 2006 1:59 pm

That post makes me appreciate the $45 per year I choose to spend on earthquake coverage out here in the Midwest.
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Postby hunter S » Thu Jun 08, 2006 5:44 pm

Wow! where do I start? Bay Bridge sue back off the life insurance co. I am a agent with 12 years exsp. 5 in mgt. life ins. co. are a little diff than prop/casualty. first life company's hire attorneys in the state needed, (has to do with insurance law & state of domicile) life ins. companies don't fight legitimate death claims (all our clients are going to die just a matter of when) fraud would be the big exception.

Speculation on LLC's carrier much more likely, family Even more likely! their needs to be a plaintiff!

Unfortunate that it happened, ABSOLUTLEY!!! anyone at fault?? IMO not likely. Will I loose sleep worrying about being sued? Hell no! better chance of that on any given day in the default world.

Last Sue, I THINK YOUR OPINION OF INSURANCE PROFFECINALS SUCK'S!
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Postby Bin Noddin » Thu Jun 08, 2006 8:05 pm

hunter S wrote:I don't make friends to sell them things!!! Go pick on a lawyer! better yet a judge!


And I don't make friends in order to file lawsuits - howz about all of us can the stereotypes?
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Postby Lassen Forge » Thu Jun 08, 2006 8:20 pm

Oh man... and I'm a civil servant! Damn!!!!!

hunter S wrote:Wow! where do I start? Bay Bridge sue back off the life insurance co. I am a agent with 12 years exsp. 5 in mgt. life ins. co. are a little diff than prop/casualty. first life company's hire attorneys in the state needed, (has to do with insurance law & state of domicile) life ins. companies don't fight legitimate death claims (all our clients are going to die just a matter of when) fraud would be the big exception.

Speculation on LLC's carrier much more likely, family Even more likely! their needs to be a plaintiff!

Unfortunate that it happened, ABSOLUTLEY!!! anyone at fault?? IMO not likely. Will I loose sleep worrying about being sued? Hell no! better chance of that on any given day in the default world.

Last Sue, I THINK YOUR OPINION OF INSURANCE PROFFECINALS SUCK'S!
I don't make friends to sell them things!!! Go pick on a lawyer! better yet a judge!


Ummmm... Looks like maybe I struck a nerve? Not often you get someone who wasn't mentioned to chime in to defend themselves, their industry, and end with a really loving comment. >wince<

You make it awful hard to be loving and forgiving, hunter S.

Now, I *do* know agents who back their clients and are decent, loving people. Maybe you are one of them, and if you are, bless you (and I mean that from the bottom of my heart, really and seriously I do!!) but you really are a rare breed if you are. And if you hold your people to that same standard as a manager, well then, I wish the industry had more people like you. God knows, they need them.

Unfortunately, from the 40+ years my family has been involved in the insurance industry (Casualty, Life, Property, etc.), not at the agent level but in middle management, I do have maybe a teensy bit of an inside view. Also, being witness to 3 different companies holding 3 different whole (not term or limited whole) life policies on people where the companies fought like hell NOT to pay (Yes, no joke) and actually litigated to recover on one of them (The aforementioned fatal I spoke of) I find it really hard to be loving and forgiving and blessing the insurance industry.

Plus, if you don't look at a life insurance company, heck, ANY insurance company, as a business, then that's kind of delusional. Any business has to meet a bottom line to stay in business, and esp. an industry that relies on investment devices to cover their actuarial losses. Nothing wrong with that, part of the business. I'm no fan of the industry but I still look at it from a sober standpoint of business acumen. They have their investor pool they *must* cover. Again, that's how they stay in business. If they didn't, those investors would pull out, and they'd fail. Not a good policy. >gigggle<.

Let's see... Insurance horror stories, re Life? How about this one... It's one of my favorites. Whole life, written by a *huge* insurer in the same state we both live in. The policy was written to pay benefits in case of debilitating or terminal illness. Insured *was* diagnosed first with Parkinsons, then modified to PSP (a terminal rapid onset Parkinson's type illness) by 2 doctors. Claim to the ins, co for benefits under the policy.

Their invesitgator said there was no basis to the claim, even tho the insured had been diagnosed, was bedridden, non ambulatory and physically deteriorating. Insured's family paid med. costs out of their own pocket, *and* hired legal counsel and fought the insurer for 19 months, until the company *finally* decided (under threat of litigation) that the claim *was* and had been valid. Of course, it took yet another 6 months to begin payments after that "decsion". By then my dad (the insured) was in a nursing home and couldn't speak, or move, or communicate. He died shortly thereafter.

So I really am sorry if you feel... um... as you put it...

"Last Sue, I THINK YOUR OPINION OF INSURANCE PROFFECINALS SUCK'S!
I don't make friends to sell them things!!! Go pick on a lawyer! better yet a judge!"

Yeah, that was it... but after seeing the abuses of the industry, including (sorry) Life writers, I have a feeling I may be entitled to think that the companies are big, impersonal, and cold. Regardless of what their agents or sales or advertising or PR says.

So... I'm sorry if I struck a nerve. But I also remember being told, when I expressed an intrest in following the family business, that I shouldn't, because I have too big a heart and care too much about people. Maybe you don't agree, but it was the advice given me, sorry. And I didn't.

Be loving, peaceful, and kind... And follow your heart, not that of the corporation. >grins<
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Postby hunter S » Thu Jun 08, 2006 9:04 pm

Sue, thank you for your response. I know their is truth in SOME Insurance companies dragging their feet in claims, Typically smaller privately held company's. sorry for your personal dealings in your fathers case.
However I still think your off base in your assumptions in this case "Lampman" for the reason I previously stated (insurance law & state of domicile) I don't want to reduce the validity of this thread to a debate of the Ins. industry so I wont blubber on point by point about it.

Re: Your opening response sentence. I would defend my Industry adimately anytime crap & accusations are thrown as you have done. I have handed over way to many checks to widow's and seen first hand the difference it made in keeping families together. Their are huge differences in Ins. company's (first one I had a policy with went bankrupt) but the law is the law & your assertions are unfounded.
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Postby Bin Noddin » Thu Jun 08, 2006 9:09 pm

Badger wrote:The less specualtion, rumor, innuendo, theorizing, etc. that's sputtered about this topic the better.

Seems to me that if folks wanted to honor the memory of someone that one of the best ways of doing that might be to minimize any further discussion on the subject (either here or anywhere else) which might be used as ammunition by the litigating parties involved.

There's already a thread started over on Tribe by some hack fucktard who's talking out of his ass about things he knows nothing about. The result is that it inflames the issue and (I believe) diminishes the spirit of the person being discussed.

I'd hope folks here have a bit more class and sensitivity regarding the whole ugly ordeal.



And before we get too carried away by the drift, lets just remind ourselves - Badger said it nearly a year ago, and said it well.
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Postby Karma13 » Mon Jun 12, 2006 2:13 pm

Regarding some of the speculation: the Plaintiff is not an insurance company. Kathy's Mom is suing for wrongful death on behalf of her estate. A 3-person law firm in San Jose is prosecuting the claim on contingency (for a share of the settlement).

However, insurance company lawyers are involved in that the main guy being sued (owner of the car) is covered by insurance, and his insurance company lawyer impleaded all of his campmates on a theory of joint venture. Sucks!

And it's not feasible to counter sue the family, they don't have any assets worth pursuing. This lawsuit is like a lottery ticket to them.

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Postby capjbadger » Mon Jun 12, 2006 3:16 pm

Karma13 wrote:And it's not feasible to counter sue the family, they don't have any assets worth pursuing.


They can still be counter sued to make them pay the lawyer fees though, right? Please tell me there is some sanity in the system... :shock:

Karma13 wrote:This lawsuit is like a lottery ticket to them.


...With the campmates buying the ticket... Fucking shameful :evil:
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Postby Kinetic IV » Mon Jun 12, 2006 3:51 pm

capjbadger wrote:
Karma13 wrote:This lawsuit is like a lottery ticket to them.


...With the campmates buying the ticket... Fucking shameful :evil:


How much money is being asked for? If she's simply trying to cover the costs incurred that's one thing. If it's one of those shoot for the moon types that would be something else entirely.
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Postby Karma13 » Mon Jun 12, 2006 4:38 pm

The camp raised thousands of dollars for the family immediately after the accident to cover any funeral costs and to fund an art program at a local school (she was an artist). So they are not suing for their costs.

The plaintiffs have not established an amount, at this stage they only have to state that the amount they seek is over $50,000 (I think). But, one would suspect that the amount will be in the seven figures. The plaintiff's attorneys are completely supporting the costs of the lawsuit until settlement or verdict, and you have to think with so many lawyers involved the costs have to be high (and the lawsuit hasn't even moved to the deposition stage).


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