Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby SoupOrSam on Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:54 pm

Kraftster wrote:Here's the thing, though. People do stupid things. That's pretty much a given. Should attractions, which invite people (including stupid people) to frequent, pose a risk of death because someone does something foreseeable, even if it's stupid? I don't think so.


Can't stupid-proof the stupid. Stupid will outwit the stupid-proofing.
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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby Godric on Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:55 pm

Kraftster wrote:Here's the thing, though. People do stupid things. That's pretty much a given. Should attractions, which invite people (including stupid people) to frequent, pose a risk of death because someone does something foreseeable, even if it's stupid? I don't think so.


What falls under risk? Thats the debate I can maybe see here.

example:

Random Step on the pathway through a park makes on average 1 person trip a week - Thats a risk and a danger.

Tree falls on vistor twice in 20 years - Thats not a risk, thats a random tragedy
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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby Godric on Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:56 pm

SoupOrSam wrote:
Kraftster wrote:Here's the thing, though. People do stupid things. That's pretty much a given. Should attractions, which invite people (including stupid people) to frequent, pose a risk of death because someone does something foreseeable, even if it's stupid? I don't think so.


Can't stupid-proof the stupid. Stupid will outwit the stupid-proofing.


Exactly.
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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby meow on Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:56 pm

Godric wrote:
Kraftster wrote:Here's the thing, though. People do stupid things. That's pretty much a given. Should attractions, which invite people (including stupid people) to frequent, pose a risk of death because someone does something foreseeable, even if it's stupid? I don't think so.


What falls under risk? Thats the debate I can maybe see here.

example:

Random Step on the pathway through a park makes on average 1 person trip a week - Thats a risk and a danger.

Tree falls on vistor twice in 20 years - Thats not a risk, thats a random tragedy

Walking under a tree is a risk
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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby Godric on Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:58 pm

meow wrote:
Godric wrote:
Kraftster wrote:Here's the thing, though. People do stupid things. That's pretty much a given. Should attractions, which invite people (including stupid people) to frequent, pose a risk of death because someone does something foreseeable, even if it's stupid? I don't think so.


What falls under risk? Thats the debate I can maybe see here.

example:

Random Step on the pathway through a park makes on average 1 person trip a week - Thats a risk and a danger.

Tree falls on vistor twice in 20 years - Thats not a risk, thats a random tragedy

Walking under a tree is a risk


Its not negligence on the side of the park is what I should have said
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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby Kraftster on Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:59 pm

SoupOrSam wrote:
Kraftster wrote:Here's the thing, though. People do stupid things. That's pretty much a given. Should attractions, which invite people (including stupid people) to frequent, pose a risk of death because someone does something foreseeable, even if it's stupid? I don't think so.


Can't stupid-proof the stupid. Stupid will outwit the stupid-proofing.


Its an issue of foreseeability for me. One should not be required to try to think of every way that a person should find to place themselves in harm's way by doing something stupid. However, very obvious stupidity should be protected against. As I mentioned, the tilting of the railing indicates to me that the zoo foresaw this on some level. Yet, despite that, they still left this area of the pavilion open, without a secondary protective measure (that net was not for people).

Its a chicken egg thing for me. If that opening doesn't exist (as is the case on all other (less high from the ground) sides of the gazebo apparently), even the possibility of this particular accident does not exist. To take a minor step to protect against this by tilting the railing, while still leaving the area open, is negligent. In fact, you are actually inviting people to go to the open area. Who wants to look through a fence when you can go to the open area?

It took some level of negligence on the part of the mother to occur, so the zoo is not entirely at fault, but certainly should be held financially responsible on some level. What if a child climbed onto the railing and fell in? This is an unnecessarily dangerous attraction that created the opportunity for this tragic accident.
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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby newarenanow on Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:59 pm

pittsoccer33 wrote:how can anything be the zoo's fault? your'e not supposed to be on the railing. that's why its the railing. you aren't supposed to climb on it, over it, around it, or through it.

is it penndot's fault if someone sticks their kid on the clemente bridge to better see the fireworks and they tumble into the allegheny? or if a kid is swept over niagara falls trying to get a better peak?

and a serious question, were the Texas Rangers held liable when the fan dove over a railing to try catching that ball?


This is my question as well. When is enough enough?

Do they have signs saying not to place children on the railings? I think that should be enough, just like they only have to put that that coffee is hot on the McDonalds cup, or the Mr Yuck sticker on poison.

I know Krafster is going all lawyer on us, but it's a serious question, when is enough enough legal wise?
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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby Kraftster on Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:00 pm

newarenanow wrote:
pittsoccer33 wrote:how can anything be the zoo's fault? your'e not supposed to be on the railing. that's why its the railing. you aren't supposed to climb on it, over it, around it, or through it.

is it penndot's fault if someone sticks their kid on the clemente bridge to better see the fireworks and they tumble into the allegheny? or if a kid is swept over niagara falls trying to get a better peak?

and a serious question, were the Texas Rangers held liable when the fan dove over a railing to try catching that ball?


This is my question as well. When is enough enough?

Do they have signs saying not to place children on the railings? I think that should be enough, just like they only have to put that that coffee is hot on the McDonalds cup, or the Mr Yuck sticker on poison.


Were there signs?
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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby Kraftster on Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:01 pm

I should not that I am responding regarding legal liability, not "fault" (whatever that means).
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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby shafnutz05 on Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:02 pm

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/11/06/medical-examiner-says-2-year-old-boy-bled-to-death-from-wild-dog-mauling-at/

Barbara Baker, Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium president, told The Associated Press the zoo has been open since 1898 and this is the first time there's been "a visitor incident of this magnitude." She called the boy's death a "horrible, horrible tragedy" and said there's "no such thing as a fail-proof exhibit."

Baker struggled to maintain her composure during her Monday news conference and made clear she was careful to consider the family's feelings before answering questions, including one about how the boy died.


1898. 114 years without any similar incidents.
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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby meow on Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:03 pm

Let's take the dogs and the zoo completely out of this for a second. This woman dropped her two year son 15 feet to the ground. She stood on the roof of your porch and let her baby fall into the yard.
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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby SoupOrSam on Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:03 pm

I'm not a lawyer, but if I was....

Its an issue of foreseeability for me. One should not be required to try to think of every way that a person should find to place themselves in harm's way by doing something stupid. However, very obvious stupidity should be protected against.


Who should be the judge of very obvious stupidity? As a 30 year old father of a 26 month old.... I find it very obvious stupidity that a child was placed onto a railing that was very obviously tilted backwards. I mean if we want to protect stupid one way is... and I've worked in many many many nuclear power plants across this great nation that this is policy.... is to put an armed guard with a loaded rifle behind you and escort you through the zoo to protect you from stupid. That would most likely be the sure-fire way to protect stupid.
Last edited by SoupOrSam on Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:05 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby newarenanow on Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:03 pm

Kraftster wrote:Were there signs?


I don't know, that is why I was asking. Would that be enough? To me, if there are signs posted saying not to place children on railings, then the zoo is explicitatly telling people NOT to do it.

But I can't remember if there are signs and warnings.

Legally though, is that enough?
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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby TheHammer24 on Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:04 pm

Kraftster wrote:
Shyster wrote:
Sarcastic wrote:That picture of the enclosure. I can only say that if there was no meshing on the middle part, and the bottom net was ineffective, then the whole thing is unsafe and needs to be re-designed. If you have, what is now believed, vicious animals, you better make sure no one gets in there.

Do we really need to do so? I may be wrong, but I believe the most important design goal of zoo enclosures for dangerous animals is to make sure the animals don’t get out, not that people don’t get in. Generally speaking, we assume that people won’t do something so stupid as to enter an enclosure filled with dangerous animals (or let their child stand on a railing over such an enclosure). How much more needs to be done to protect people from themselves? I mean, should we put a safety fence around the Grand Canyon so that people don’t fall in?


Its times like this I realize how much Plaintiffs' attorney blood I have running through my body after just four years. :P / :shock: / :slug:

When i read Shyster's account, I instantly thought how interesting it was that the two of you instinctively reached polar opposite "clear" results.
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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby Pitts on Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:04 pm

Kraftster wrote:Here's the thing, though. People do stupid things. That's pretty much a given. Should attractions, which invite people (including stupid people) to frequent, pose a risk of death because someone does something foreseeable, even if it's stupid? I don't think so.

"Attractions" should NOT be held accountable for people's own STUPIDITY! That is why the world has this "Sue first" mentality. Make someone else pay for your mistake.

I feel for the family, I honestly do. They live right in the next neighborhood from me...average, normal Americans like me. But there is no one else to blame but the Mother! I would NEVER have placed my young children on top of that rail EVER! Hell, I used to get nervous just holding the child chest high next to those railings.

It truly is your line of thinking that has destroyed responsibility in America. Don't worry about everyone, you can always find someone else to blame ... and probably get money too!
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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby Kraftster on Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:05 pm

newarenanow wrote:
Kraftster wrote:Were there signs?


I don't know, that is why I was asking. Would that be enough? To me, if there are signs posted saying not to place children on railings, then the zoo is explicitatly telling people NOT to do it.

But I can't remember if there are signs and warnings.

Legally though, is that enough?


It would change my opinion dramatically.

Would it be enough? Not on a per se basis, probably, i.e., it would be up to the jury whether it was enough.
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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby Kraftster on Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:07 pm

Pitts wrote:
Kraftster wrote:Here's the thing, though. People do stupid things. That's pretty much a given. Should attractions, which invite people (including stupid people) to frequent, pose a risk of death because someone does something foreseeable, even if it's stupid? I don't think so.

"Attractions" should NOT be held accountable for people's own STUPIDITY! That is why the world has this "Sue first" mentality. Make someone else pay for your mistake.

I feel for the family, I honestly do. They live right in the next neighborhood from me...average, normal Americans like me. But there is no one else to blame but the Mother! I would NEVER have placed my young children on top of that rail EVER! Hell, I used to get nervous just holding the child chest high next to those railings.

It truly is your line of thinking that has destroyed responsibility in America. Don't worry about everyone, you can always find someone else to blame ... and probably get money too!


I just play the game within the rules.
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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby shafnutz05 on Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:10 pm

Yeah Kraftster, I know the angle you are approaching from, so this isn't remotely a personal opinion on you a person, but I find that legal definition nausea-inducing, as I'm sure the majority of Americans do. No one ever said lawyers were trying to win a popularity contest :lol:
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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby GaryRissling on Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:11 pm

mother=80%
zoo=20%

While the mother unfortunately exercised poor judgment, it's no worse IMO than things many of us do that endangers our children as well as others; such as reading emails or being otherwise avoidably distracted while driving. 99.99% of the time these actions don't have such severe consequences. I'm not going to throw stones as I'm sure there have been times that I've unwittingly taken risks as well. Moreover, for all the times I've been at zoo, and all the times parents lift their children up next to the fences I have never in my life heard any zoo employee or other patron say " hey, that's really dangerous - you probably shouldn't do that"; and I'm sure that her actions didn't seem wildly out of the ordinary and reckless to observers until it was too late.

My main issue with the zoo is such that it seems like it would have been their obligation to clearly illustrate the risks of such an exhibit. To me, it seems tantamount to the "no diving" signs in the shallow ends of pools, or "not a step" on the top of a ladder; or more appropriately a "caution a fall may result in serious injury or fatality" that are on some ski slopes. Yes, people should know it, but it would have cost a couple of bucks to have signs to remind people. And it probably would have severely mitigated the zoo's risk as well.
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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby TheHammer24 on Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:11 pm

It's clear that this case would get to a jury, as everyone agrees the zoo has some fault (unless PA has something other than a pure comparative system, Kraft Shyster).

I think I side more with Krafster than any one else. Both parties could have completely prevented this disaster rather simply, which makes attributing fault difficult. And I agree that there is a foreseeabiltiy problem -- there's an exhibit meant to be seen that is out of young children's view unless they are picked up. The egregiousness from the mother's side is putting the feet on the railing, but, again, it's very foreseeable.


I'd be fine with either party between 30-70 percent, but I believe the mother is slightly more to blame.

EDIT: 25-50% to Zoo.

Kraft, Shyster - is this a situation where the mother's contributory negligence wouldn't be imputed on the child in a wrongful death case?
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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby Kraftster on Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:20 pm

GaryRissling wrote:mother=80%
zoo=20%

While the mother unfortunately exercised poor judgment, it's no worse IMO than things many of us do that endangers our children as well as others; such as reading emails or being otherwise avoidably distracted while driving. 99.99% of the time these actions don't have such severe consequences. I'm not going to throw stones as I'm sure there have been times that I've unwittingly taken risks as well. Moreover, for all the times I've been at zoo, and all the times parents lift their children up next to the fences I have never in my life heard any zoo employee or other patron say " hey, that's really dangerous - you probably shouldn't do that"; and I'm sure that her actions didn't seem wildly out of the ordinary and reckless to observers until it was too late.

My main issue with the zoo is such that it seems like it would have been their obligation to clearly illustrate the risks of such an exhibit. To me, it seems tantamount to the "no diving" signs in the shallow ends of pools, or "not a step" on the top of a ladder; or more appropriately a "caution a fall may result in serious injury or fatality" that are on some ski slopes. Yes, people should know it, but it would have cost a couple of bucks to have signs to remind people. And it probably would have severely mitigated the zoo's risk as well.


This and Hammer's point that this is inherently out of view of children are two more good points. I can definitely recall kids on/near railings while I was there with my daughter this summer. I know I'm a super nervous dad so I am nervous even holding her at chest height near railings on my deck at home, but I know others were not so nervous (careful?). As super careful and nervous a dad as I am, I dislocated my daughter's elbow two weeks ago by picking her up by her hands. I never felt comfortable doing that, but I saw everyone doing it and kids kind of like it, so I started doing it from time to time maybe a month ago. I just innocently picked her up and the weight on her elbow caused the bone to dislocate from the joint. One of the worst moments/feelings in my life, hearing her arm pop and seeing it hang there and hurt. Thankfully a simple fix at the ER. So with that /csb as background, its hard to make all of the right judgment calls even when you are trying to be vigilant. I feel fairly certain that there are not many other railing areas at the zoo where there is a 15' drop on the other side. Maybe a new parent sees kids standing on railings all day with nothing but grass or plants on the other side. Kid is really excited to see painted dogs and just sort of does it without any level of contemplation about the fact that it could be a fatal mistake. I just don't think the mistake is that egregious or unpredictable. And again, I guess I ask, should mistakes on this level result in death by mauling of predatory animals??
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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby Pitts on Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:21 pm

Kraftster wrote:I just play the game within the rules.

And, I understand that. I just hate the system of off-lying blame.
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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby TheHammer24 on Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:26 pm

As I said, there's no doubt that the mother is partially responsible and could have completely avoided this mess. But let's think more macro -- what are the goals of the tort system? We don't want "stupid" (as many of you call it) people receiving windfall tort awards, but we also want to build a cost effectively safe world. If the Zoo could have improved all of our safety (even dumb people's) at a relatively little cost, we want to incentivize that result. As Kraft and Gary said, many, many, many people place their kids in danger, and there was a relatively easy way to avoid this problem -- indeed, so easy that the zoo implemented that mechanism for the other 3/4 of the exhibit.
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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby Letang Is The Truth on Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:27 pm

they should put a tiger in the pavilion. people wont get close to the railing then
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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby GaryRissling on Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:27 pm

Kraftster wrote: As super careful and nervous a dad as I am, I dislocated my daughter's elbow two weeks ago by picking her up by her hands. I never felt comfortable doing that, but I saw everyone doing it and kids kind of like it, so I started doing it from time to time maybe a month ago. I just innocently picked her up and the weight on her elbow caused the bone to dislocate from the joint. One of the worst moments/feelings in my life, hearing her arm pop and seeing it hang there and hurt. Thankfully a simple fix at the ER.


"nursemaid's elbow"?
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