Lampman tragedy and greed

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Lampman tragedy and greed

Postby Karma12 » Mon Aug 08, 2005 3:11 pm

In 2003, Kathy Lampman was killed at Burning Man when she slipped from the back of an art car and fell under the wheel of the attached trailer. It was devastating to her friends, devastating to her camp, and devastating to Burning Man. To just look at the shocked faces in her camp the morning after showed you all you needed to know about the profound effect the accident had, and will continue to have on them.

Which is why it angered me to find out that Kathy's family has initiated a lawsuit for potentially millions of dollars against Burning Man and the camp organizer, and plans to join every individual present in the camp that year - about 70 people! It's a completely abhorrent attempt to extort money from anyone and everyone associated with Kathy at Burning Man - yes, even her close friends! What would Kathy think of this lawsuit?

To make things even more ludicrous, that art car was engineered to be the safest vehicle on the playa - it never went faster than 5 mph, they had 3 spotters at all times, the driver was never drinking (as was the case on the night in question). She just slipped and fell directly under the wheel.

How horrible that the event which Kathy loved, with people who loved her, is now being used as a weapon to extract money from anyone and everyone they can find. She was such a beautiful person, it makes me sick to think that she is now, in death, being used for things that she opposed in life.

Case can be found here: http://www.sccaseinfo.org/
Case #: 1-05-CV-037026
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Re: Lampman tragedy and greed

Postby ZaphodBurner » Mon Aug 08, 2005 3:39 pm

Karma12 wrote:She was such a beautiful person, it makes me sick to think that she is now, in death, being used for things that she opposed in life.

Case can be found here: http://www.sccaseinfo.org/
Case #: 1-05-CV-037026


I fail to see how the plaintiff can win, given the statement on the back of the ticket, any and all witness testimony about the nature of the event and the operation of the vehicle and the fact that she simply fell off.

Not to say she was an idiot, but we're idiot-proofing our structure because we know the first time some kid e-tards out and flies over the edge and breaks himself, mommy's gonna sue. Welcome to America, where people are no longer expected to take responsibility for themselves.

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Postby Badger » Mon Aug 08, 2005 3:43 pm

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.
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Postby Karma12 » Mon Aug 08, 2005 3:54 pm

It's not about winning. It's about money. They hope to get insurance companies involved (done) and settle. Their contingency-fee legal team takes 33%, and all of our rates go up.

In the meantime, people from her camp who were genuinely heartbroken and devastated by Kathy's death now are being sued by her estate (her mother/sister) alleging that they helped CAUSE her death. Talk about making a bad situation worse. Inexcusable, in my opinion.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Aug 08, 2005 3:56 pm

What Badger said.


What Badger said.


What Badger said.


What Badger said.
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Re: Lampman tragedy and greed

Postby ahchim-namdongsang » Mon Aug 08, 2005 4:31 pm

[quote]Welcome to America, where people are no longer expected to take responsibility for themselves.
[/quote]

One of the things I really abhior about my country. I spent some time in another place and the attitude was far different when it came to righting wrongs. If it would fix things next time, good reason. If it was to "pay" someone for their pain, bad reason.

Didn't know Kathy but I'd have a hard time believing *anyone* would want their family to sue the surviving campmates should somethign like this happen.
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Postby Badger » Mon Aug 08, 2005 6:26 pm

One of the things I really abhior about my country. I spent some time in another place and the attitude was far different when it came to righting wrongs.


Maybe take this to the 'politics' thread. I really didn't think that a post regarding a woman that the majority here didn't know would elicit a discussion of politics or that ANY discussion related to her her tragedy would be the jumping point to segue into what's wrong with America.

Fer fuck's sake would you leave the woman out of it?

Let it go?

Jesus fucking Christ.
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Postby Kinetic IV » Mon Aug 08, 2005 6:41 pm

Badger, how about answering your damn private messages so people don't have to post in here? Or do you not care about answering legitimate questions? Quit being self-centered for a damn minute and at least look at what I asked you about this situation.
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Postby geekster » Mon Aug 08, 2005 7:08 pm

are being sued by her estate


I have to think there is an insurance company involved somehow. That's what they do. If they are forced to pay a claim, a lawsuit is pretty much automatic. And I wouldn't put it past them to start threads like this in venues like this in order to possibly gather information. Fuck em.
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Postby Stilesfamily » Tue Aug 09, 2005 12:19 am

I was deeply saddened when I herd of her death, and I feel for her family and friends. But I have to go with Badger on this.

And of all the atrocities, in all the countries in all the world, this is an Oxygen molecule that landed on a ameba that is living on flea shit. There are so many other worth while outlets fore the energy already put forth on this thread. I totally sympathies with everyone’s frustration but find a more constructive outlet, be part of the solution rather than just festering about the problem. That’s what sets Gandhi, MLK etc apart from John and Jane Doe. The energy I am focusing on this topic will be shut down in 5…4…3…2… . . . . . If you’d like to make a call please hang up, click.
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Postby Kinetic IV » Tue Aug 09, 2005 12:51 am

I want to ask a black and white question about one part of the first post.

Which is why it angered me to find out that Kathy's family has initiated a lawsuit for potentially millions of dollars against Burning Man and the camp organizer, and plans to join every individual present in the camp that year - about 70 people!


There are things I know about the legal system, and many things I don't. My normal people that I'd ask about legal stuff are in Vegas this week so let me throw it out here. Can the plaintiffs actually sue all 70 people in the theme camp even if they had no part in what happened? I'm asking because if this is the case I could see it putting a serious chill on the event in the future as people will worry about this sort of thing and scale back what they do. A secondary question is doesn't the notice on the back of the ticket carry any legal weight as a shield in this situation?

I asked this in private, getting no response I'm posting it. Rip me if you want but I'd like to know. And so would a few others. I'm looking at this from a "future of the event" perspective (could this even impact the regionals?) and I don't mean to be disrespectful of the situation that happened. If this post offends anyone I do apologize. But the questions have been asked. Public or PM's are welcome. Plonk is on your left if you feel so inclined.
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RIP KATHY

Postby desertswine » Tue Aug 09, 2005 5:48 am

As this situation does suck,if the family is bringing suite against BM and the Camp,crap why not sue the entire medical crew who attempted to save her!And another Crap...why not me (Lothos) and a ranger who stood guard over her remains.This is going to put a damper on things.Lothos
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Re: RIP KATHY

Postby Kinetic IV » Tue Aug 09, 2005 7:28 am

desertswine wrote:As this situation does suck,if the family is bringing suite against BM and the Camp,crap why not sue the entire medical crew who attempted to save her!And another Crap...why not me (Lothos) and a ranger who stood guard over her remains.This is going to put a damper on things.Lothos


Uh, I'm sorry to tell you this but if you look at the case record linked from the first post REMSA is listed as a defendant.
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Postby Ron » Tue Aug 09, 2005 9:31 am

Kinetic IV wrote:.... Can the plaintiffs actually sue all 70 people in the theme camp even if they had no part in what happened?


Yes. You can sue for just about anything, but you can't win every suit you bring. Some suits will be so obviously bad that no attorney will take them, but that doesn't mean you can't bring them to court.

Kinetic IV wrote:. I'm asking because if this is the case I could see it putting a serious chill on the event in the future as people will worry about this sort of thing and scale back what they do.


If that were going to happen, I'd suggest it already has/does. I know in my camp safety considerations are discussed not only in the light of simple harm avoidance but also in terms of possible lawsuits. And plans do change in light of those discussions, as they well should, seems to me.

Kinetic IV wrote:. A secondary question is doesn't the notice on the back of the ticket carry any legal weight as a shield in this situation?


Nope, not really. :) You can't sign away your right to sue, in most circumstances, nor can you give yourself immunity from negligence suits via prior notification of your negligence. The details will matter hugly on this one. What states everyone is from, where the suit takes place, who's being sued, and so so on but basically if you think the ticket notice is anything other than a legal fig leaf, and wonderful text for other reasons, I think you're fooling yourself.

None of this should constitute actual legal advice, of course, as I'm just another blow hard in the chain...

:)

Kinetic IV wrote:...I'm looking at this from a "future of the event" perspective


On a side note, you might benefit from relaxing this perspective a bit. Not only is it impossible for you to have the data you really need to fully consider the question (are you a member of the LLC? Got a law degree? and so on) but the perspective seems to impart a bit of a 'chicken llittle' syndrome to some of your posts. Looking out for what is best for the future is fine, but confusing our guesses with accurate projections makes us all look silly, to me. Myself included. Take it or leave it, and certainly no insult at all implied.

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Postby Kinetic IV » Tue Aug 09, 2005 10:17 am

No insult taken, and thanks for the reply. Tiffany, Michelle, Nik, Card and I are already working on plans for 2006 when things should come together a lot better...and a theme camp was an idea being batted around. Consider my questions to be advance scouting work for those efforts. And with that, it's time to move on.
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Postby Karma12 » Tue Aug 09, 2005 6:04 pm

[quote]"I have to think there is an insurance company involved somehow. That's what they do. If they are forced to pay a claim, a lawsuit is pretty much automatic. "[/quote]

Look at the link to the case. The executor of Lampman's estate (her mother) is the Plaintiff here, not her insurance company. Kathy did not have life insurance.

[quote]Can the plaintiffs actually sue all 70 people in the theme camp even if they had no part in what happened?[/quote]

Yes. Their theory is that because everyone in the camp contributed to a big fund (used to build a shower, purchase food, rent the trailer, and fix up the art car), that every camp member is contributorily negligent. They are hoping that enough people are covered by insurance that they will squeeze some money out of the camp in a settlement.

This is after the camp members contributed thousands of dollars to the family for funeral expenses. Now they all have to go out and pay lawyers to defend themselves.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Aug 10, 2005 9:38 am

Not a legal wizz, but I understand that the first rule of being in a lawsuit is to STFU lest your words be used against you. I know for a fact that a) Kathy Lampman's sister is a poster on this board (and I can't imagine what a knife in the gut like that first post is going to do to confirm her part in any suit) b) members of the press are on this board and c) various nasty persons who would grab any excuse to trip up the event are members of this board. ThaT doesn't include the fact that anyone can read the posts here and I presume link to the site without signing in. And we've made it real easy to make sure any lawyers find this thread by giving it this name.
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Postby Kinetic IV » Wed Aug 10, 2005 9:47 am

So...based on fishy's excellent points...should the admins consider taking the thread down? Would it be wrong to do so? There's an emotional side to fishy's post that made me think that she's right, the admins should yank this. But if they did, where would it stop? For example would someone ask to have Allanon's posts yanked because they are a possible threat to the event?

It's been awhile since a post really made me take a look at all the angles in play...but fishy's post did just that.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Aug 10, 2005 9:58 am

Thanks, I've struggled with that and said no, for the reasons you site. I wish we had not been put in this position by someone with more attitude than sense. I don't want to post about my own sister's death (ten years ago next week) but I really thing we can be more gracious towards the Lampmans, simply because there is a huge hole in their universe that will get smaller over years, but will never disappere.

Oh crap. If you want to know what I think, find me on the playa!
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Postby Karma12 » Thu Aug 11, 2005 7:02 pm

[quote]I understand that the first rule of being in a lawsuit is to STFU lest your words be used against you. I know for a fact that a) Kathy Lampman's sister is a poster on this board (and I can't imagine what a knife in the gut like that first post is going to do to confirm her part in any suit) b) members of the press are on this board and c) various nasty persons who would grab any excuse to trip up the event are members of this board.[/quote]

First of all, I'm not a party to this lawsuit.

Second of all, Kathy Lampman's sister should wake up and realize that all this fraudulent money grab does is dishonor the memory of her sister.

Third of all, who cares if members of the press are on this board? The lawsuit is a matter of public record.

Fourth of all, how on earth could "nasty persons" use this post from some anonymous non-party to "trip up the event". Ominous allusions there, care to explain?

And lastly:
[quote]I really thing we can be more gracious towards the Lampmans, simply because there is a huge hole in their universe that will get smaller over years, but will never disappere.[/quote]

Gracious is being genuinely heartbroken for a friend who has died. Gracious is arranging for a fitting memorial the day after. Gracious is the outpouring of support (financial and otherwise) after the ACCIDENT. We are not talking about someone acting reckless. We are talking about a girl who stumbled, and in a split second fell under the wheels of a very slow moving trailer.

I agree that there will be a huge hole in their lives. The thing is, you can't fill that hole with money.
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Postby Isotopia » Thu Aug 11, 2005 8:31 pm

The thing is, you can't fill that hole with money.


Anymore than you can fill the hole with the useless speculation that you insist on spurting forth in this thread. Why you insist on dragging this topic out and assigning motive(s) to people you don't know for reasons you're not privvy to is something I just don't understand. Consider the fact that the family you've so pompously judged are the same people Kathy Lampman no doubt loved and cherished in her living life. Regardless of the reasons associated with the suit I'll just say that your desparaging, uninformed remarks are crass, tasteless and beyond the pale.

Karma, you're a cad. A braying, five star ass of the first order.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Aug 12, 2005 8:39 am

MOney is what you get to sue for. There isn't a judge in the land that can enforce a court order that sez "Larry Harvey has to have a constant pit in his stomach and go on 15 minute crying jags at 3 unexpected times of the week."
Besides, the family was setting up a non-profit--art for high school students, I believe. If it all goes to that with no salery for the family (and there's no reason to say that it won't) is that "greed"?
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Postby julie_c » Sun Aug 14, 2005 9:23 pm

It's printed on the back of every ticket... the disclaimer "Not responsible for death or dismemberment....etc etc etc..." purchasing the ticket and using it releases any liabilty to BM...Good luck on that one, tie up the court sytem waste time & money and upset people who've been thru enough already.
Yea sounds like a winner idea to me :(((
Reminds me of the "lawyers & the bottom of the ocean" joke. How does that go again??
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Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Aug 15, 2005 8:54 am

Ron wrote:Nope, not really. :) You can't sign away your right to sue, in most circumstances, nor can you give yourself immunity from negligence suits via prior notification of your negligence. The details will matter hugly on this one. What states everyone is from, where the suit takes place, who's being sued, and so so on but basically if you think the ticket notice is anything other than a legal fig leaf, and wonderful text for other reasons, I think you're fooling yourself.
And i have to wonder that even if Kathy could have signed away her right to sue, could she have signed away her family's.
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Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri


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Postby Karma12 » Mon Aug 15, 2005 12:09 pm

Anymore than you can fill the hole with the useless speculation that you insist on spurting forth in this thread.


I'm not trying to fill any holes. I read the police report, and I know what happened that night - do you? If you knew, you would agree with me that a lawsuit against anyone and everyone associated is not the answer.

Yes, I'm speculating on their motives. But pray tell me what other motives could they possibly have?

Besides, the family was setting up a non-profit--art for high school students, I believe. If it all goes to that with no salery for the family (and there's no reason to say that it won't) is that "greed"?


No, if in fact that is what they intend to do. Unfortunately, very few lawsuits for money damages are initiated in order to give the proceeds to charity. In fact, their pleadings suggest this is not the case, as their basis for calculating the damages is Kathy's financial contribution to the family. They intend any proceeds to be used to support their family.

This is a warning to all of you - better hope this year that one of your campmates doesn't slip and fall, or else next year you may be looking at a process server and potential bankruptcy.
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Postby spectabillis » Mon Aug 15, 2005 1:44 pm

Karma12 wrote:This is a warning to all of you - better hope this year that one of your campmates doesn't slip and fall, or else next year you may be looking at a process server and potential bankruptcy.



OMFG Drama Camp! Thats what I should have done, NEW THEME CAMP!
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Postby jbelson » Mon Aug 15, 2005 2:14 pm

Discussion is a good thing, and nothing in this topic is disrespecting the memory of a lost one in any way. conversly, it has inspired some to think.

One thing that stirs in my head, especially in this sue-happy world, is what about the driver of the car. From my understanding, he did everything he needed to do to prevent an accident. And it was this poor girls decision to get off of a moving vehicle that lead to these terrible consequences. But not only was she harmed, but the driver of the vehicle has suffered emotional damage as well. So wouldn't he have a case against her estate for the damages that he suffered? It wasn't an accident by his fault, but by hers. She got off the vehicle and that action directly caused emotional distress for the driver.
maybe he has a case just as much as she does? Maybe bringing the case would counteract the one already filed and get it dropped?
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Postby spectabillis » Mon Aug 15, 2005 6:41 pm

Karma12 wrote:...Badger, I would suggest that you not say anything ... It is a very real danger that you will be joined as a defendant if the plaintiffs find out your name.


oh the irony
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Postby Karma13 » Fri Jan 27, 2006 6:40 pm

Drama camp, eh? Well, guess what? I spoke to a member of their camp and EVERY INDIVIDUAL IN THE ENTIRE CAMP HAS BEEN JOINED IN THE LAWSUIT. That's right, every single camp member under the theory that their $30 or so everyone contributed to group expenses contributed to Kathy's accidental death.

If you are planning to attend Burning Man in 2006 in a large theme camp, or a camp that has an art car, I would seriously consider the poential liability. Every member of that camp, whether they were there or not, is now facing personal liability.

What a shame.
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Postby Isotopia » Sun Jan 29, 2006 10:11 pm

That's right, every single camp member under the theory that their $30 or so everyone contributed to group expenses contributed to Kathy's accidental death.


Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proofs.

Cites please.
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