A Big Game Hunting….. Dream Vacation…. to the Arctic Circle in Canada went from heaven to Disaster in one moment, …..On August 26, 2001.
For Experienced big game bow hunters, Paul Brunner from Montana and Doug Otte from Nebraska…who were two of six hunters on a musk ox expedition north of the Arctic Circle in Nunavut, Canada. They went on a trip to the Cambridge Bay area of Nunavut Province, north of the Arctic Circle that was sold to them in Canada North provided the housing, food, a cook and other provisions during this 10 day hunt for musk ox.
The two cabins in which the hunters lived were made of plywood, and had neither a fire extinguisher nor a fire ax……contrary to Canadian law. The Coleman camp stove provided by Canada North flamed fitfully each time it was used…. and the storage of the cooking fuel “naphtha” was not carefully stored in red canisters. Sometimes it was stored in containers marked “water”.
One of the hunters, Jerry Hampson from Lancaster, Ohio, filled a pot with liquid from an unmarked jug and placed it on the Coleman stove to heat up bath water at the end of the day. When Canada North’s cook adjusted the flame on the stove…… Flames flared and suddenly engulfed the pot which quickly spread from the pot to other parts of the cabin. Hampson grabbed a Red container containing a clear liquid and dumped it on the flames….thinking it was water! But, INSTEAD, the liquid was naptha, which caused an explosion and turned the cabin into an inferno trapping Brunner, Hampson and Otte. All three caught on fire and believed they were going to die.
Brunner, Otte and Hampson were trapped inside…
Otte, on fire, escaped through a window after someone outside through a rock smashing it. That caused the door to open, and Brunner, also on fire, crawled through the flames on his hands and feet to safety.Tragically, Hampson died from his injuries. Both Brunner and Otte suffered horrible burns that left permanent impairments.The case against Canada North was brought in Ohio since it did business in Ohio.
Today The Insider Exclusive presents “Dream Vacations Gone Bad – The Paul Brunner and Doug Otte Story …… And How their Lawyer, Bob Palmer @ the law firm of ROBERT GRAY PALMER CO. LPA got Justice for Paul and Doug and their families…
Litigating on behalf of travelers who have been seriously injured in exotic and distant locations can be challenging…. indeed. Where and who, for example, are the viable and liable defendants in real life vacation disasters?
The marketing and sales of vacations involve complex marketing systems which includes suppliers, both domestic and foreign, wholesalers and tour operators, travel agents and informal travel promoters. Often the negligence of a foreign supplier, i.e., hotel, para-sailing operator, horse or camel stable, tour bus company, air carrier or cruise ship, will be the primary cause of the consumer’s injury. Unfortunately such a potential defendants may be irresponsible, insolvent, uninsured or unavailable because of a lack of jurisdiction or the U.S. forum selected is deemed inconvenient. Assuming availability… the potential defendant may be insulated from liability, in whole or in part, because of the application of foreign law, enforceable disclaimers and releases, the Warsaw Convention, U.S. federal and state statutes limiting the liability of cruise ships and hotels and tariffs limiting the liability of carriers. Successful travel litigation depends upon the selection of viable defendants and the application of modern liability theories.
This INSIDER EXCLUSIVE SPECIAL discusses the “Rights of Americans” while traveling to exotic locations and liability of tour operators and air carriers for the tour participant’s injuries sustained in foreign destinations. Foreign companies cannot solicit U.S. Citizens for adventure trips and not be responsible for their negligent operations on those trips which result in serious, deforming injuries to their U.S. customers.A tour operator may be held liable for the consumer’s physical injuries if the tour operator promised…. either expressly or implicitly…. that the tour would be delivered in a safe and careful manner.
• Brochure language such as ” safe and enjoyable cycling area “, ” The tour company’s administration and staff work together to make your stay comfortable, safe” …
” suitable for handicapped individuals “, ” perfectly safe ” canoeing conditions and ” safe buses ” may generate liability under a breach of warranty theory.
• Alternatively, the tour operator may assume a duty to deliver safe travel services. Assumed duties may more readily overcome written disclaimers than a warranty.
• Escorted tours feature close supervision and tour coordination provided by professional tour guides.
• Older consumers and the parents of students purchase escorted tours. Some sports’ tours provide instructors to train and supervise the activities of the participants.
• In their brochures tour operators will promise that ” every tour will be escorted by a qualified professional tour director…carefully selected and trained…informative…. they know precisely what you will be seeing and doing…they’ve been there before ” and their ” tour escort was a professional and qualified to serve travelers in all matters “.
Consumers, especially the parents of students, rely upon promises of close supervision in purchasing such a tour. Consumer injuries caused by the negligence of the tour guide may support claims against the tour operator for negligent selection and supervision of tour guides and misrepresentation of their training, expertise and knowledge of the tour locale.
AND What happens after the accident?
Typically, the injured consumer will be given assistance by the medical staff of the foreign hotel, resort or tour operator. If such medical services are unavailable the consumer may be transported to a recommended foreign doctor, infirmary or hospital. The quality of medical care rendered in foreign locales can exacerbate existing injuries and expose the tour operator to even greater liability. Certainly, domestic carriers have a common law duty to seek proper medical assistance and maintain adequate medical equipment for emergencies.
Bob Palmer has earned the highest respect from citizens and lawyers alike…. as one of the best Trial lawyers in Columbus…. In Ohio….. and in America. Bob has built a substantial reputation nationwide by consistently winning cases other law firms have turned down. Bob is listed among Ohio’s top lawyers. He was cited in the publication, Ohio Super Lawyers each year from 2004-2011. Since 1993, he was cited in the Best Lawyers in America and in the national Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers in medical malpractice and personal injury.Best Lawyers named Bob its 2011 lawyer of the year for Personal Injury Litigation in Columbus, Ohio. Bob is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers. His amazing courtroom skills and headline grabbing success rate continue to provide his clients with the results they need……And the results they deserve.
You can contact Robert Palmer @ ROBERT GRAY PALMER Co., LPA www.rgpalmerlaw.com or 614.484.1200