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Old 06-02-2003, 09:16 PM   #1
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hubba hubba

Foot-in-grave mishap prompts suit

SULTAN, Washington (Reuters) --A 375-pound woman who found herself with one foot in the grave three years ago when she went to pay respects to her late great-grandfather, is now suing a city in Washington state for neglecting its cemetery.

Dorothy VerValen of Kalilspell, Montana says she was using her car keys to scrape moss off the lettering on the tombstone, when the decaying wood coffin collapsed beneath her. Her right foot sank 30 inches into the grave of Harry L. Smith, who died in 1943.

VerValen, 51, said her left ankle remained on firm ground, but was severely fractured by the fall. Her adult daughter pulled her out and helped her limp back to her car.

VerValen's lawsuit claims that by failing to adequately maintain graves, the city of Sultan, Washington caused her emotional distress and physical injury.

However the city of Sultan, which is about 60 miles (96 km) northeast of Seattle, argues that the cemetery is protected under Washington's Recreational Use Act, meaning that people must use it at their own risk.

It further suggests that VerValen's weight probably contributed to the accident.

"For them to shift the burden of keeping a place safe only for skinny people is very unfair," said VerValen's attorney, Robert Butler. "That argument has no business at all in this case."


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Old 06-02-2003, 09:36 PM   #2
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hmmmm "use at own risk"?
I was assuming that all cemeteries had a certain upkeep standard or whatnot.
Regardless of how large the woman was...I don't think that's the point. The cemetery (or is it cemetary?) is a public place and should be maintained to a certain degree....god knows how expensive plots are, etc. etc...that money should be paying for something.
I dunno how it will pan out....but I don't think someone's foot-whether they are 100 pounds or 500 pounds should be going through ANY plot at ANY cemetery. The grounds should be solid. I think she should sue the cemetary.

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Old 06-02-2003, 09:39 PM   #3
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okay...she IS already I hope she wins...
Why this cemetary would be covered under a "Recreational" act is beyond me.
There is not much of anything "recreational" about burial grounds.
What a backwards city.
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Old 06-02-2003, 11:54 PM   #4
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That's just funny. Ha.
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Old 06-03-2003, 12:03 AM   #5
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people in montana have room to be 375 lbs.

people in new york city do not.
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Old 06-03-2003, 05:06 AM   #6
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So when I saw the title of this thread I almost mistook it for hubba bubba and was about to comment on my favourite bubble gum.
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Old 06-03-2003, 06:00 PM   #7
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Falling through a coffin....
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Old 06-03-2003, 06:03 PM   #8
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Old 06-05-2003, 10:35 AM   #9
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I didn't realize that paying respects was a recreational activity....
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Old 06-05-2003, 10:59 AM   #10
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everything is becoming recreation
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Old 06-05-2003, 12:10 PM   #11
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didn't she know there's a weight limit? hahahahahaha but seriously, why the hell was she standing on top of the grave anyway? i thought that was considered to be bad luck/disrespectful/some other bad thing?
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Old 06-05-2003, 12:15 PM   #12
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