A DISCUSSION OF LAW AND JOURNALISM

Tag: tragedy

Tragedy at the Zoo

African Painted Dog

By LASIS Staff

LASIS recently ran a story about the Bronx Zoo visitor who jumped into a tiger’s enclosure, on purpose. We determined that he would not fare well if he chose to sue the zoo.

Now there’s a story out of Pittsburgh, about a two year old who fell into an area of African painted dogs.

A couple of things worth noting: There was a net for anyone who fell into an area near the exhibit, but the boy was so small, he bounced off of it and landed amongst the snapping wild dogs. He was killed instantly. On the other hand, the boy’s mother had reportedly “placed the boy on a wooden rail above the exhibit so he could get a better look at the animals” — clearly not a prudent thing to do.

Were there signs up saying not to sit or climb on the wooden rails? We’d expect so. Had people fallen there before? Should there have been more space between the net and the dogs?

We don’t know if there will be a lawsuit, or even a threat of one. For now, there’s only the tragedy of a little boy killed at an excursion to the zoo.

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Surviving Sandy

Storm surf kicked up by the high winds from Hurricane Sandy break onto homes in Southampton, New York

By Meghan Lalonde

Last Monday, Hurricane Sandy took New York and New Jersey by storm. And if losing power was the biggest imposition to your daily schedule, well, then you’ve got a lot to be thankful for.

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the tri-state area has been left with an estimated $50 billion in damage. Lower Manhattan was dark and flooded for nearly a week, and the Jersey Shore decimated.

Since all the LASIS reporters are students at New York Law School in TriBeCa, many of us were stranded inside the belly of the beast, uncertain how the school, our friends and families, or the surrounding areas would fare.

I hunkered down in New Jersey, where I’d been for the weekend, and watched the lights flicker until finally everything went dark and stayed that way for several days. Other members of the LASIS team were left in flooded buildings, watching transformers explode, or crowded around radios without power and water. One of us was even ambitious enough to do some reading for class by strapping on a battery-powered headlamp.

We were in as much contact as possible with each other, thanks largely to our Google Group for this site and our iPhones. We checked in regularly to see that the others were safe. Thankfully, we were.

After the storm cleared there was more damage than most anticipated and the tragic stories came pouring in like the tidal waves that overwhelmed the subway system and beaches.

We learned that one of our reporters went outside to help cut downed trees on a neighbor’s lawn, others offered up their couches to friends who’d been displaced.  Several of us were donating clothes, food, anything we could.

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