Tuesday, December 5, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Awakened to Find His Hair on Fire

(CN) - A man who fell asleep in a field in Nebraska sued the little town of Rushville, claiming he awoke to find his hair and hands on fire after officials set a controlled burn.

Bryan Bluebird Jr. sued Rushville (pop. 837), its volunteer fire department and fire chief, Sheridan County and its sheriff, in Omaha Federal Court.

Bluebird says he fell asleep in a field near Whiteclay, Neb., in March.

"Whiteclay, Nebraska is an unincorporated residential and commercial area located

in Sheridan County, Nebraska, consisting of four establishments licensed to sell beer, and three residents with a total population of eleven," the complaint states.

After falling asleep, Bluebird says, "Subsequently and without warning, plaintiff became aware of his hands and hair burning. The plaintiff suffered severe and painful injuries."

He says the fire was intentionally set, and that the defendants were negligent in requesting the controlled burn on a day when wind and humidity conditions made it especially hazardous. They also failed to adequately inspect the area to make sure no one was there and failed to promptly attempt a rescue of the plaintiff, Bluebird says.

"The plaintiff has incurred medical expenses in excess of $75,000.00 to date and will incur further expenses in the further," the complaint states. "In addition, the plaintiff has suffered damages for loss of present income and diminished earning capacity in the future."

Bluebird seeks actual and punitive damages for negligence.

He is represented by Thomas White, with White & Jorgensen, of Omaha.

Follow @davejourno
Categories / Uncategorized

Subscribe to Closing Arguments

Sign up for new weekly newsletter Closing Arguments to get the latest about ongoing trials, major litigation and hot cases and rulings in courthouses around the U.S. and the world.