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Saturday, July 20, 2024 | Back issues
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Camper May Sue Government For Fall Off A 30-Foot Cliff

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - A Sonoma County man who fell off a 30-foot cliff at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers campground may sue the government for failing to put up warning signs, the Ninth Circuit ruled.

The court reversed dismissal of Ricardo Navarette's claim. He fell from a path that led from his campsite to the cliff to the rocks below and suffered a permanent brain injury in 1997. Navarette claimed the staff at Liberty Glen Campground near Lake Sonoma knew about the dangerous path but failed to warn campers. One ranger's reacted to the accident by saying, "Oh my God! We can absolutely see how it happened," the ruling states. The circuit rejected the argument that the government had discretion to determine whether the cliff was dangerous. Drop-offs had to be properly marked and "there is no dispute here that the 30-foot drop from the path to the rocks below was in fact a drop-off," Judge Fisher wrote. See ruling in

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