State not responsible for death of woman in Tompkins County park rock slide, court rules
Published: Monday, June 11, 2012, 7:02 AM
By Jim O'Hara / The Post-Standard
Syracuse, NY - The state of New York cannot be held responsible for the death of a woman in a rock slide in Taughannock Falls State Park on the west shore of Cayuga Lake, a state appeals court has ruled.
In a 10-page decision, the state Supreme Court Appellate Division in Albany ruled Thursday the state had taken sufficient steps to protect visitors in the park by posting numerous signs warning hikers not to stray from designated trails.
That decision overturned Syracuse Court of Claims Judge Diane Fitzpatrick's June 2011 ruling that a trial was needed to decide the sufficiency of the warning signs in the park in Tompkins County.
Deborah Rowen, 51, of New Jersey, was standing in the plunge pool at the base of the 215-foot falls - in an area off limits to visitors - when she was struck in the head and buried beneath a rock slide from the face of the falls Aug. 22, 2005. She died later the same day in a hospital in Chemung County.
Her husband, Paul Arsenault, sued the state for Rowen's wrongful death and for injuries he and his two children sustained in the rock slide.
Read more here: http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2012/06/state_not_responsible_for_deat.html