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Carroll County sued for 9-year-old's wrongful death

What should have been a well controlled, three-day adventure for a bunch of school children in 2009 became a fatal object lesson with the death of a 9-year-old boy. Now, his relatives have filed a wrongful death suit in the case. Carroll County and the managers of the county run Hashawha Environmental Center are named as defendants.

According to the complaint filed earlier this month in Carroll County Circuit Court, young Noah Asid was part of a group of children that was out hiking at the camp during a holiday break. It was Dec. 29. The wind was blowing hard and it was cold out. As they were making their way around the grounds, a 100-foot tree came down and struck Noah. He fell unconscious and suffered a severe head wound. He died two days later at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Noah's mother and paternal grandparents allege that the camp's managers were negligent by not providing a safe environment for the outing. Their suit cites Maryland Department of Natural Resources findings that determined that the tree came down because a combination of decay in the tree and the high winds that day.

As further evidence of the alleged negligence, the suit raises questions about why camp managers had cleared deadwood from around structures at the facility, but not from the trails. It also points out that weather conditions on the day of the incident were such that the children shouldn't have been outside at all. It was 28 degrees and there was an advisory out for high winds, with gusts of up to 35 mph.

The relatives of Noah are seeking $12 million in compensation for their loss.

What makes this case particularly sad is that Noah was his mother's only child.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, "Family of boy killed by falling tree at camp sues Carroll Co.," Arthur Hirsch, Dec. 7, 2011

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