Suit Against Wyoming Wilderness School in Hiker’s Death Dismissed

October 15, 2015

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against a Wyoming-based wilderness training academy over the death of a hiker on a 2011 trip to India.

U.S. District Judge Alan B. Johnson last week dismissed the suit filed by Elizabeth Brenner of Minnetonka, Minnesota against the National Outdoor Leadership School.

Brenner had claimed the school was negligent in the death of her 20-year-old son, Thomas Plotkin, who died on a backpacking trip in India. The trial was moved from India to Wyoming in July.

LawsuitJohnson noted Plotkin had signed releases acknowledging that the program involved dangerous activities.

Paul D. Peterson, a lawyer in Woodbury, Minnesota, who represents Brenner, says he’s disappointed in Johnson’s decision. School spokesman Bruce Palmer says the program feels a great sense of loss at Plotkin’s death but believes that the lawsuit was unjustified.

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