Most everyone's heard of the “slip and fall” scam – where you purposefully take a dive on a store's floor and then sue the shop, hoping to cash in at court.
In April 2010, Ryan Broderick of El Segundo slipped and fell off a cliff near Yosemite National Park. The 20-year-old died.
Now his family is suing the State of California – the store owner, so to speak – but Broderick's death seems anything but your run-of-the mill con-artist scam.
Broderick and several friends were driving up to Yosemite, according to news reports, when they pulled over on Highway 140 near a culvert to check out the scenery.
They all walked out toward the end of the culvert, where a small amount of water was running, to gaze out at the river canyon when Broderick playfully ran past his friends to the very edge.
From the Mariposa Gazette:
He got to the end, where a concrete slab extends above the rocky area below. As Broderick ran toward the end, he was unable to straddle the water as it widened on the slab. He lost his footing and fell. His momentum carried him over the edge.
Sheriff's deputies later found Broderick's body laying on top of rocks, 50 feel below the culvert.
Broderick's family, residents of LA County, is suing the state, claiming the culvert was not not properly maintained.
According to the lawsuit, initially reported by Courthouse News Service, Broderick's family claims that the culvert was “a concealed trap.”
The family says that no one could know that it was a trap, “due to the narrow field of vision” along the walkway, and the “slippery surface.”
Broderick's family is seeking more than $50,000 in general damages and an unspecified amount for losing their loved one.