It was a great tragedy on February 17, 2010 when Bradley Ginsburg, a student at Cornell University, chose to take his life by jumping off a bridge into the Fall Creek gorge. On November 21, 2011, over a year and a half after the incident, Bradley’s father Howard Ginsburg filed a lawsuit against the university for $168 million, an article in the Ithaca Journal explains. His lawsuit claims that the school was aware of the danger of the bridges over the gorges and did not take steps to secure them.
The loss of a child is an unimaginable catastrophe for a parent and no amount of money will bring them back. The astronomically high amount in this case fogs that message, placing an extremely high price tag on that which is priceless.
Large ticket lawsuits, especially those in the wake of a tragedy, are far too common in New York State. Our laws and courts make it easy to file these suits and in many cases win astronomical settlements. These lawsuits put a high burden our economy, our legal system and our municipalities, and we cannot let them affect our public places as well. Cornell and the Ithaca should not be forced to fence off the majestic beauty of the area for fear of lawsuits.
Howard Ginsburg suffered a terrible loss when his son chose to take his own life. It is unfortunate that even in times of devastation a high-dollar lawsuit seems to be the solution. It is time to bring back personal responsibility to our state and keep our public places open to the public.