Posted by Charlie S (220.127.116.11) on August 10, 2001 at 21:09:57:
Man sues over burns suffered at fire-walking
By Alex Roth
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
August 8, 2001
A man who attended a Jacumba nudist convention a year ago and burned his feet in a fire-walking ceremony has filed a lawsuit accusing convention hosts of "misrepresenting to spectators that fire-walking was safe."
Eli Tyler of El Cajon was one of several people injured during the August 2000 fire-walking ceremony at an American Association for Nude Recreation convention at the DeAnza Springs Resort. In all, seven people were hospitalized with severe burns to the bottoms of their feet.
Tyler was "halfway through the fire walk when he felt a burning sensation in his feet," the lawsuit states. He suffered severe burns and nerve damage, according to the suit.
One of the people being sued said the fire-walkers were told of the dangers and agreed not to sue if they were hurt.
The lawsuit contends the man in charge of the fire-walking demonstration, Fred Gilbert, told participants that it was "a safe and spiritual experience where you walk through your past to arrive at your future."
The lawsuit accuses Gilbert of using the wrong type of wood, starting the fire walk before ash formed on the wood and failing to have medical personnel present, among other things.
Dave Landman, owner of the DeAnza Springs Resort, said yesterday that Gilbert was a professional fire-walker who was hired by the resort and convention organizers to perform the ceremony. Landman described Gilbert as an "independent contractor" who lives somewhere in Washington state.
Gilbert could not be reached for comment.
Landman, who also is named as a defendant in the lawsuit, said all the participants were warned about the dangers before the ceremony. Everyone agreed not to sue if they got injured, he said.
"It was a do-it-at-your-own-risk, have-at-it kind of thing," he said.
Other activities at the convention included a trip to a railroad museum, a soap-box derby and nude sky diving, according to the lawsuit, filed Aug. 1 in San Diego Superior Court.
Smiles....Charlie S :^)
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