Pa. Family Sues After Boy Killed By Tree At Md. Nature Camp

WESTMINSTER, Md. (WJZ)—Should Carroll County be held responsible for the death of a 9-year-old? His family is suing the county after a tree crushed the little boy while he was at a county-run campsite. 

Mike Hellgren spoke to his family. 

Katherine Asid is still shaken almost two years since a tree crushed her only son — 9-year-old Noah — to death as he was attending a camp at Hashawha Environmental Center run by Carroll County. 

His family is suing the county for $12 million–saying the massive tree was already dead and should have been cut down, and that counselors took children outside during high winds when they should have been kept indoors. 

“He was the light of my life,” Asid said. “He was the light of everybody’s life who knew him.  We’re just devastated.”

“We hope to prevent other children from being harmed–God forbid—killed at the same nature camp,” said Jack Lebowitz, Asid family’s attorney. 

The county attorney told WJZ he has not seen the lawsuit and can’t comment on it. 

The death was painful enough for the family, but they say the response from the county made it worse. They sent Noah’s mom a refund of the $120 she paid for the camp. 

Asid says she got no apology. Instead, she says she received a letter with the refund saying the event did not go as planned and inviting her to attend a Maple Sugar Festival. 

“The treatment of Kathy is just unforgivable,” said Shirley Asid, Noah’s grandmother.

“It was horrible,” Katherine Asid said. “I couldn’t believe that they sent me that.” 

Noah’s family is demanding accountability, but they’ll never get back the one thing they really want:  him. 

“You wake up every day, and my only child is gone,” Katherine Asid said.  

The county will have a month to formally file an answer to the lawsuit.

More from Mike Hellgren
Comments

One Comment

  1. Leigh Ann Erdman says:

    My sympathies for their loss but $12 M?

    1. Julia says:

      First of all are you really questioning a $ amount for a little boys life, a family’s pain?

      Its not about the money……

      I agree that accidents happen but this is negligence and I say 12 Million is not enough. What the family is ultimately trying to do is make sure this tragedy is a one time deal. The tree was dead, in a public camp ground, where the county held the camp. There was a complete lack of judgement.

      To make matters worse they have the balls to send a refund for the camp….really? Who does that?

      I can’t imagine the pain the family is in. My thoughts are with them. If I lost one of my daughters I would be lost. If I lost both (which is what they are going through because he was an only child) my life would be over.

      1. Jack says:

        Bull it’s not about the money. There are thousands of trees on county property in every county in the country. Does each county government have the money/time/personnel to check each tree to see if it’s dead? Hardly. It’s an accident. While my heart goes out to the family that doesn’t mean they deserve money for an ACCIDENT.

  2. Sharon says:

    After one appeal after the other, they won’t get too much in the end. That’s the way the system works. Courts don’t put much value on the life of a child. Maybe if it was your child Leigh Ann, you would probably feel differently.

    1. Janis says:

      itt’s not about the money, it’s about punitive reparations for the loss of the life of this child. The way this family was treated after their child was killed is unforgivable. They return the camp tuition, no apology, and say “things didn’t go as planned,” ???? How completely ignorant and callous is that? And then invite them to some GD maple sugar festival? Are you serious? That tree should have been cut down, it was dead, it was a danger to anyone, period. In Central Park here in NYC last year, two people were killed by dead branches that fell on people. Fact. One was a woman holding her infant for a picture being taken by her husband. If there are children, or anyone in an area where there is a tree or a tree with huge, heavy dead branches that are potentially lethal, they need to be kept away from the trees and the trees need to be removed or trimmed. If it might hurt someone, then it’s a pretty good idea to take action instead of hoping it doesn’t happen. Chances are it won’t, but then again, it might. In in the case of this woman’s only child, it did. I have a son the same age as her, my only child. My gut wrenches for this woman, it’s so painful, and it was avoidable.

  3. Sherr says:

    I’m a resident of Carroll County. I feel that the family of that little boy has every right to sue Carroll County for $12M. I remember the day that this tragic accident happened. The winds were more than 50mph and the gusts were higher. All I could think was what kind of idiot would take these children outside, near or inside the woods. This being a NATURE CAMP, the supervisors should have more common sense than, to allow the children to go outside. Yes, the tree was dead and it should have been removed.. However, there was a wind warning that day.. Those kids never should have been outside.

    1. Jeff says:

      Sherr,
      50 mph with gusts higher?? Way to embelish. The wind gust were up to 35 mph that day. Is that windy? Yes. Is that enough for them to be worried about a tree droppin on someone? No. I grew up in heavily wooded areas. I’ve never been out on a windy day and wondered if a tree was going to fall on me. That’s extremely rare. It’s not like they were taking these kids out during a hurricane or severe thunderstorm. It’s a windy day at a nature camp. What else would they do. This is a random act. Carroll County is not responsible for a random act. Why does everytime something goes wrong, everyone feels that somone has to pay. Can’t we accept the fact that certain things just happen that we can’t control and no one is repsonsible for.

      1. Sherr says:

        Jeff,
        Sorry, for my wrong information. So I went to weather underground’s archive the maximum winds were 24mph and the gusts were 38mph. Now it’s accurate information and not embellished. Up here in Carroll County we don’t have a lot of buildings to block the wind. So when it’s windy you feel like your in a wind tunnel. I do remember that day. They issued wind advisory/ warning that day. Just like they sometimes do for thunderstorm watches/ warnings for WIND; down braches, trees, power lines, etc.. THUNDERSTORMS: Lightning, wind, hail, etc.. This mother trusted these people with her child. The weather service does issue these warnings and advisories for obvious reason to protect people. Obviously that advisory/ warning that day wasn’t taken serious, by the people this mother trusted to protect her child. So, a young innocent child lost his life. If it was your family member or child I’m sure you’d feel the same way. As a Mom I can not even imagine the pain she’s going through.

      2. William says:

        This will be hard to fight in court. Random act I remember that word. Now there was no human life involve but my car was damage from a huge tree while parked at the court house. The tree was dead, it was big, but no one got around to cutting it down. When it blew over from high winds it smash bad. I took it to court. It was a county tree with neglect and failure to maintain. Random act of God. Judge said we did not blow it down. I said what if someone had been in that car? He said be glad there wasn’t or you would be attending funerals and let me add he said, at your cost. Case dismissed.

  4. Squaregrouper says:

    The parents should be suing God, not Carroll County. What does the county have to do with wind and trees? This is where the phrase “Act Of God” comes from. I’m sorry for their loss, but c’mon folks- It was a terrible coincidence with astronomical odds of it happening.

    1. steve says:

      Squaregrouper…….. Great screen name. You must have lived in Florida back in the 70’s……….🙂

    2. GM says:

      You are right. Its wrong to sue over this and it was as you say-an “Act of God.”

  5. knuvision says:

    12 million seems a bit high. Some pain and suffering and burial cost is justified. I went to HEC for a week in the fifth grade a long time ago and it is a shame the accident happened and more so the current lawsuit. Their infinity for accountability may ruin a good experience for every other school kid.

    Don’t be so quick to cut government salaries. We get what we pay for.

  6. Ernie says:

    It’s sad indeed that a child lost his life. However this was a unforeseeable freak accident. The odds of it happening are probably the same or close to winning the mega-millions.

    Can’t really see where the proof of burden is against Carroll County.

    A sad freak accident caused by nature does not equal a payday for the victims parents.

  7. Nancy says:

    I am with Jeff on this and I am a mom. Things happen that are called accidents and no one is to blame. Please how could anyone ever think that a tree would topple over and kill not just a child but anyone when it was just windy. It wasn’t like hurricane winds, and even during a hurricane trees don’t always come down, yes some do but not all. Sorry for this family but it is not Carroll Counties fault.

    1. Janis says:

      Doesn’t matter. Three people were killed by trees in Central Park recently here in NYC, one of them a woman holding her infant for a photograph, and there wasn’t even the slightest breeze. IT ISN’T ABOUT THE WIND, IT DOESN’T MATTER. If the tree is dead, or if huge, heavy branches are dead, they either need to remove the tree or trim the branches. It’s their responsibility. You think it won’t happen, you hope it won’t, but when it does, it’s horrible, and hindsight won’t return that child’s life. How would you feel if it were your child?

      1. Damion says:

        Jamis, let me ask you this, if you believe that it is the county’s responsibilty to take care of every tree within the county, to search out every one that was diseased/dying/dead, and then for them to remove and dispose of the tree, who is going to pay for that? I had one dying/dead tree removed from my property before it could fall and damage my house, and it cost me over $3,000. So are you willing to open up your wallet and fork over a heck of alot more money in local taxes to pay for these tree removals…I think not. You would rather just rant about how its someone else’s fault because somebody has to be blamed for this child’s tragic death. Well, try blaming God and suing him because it really is his fault since he created the trees and the wind, and he also allows them to die, just as he allows us humans, young and old, to die too.

  8. JaynCue says:

    Honestly, had the organization responded with compassion and approached her personally to express their deepest sympathy and offer whatever help they could in her time of sorrow….she probably wouldn’t be suing. They could maybe have worked together to change the guidelines for removal of dead trees and for when it is appropriate to take young children outside. Just my opinion.

  9. Jules says:

    Accidents happen. sorry for your loss. Only God is to blame. The camp’s response may have not been as compassionate as you would have liked but I’m sure you have been insulted had they offered you $12 million at the time of the accident. Human beings run the camp and what kid doesn’t like to go out on a windy (35mph) day?

  10. Shrike says:

    When it’s your time it’s your time. It was his. You cannot avoid it. Got hit by a tree.

  11. Randy Darrah says:

    My deepest sympathies to the family of this kid who was lost. But what is the City supposed to do? Go through the entire forest and find every single dead tree? I am a city worker and we have a whole lot to do. What if the wind had blown over a healthy tree? It was a freak accident and I’m really sorry it happened but I don’t think they should get that much out of it.

  12. aiquoy says:

    My sympathies to the family, but when will people learn than when you sue the Government you sue yourselves? The Government is funded by tax-dollars, mostly that of the working-class (damned rich and their tax-loopholes) and suing them only invites them to take more out in taxes out offset the costs from being sued but still having to meet a City Budget. I feel sorry for the family, but going about it in this manner will only add insult to the injury in the future.

  13. FGHOTS says:

    This is such a tragic story. A very similar incident happened to a 14 year old from Pittsburgh- she attended a summer camp and a tree fell onto her tent, killing her. The whole area was full of large, rotted trees. The family won their lawsuit against the camp- not only financially, but the camp was required to have inspectors come in and remove all of the dead trees. I hope this family has a similar outcome for their loss.

  14. Damion Perez says:

    This is a tragic accident and I understand this family’s grief and loss. However, you are going to tarnish your child’s memory by blaming everyone and everything for this tragic accident. You will spend countless days struggling with your grief and anger for your loss instead of doing what your son would want the most, for you to be at peace and look upon life with joy again. Your son woke up each and every morning knowing that there was a new adventure waiting for him every day. And he also knew in his heat that after each day’s adventure, that you would be there waiting for him. You would tuck him in to bed every night where he went to sleep feeling safe and secure because of you. I share your pain because I lose my son in a tragic auto accident. I did what you are doing, and I blamed everyone else for him being taking away from me for no good reason. I sued the driver and the company that he worked for, and yes I won a large award from the suit. Then my attorney took 30% of that award for his fee, and after that he took over half of what remained to cover his costs. Then the government took half of what I recieved for taxes, and in the end, I recieved $38,000 from a $2.5 million award. The four yr process left me more broken that I was after the death of my son. So I grieve for you and your loss, and I pray that you find peace and comfort again one day, but what you are doing now is only going to prolong your pain. You won’t find any justice for your son from this, and only bitter disappointment. I know because I’ve been through this.

    1. Thanks for nothing says:

      Mr. Perez, I am sorry for your loss and for the loss that this family has endured. You’re not going to change how other people grieve by getting on to a comment forum and telling them that they aren’t doing it right and, that they are going to tarnish their son’s memory (especially given that we don’t have all the facts about the case or the details of the suit apart from what wjz has chosen to tell us).

      Did that sound condescending? Right, it IS inconsiderate to tell strangers how to grieve or what to do in a situation that has nothing to do with you.

      1. TYPICAL BS says:

        Nitwit “Thanks for nothing”, Mr. Perez speaks from personal experience, unlike you. Why don’t you fork out the 12 million out of your pocket? Glad you’re not managing my money, moron.

  15. jo says:

    More than likely it was a form letter they sent out with refunds to ALL of the children attending that week. I would gather that the one sent to her was sent in “error” and should have had a different letter enclosed just stating this is your refund for this camp during these dates. My guess is it was a very traumatic experience for everyone involved including the other children that were not injured. Can you imagine even at your age you are today, the person you have been laughing and joking with 5 minutes earlier is gone? And then imagine if you were 8-10, devastating. Any who, the family has every right to sue and the camp has every right to not incriminate themselves. Prayers go out to everyone that was affected by this tragedy.

  16. zeke says:

    If the County has a work order in house that shows it was supposed to cut that tree down months ago, the County is in trouble. Otherwise, forget it, an Act of God.

  17. zeke says:

    And by not removing that tree in a timely fashion they put others at risk. Again, only if it was requested that the County remove the tree previously.

  18. Amanda says:

    Way to use your kid as a meal ticket. I felt bad for this family at first, but now i see them as using their kid as a way for at least one of them to get out of working for the rest of their lives. If a tree root was sticking out of the ground, he tripped over it and hit his head on a rock and died…would you sue the city for not keeping tree roots underground? I agree with Randy, trees die and fall every day, there is no way the city can keep track of “tree deaths”. And FGHOTS, i dont ever remember Leah Blum’s family filing a lawsuit and could find nothing about it online, also the tree branch that killed her was live and no one could explain why it happened.
    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09205/986087-85.stm
    .

  19. Lisa says:

    I feel for this family, but it always irks me when they say it’s not about the money, but then ask for a specific dollar amount. This was a horrible accident that probably could have been avoided if the county had to money to remove the dead tree. However, by her suing for 12M all she’s doing is taking taxpayer money that could go to remove some of said trees. In the end, if she really didn’t want this to happen to another child she would be lobbying for stronger regulations on the maintenance of trees in public parks, not suing for 12M.

  20. Doug says:

    It is obvious they enjoy camping, and other outdoor activities. If you have a similar liking for these things, you’ll know it is addictive. If you quit doing it, memories draw you back, good memories.
    As far as i’ve ever known, camping has its dangers. From campfires, Coleman lamps and stoves, animals, and many others.
    People these days are so vindictive,not to say the pain of the loss is anything but horrific.
    Such a large settlement would prevent some from camping, parents and children. If it didn’t close the place altogether it would be amazing.
    Taxes and other increases would hit the area.
    It use to be these things happen, go through mourning, and enjoy even more those you like and love
    Even if they get the money, the IRS will be right at their door and many, many more not-so-good things will show up.

  21. willie joe says:

    What a bunch of hyprocrites on this thread. Ya’all can SMD Turdlets.

  22. Kristie says:

    This is incredibly sad and I would never want to be in this situation to need to put blame on someone for my child’s death. Value? Punishment? Fault? Not one of these will really help the parents- ever. Now, that said, if a tree has been worked on and then falls, well I can see fault -leaving a dead tree half worked on, but just a tree that was dead and fell, that does not seem to me to be a blameable event. Taking kids out in higher wind gusts? 38 mpg high gusts does not seem wrong either, but I was not there to know if I would have. I think this really was an accident, a very sad, very tragic accident. The refund? What an awkward place to be, the family would be infuriated if no refund was offered. Better words should have been chosen but I imagine no one knew what to do or say. Lawyers always tell clients – do NOT apologize or accept fault. This needs to change so people can say they are sorry without that meaning they accept guilt. Everyone involved I am sure feels remorse and guilt and would apologizre profusely if that did not make them guilty just for speaking. Well, I am sorry when any child dies.It just is a wrong we can not fix. rip..

  23. letstellthetruth says:

    WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE OR MORONS/IDIOTS THAT ARE BLAMING GOD BECAUSE HE MADE THE TREES GROW THE HELL UP AND GET REAL GOD ALSO MADE MAN AND WOMEN TO TAKE CARE OF THE THINGS HE PUT ON THIS EARTH,THE CAMP IS TO BLAME THE TREE THAT KILLED THE POOR LITTLE BOY THAT WAS IN THE SAME MATH CLASS AS MY DAUGHTER WAS ON THE PROPERTY OF THE CAMP ALL TREES SHOULD BE INSPECTED BY CAMP EMPLOYESS ON A REGUALR BASIS TO MAKE SURE THEY ARE NOT DEAD AND ARE STANDING STRONG,THIS POOR MOTHER TRUSTED HER LITTLE BOY WITH CAMP EMPLOYESS AND PAID THE FEE SO THAT HE COULD GO AND HAVE A GOOD TIME,INSTEAD BECASUE OF SOME LAZY CAMP EMPLOYEE/EMPLOYESS THAT DID NOT TAKE THE TIME TO HAVE THE DEAD TREE CUT DOWN THERE IS NOW A DEAD CHILD AND THEN THE CAMP HAD THE NERVE TO REFUND HER MONEY WITH NO APOLOGY,YES THE BOY THAT DIED NOAH WAS IN MY DAUGHTERS MATH CLASS I DID NOT KNOW HIM OR HIS FAMILY AND TO THIS DAY I HAVE NEVER MET HIS FAMILY,HOWEVER I STAND BEHIND THEM IN THEIR LAWSUIT AGAINST THE CAMP I HOPE AND PRAY THAT THE FAMILY WINS IN COURT AND SHUTS DOWN THE CAMP THEY DO NOT DESERVE TO BE OPEN AND JUST YESTERDAY MY DAUGHTER BROUGHT HOME A FORM TO ATTEND THE CAMP IN FEBRUARY WITH HER SCHOOL WELL THEY WILL HAVE TO KILL ME FIRST BEFORE MY DAUGHTER WILL EVER TAKE A STEP ON THEIR CAMP GROUNDS AS WELL AS STANDING BEHIND NOAHS FAMILY I HAVE ALREADY CONTACTED CARROLL COUNTY SCHOOLS I AM WAITING FOR THEM TO CALL ME BACK IN HONOR OF NOAH THE SCHOOL NEEDS TO FIND ANOTHER CAMP TO TAKE THESE KIDS TO THAT IS SAFE SO FAR I HAVE 121 PARENTS STANDING BEHIND ME ON HAVING THE SCHOOL FIND ANOTHER CAMP TO TAKE THE KIDS TO THIS YEAR,MY PRAYERS AND THOUGHTS ARE WITH NOAHS FAMILY NOW AND ALWAYS

  24. Money envelopes says:

    The real estate marketplace is a great destination to invest your money and have rewarding results. Preferably, this kind of expenditure will make your dollars develop together with tiny chance …money management

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From CBS Baltimore

Track Weather On The Go With Our App!
Your Podcast Network Play.it

Listen Live