Updated: Aug 1, 2020
Last month's news of the wrongful death trial of two intoxicated men generated more response than normal for ALO. Every response questioned how such a case made its way to the point where a jury had to sit for two and a half weeks to make its decision. In fact, the case was one that probably should never have been filed. At least one local attorney refused to take the case, noting the intoxication of the drowned men and the fact there was no evidence of how they ended up in the river. A summary judgment motion was filed, asking the court to find there was insufficient evidence to go forward with the trial, but that motion was denied. It takes very little evidence to survive summary judgment, but of course ALO believes that motion was incorrectly decided. Regardless, such a case is expensive to litigate, and hard to win for the families of the deceased.
Another trial happened a couple of weeks after the boat case, this time involving a car accident with peculiar facts. This time Power Brown represented a cab driver who claimed he was injured when an ALO client backed into his cab in a housing parking lot. ALO's client claimed she looked behind her as she backed out of her parking spot next to her house. The cab was making a delivery of a person to the house next door, and for unexplained reasons ended up stopping at the wrong place just as the parked truck started backing. The resulting impact created a dent a few inches wide in the fender of the cab, about an inch deep. The driver said the impact caused neck and shoulder pain and headaches, which resulted in about $2500 worth of chiropractic care. ALO challenged several parts of the case, including whether or not the cab intentionally pulled behind the backing vehicle, whether there was enough impact to cause any injury, and whether the chiropractic care was needed or properly priced. The jury found there was negligence, but that the negligence was not a factor in any injury suffered by the cab driver. ALO called this a phony case, and apparently the jury agreed.
ALO also settled some civil cases in August, including a case involving a serious hand injury on a boat docking at Dutch Harbor. In that case, the seaman settled an earlier claim against the boat owner, and this time settled the remaining claim against the dock owner. The seaman lost part of his hand in the accident, when the boat hit the dock while parking because of a broken pier. Another settlement involved a broken ankle suffered at the entrance to a Bethel apartment building, and a third settlement involved a head on car crash on the lake road near Dillingham. In that case, a woman visiting from out of state suffered a head injury when another driver pulled across the road to make a turn directly into the path of her car.
With all that legal activity, there was still time for fun. Pike fishing has been an Angstman family activity for many years. This including Myron's Dad (the youngest) in about 1910 with a stringer of pike from Sandy Lake near the Angstman farm. In 1950, in central Minnesota. in 1990 on the Innoko River north of Bethel.
Finally, Ben, Andy and Myron took advantage of good August weather to visit the Innoko on a work day and came away with in three hours of fishing in one spot. The location of that spot remains a family secret. The invention of the trail camera, which snaps photos of wildlife at remote locations, is one of the best ideas yet for people who love to view animals. John McDonald of Bethel uses his on the Kisaralik River near his family's fish camp for those who wandered by.