Couple Caught in Storm Sues Campground
Two Vermont residents who were injured in a 2004 windstorm have sued Wakeda Campground near Hampton Falls, N.H.
Paula and Kevin Grant of Newbury, Vt., filed the suit in U.S. District Court in August. Trial is scheduled in U.S. District Court in Concord in February 2009, according to the Portsmouth (N.H.) Herald News.
The Grants and their children arrived at the campground on Aug. 21, 2004, and were assigned to a campsite among the pine trees, according to court records. They were in a pop-up camper. A short time later, they said in court records, a severe thunderstorm with extremely high winds struck the area without warning, and broke and blew down numerous pine trees, one of which landed on the camper and on them.
Paula Grant, then 33, said she didn’t remember much except for waking up underneath a tree, according to an article published in the Hampton Union after the storm.
She was transported to the Anna Jaques Hospital in Newburyport, Mass., and later was treated at a rehabilitation hospital in Vermont.
Her three children, a grandchild and her children’s friends escaped with minor cuts and bruises, according to information published in the Hampton Union. Her husband, Kevin, 50, suffered a broken kneecap and, according to Paula Grant, was treated and released.
Grant said she had nightmares about the experience.
The storm tore a swath through the campground, toppling trees and sending approximately 10 people to area hospitals. It damaged or destroyed 27 trailers and campers, according to information released at the time. It was classified as a storm cell, or “bow echo,” a narrow band of wind that reaches speeds of more than 40 mph.
In court records, Grant said a branch went through the back of her left leg. The left side of her body was crushed and she suffered cuts to her mouth.
The campground is responsible, according to Grant’s attorney David Cullenbert, because it failed to monitor the weather reports and failed to notify the Grants of the fast approaching thunderstorm and warnings by the National Weather Service to seek shelter.
The Grants are seeking compensatory damages, interest and cost of the suit and other relief, according to Cullenbert, who could not be reached for comment.
This is the only known lawsuit filed against the campground due to the storm. Neither Wakeda owner Karen Bark nor campground attorney Christie Burnett could be reached for comment, the newspaper reported.