This is in response to the $400,000 settlement between Gonzaga University and the family of Christopher Gormley, a freshman who died on a kayaking trip with the university. Although it is undoubtedly a tragic occasion and I give my condolences to his family, the settlement as well as the $550,000 paid to Gormley’s estate by the city of Spokane is exorbitant and absurd.
The Oct. 1 article by Nicholas Deshais states that Gormley was an Eagle Scout, therefore he had extensive knowledge of the outdoors and at least basic survivals skills. In addition to that, he was an adult who had legally agreed to participate on the trip and was aware of the potential risks.
The total amount of almost $1 million will not bring him back; it only takes away from the opportunity the money would provide for other students at the university and perpetuates the idea that self-accountability doesn’t matter and one can and should sue for anything.