Yesterday the court rejected that argument.
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There was a long tragic history at Sacred Falls. Gierlach says this is not a case where the state didn't have advance notice but that doesn't necessarily mean the state is now wide open to all kinds of similar lawsuits.
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The real issue is does the state have a lot of notice. In those cases where it does and ignores the problem it should be found liable," says David.
There is a case pending now about the Halona blowhole. The parent of the boy that died there this summer is suing the city for inadequate warning. Gierlach doesn't think the Sacred Falls case will impact a judge's decision. If the judge finds that there should be no liability," says David.
Patrick Freitas is very close to the tragedy. He was hiking at Sacred Falls that day but escaped injury.
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Among the pioneering written records of human interaction with the Falls was the description by the French missionary Francois Coillard of a Tonga ceremony on Livingstone Island. He described in his diary how the local inhabitants "believe it is haunted by a malevolent and cruel divinity, and they make offerings to conciliate its favour, a bead necklace, a bracelet or some other object, which they fling into the abyss, bursting into lugubrious incantations, quite in harmony with their dread and horror". Many colonial writers were equally horrified. Decle peered over the edge of Devil's Cataract during the s and described it as "hell itself, a corner of which seems to open at your feet: a dark and terrible hell, from the middle of which you expect every moment to see some repulsive monster rising in anger".
Personally, the authors identify with the view of the eccentric German explorer Edward Mohr who wrote of the Falls in "It seemed to me as if my own identity were swallowed up in the surrounding glory, the voice of which rolled on forever, like the waves of eternity It is something of colonial impudence that the term Victoria Falls is the most recognised name for such a deeply African phenomenon.
This was the name given by Livingstone in honour of Queen Victoria, the reigning monarch of England at the time. The poetic Mosi-oa-Tunya, the "smoke that thunders", is far more appropriate - particularly since Zimbabwe and Zambia, whose borders meet at the Falls, are committed to an anti-colonial struggle.
However, Livingstone's name has stuck, and in today's marketing-orientated world, the Victoria Falls has become the brand by which one of the world's seven natural wonders is known to the outside world. Brett Hilton-Barber and Lee R.
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