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Storm chase leads to a wrongful death suit

Weather can be calm or it can be stormy. Calm weather is peaceful and calls to people to come outside and enjoy it, while stormy weather chases most people inside to seek safety and shelter. Stormy weather has an entirely different effect on storm chasers; they head outside and follow the storm to see if it will turn into a more serious storm, such as a hurricane or a tornado. They follow a storm at high speeds in order to keep up with it and document via video what they find. Such a pursuit recently ended tragically and with a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas.

Two storm chasers who regularly provide storm information and footage to the Weather Channel were pursuing weather that had the potential to become tornadic. They were allegedly driving at speeds of up to 70 mph and ignoring traffic signals and signs. After allegedly ignoring a stop sign, the SUV they were in slammed into another vehicle driven by a local employee of the National Weather Service. The force of the collision killed two of the storm chasers and the occupant of the other vehicle.

The family of the Texas man who died in the crash is suing the Weather Channel for wrongful death. The suit alleges that they were aware of the propensity of the storm chasers to drive recklessly. Rather than discourage the reckless driving, Weather Channel officials reportedly encouraged it to enable the chasers to get exciting footage. The suit is seeking more than $125 million in damages.

Television ratings are critical to a channel's ability to compete for advertising dollars and remain on the air. However, this should not be accomplished by putting lives at risk. If someone in Texas has suffered a loss due to another's disregard for safety one may wish to consult with a personal injury attorney. Nothing can undo the tragedy but a successfully litigated wrongful death suit may provide compensation for medical costs, final costs and other verifiable losses.

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