Burning Man Burn Victim's Beef Bumped

Dismissal of case against desert-festival organizers upheld by appellate judges

By Jackson West
|  Wednesday, Jul 1, 2009  |  Updated 3:30 PM PDT
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Burning Man Burn Victim's Beef Bumped

Daniel Garcia

Sunscreen? Check. Condoms? Check. Fire extinguisher? You'd better hope someone remembered.

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Anthony Beninati should have known better than to stand too close the flaming wreckage of "The Man" at the annual Burning Man festival, at least according to a state appelate court.

A an earlier dismissal of Beninati's case was upheld on the grounds that folks indulging in risky behavior (like getting tanked and walk towards the remains of a pagan fire ritual) can't sue others for damages.

"The risk of falling and being burned by the flames or hot ash was inherent, obvious and necessary to the event," decalred Justice Ignazio Ruvolo in the unanimous ruling.

Beninati, who lives near Los Angeles, had accused the festival promoters, Black Rock, of negligence in organizing a safe approach to the blaze.

After approaching the fire to make a sentimental offering, Beninati tripped, suffering burns to the hands and arm in the fall.

Photo by Daniel Garcia.

Jackson West has lost any sense of novelty when it comes to fire art.

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