“Zapped Amtrak trespasser sues”

by Walter Olson on August 31, 2008

Brian Hopkins, 25, of Astoria, Queens, New York City, “who survived an electric shock and fire two years ago when he climbed atop an empty, stopped Amtrak train after a night of bar hopping in Boston is suing the railroad – because Amtrak didn’t do enough to protect trespassers like him.” (Kathianne Boniello, New York Post, Aug. 31).

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A comment about comments
09.01.08 at 10:52 am
Brian Jacobs, an architect from Astoria Queens, Sues Amtrack Because He Was Electrocuted When He Climbed onto a train at 2 in the morning after drinking | Popehat
09.03.08 at 8:53 am
“Chutzpah hits the rails”
09.15.08 at 12:06 am


1 nevins 09.01.08 at 12:29 am

This guy sounds like he has more than one reason to be removed from the gene pool. Stupid is just for starters; blaming others for the outcome of his behavior is massively juvenile.

2 ronjon 09.01.08 at 10:18 am

We can only hope that his ‘nads got zapped.

3 Siobhan Hopkins 09.14.08 at 6:29 pm

First of all, when people write a journal article they should probably get their facts straight before they have their story published. Otherwise, maybe they’d do better working for a tabloid magazine. I honestly find it appalling and actually it makes me quite sick to my stomach that you all don’t have anything better to do than to sit here and talk about something that you honestly know NOTHING about.
I appreciate whoever it was who made a comment that bloggers should be sensitive to family members that may end up reading your comments. Even if they never lay eyes on this page, you should be ashamed of yourselves and I hope karma catches up with you for the lack of sensitivity or rather straight up coldheartedness and disrespect many of you have displayed with your words.
You say this young man should be “removed from the gene pool”…that “he’s stupid”…that you can only hope his “nads got zapped”…well I feel the same way about all of you that have written any of the harsh words on this blog.

4 Danielle Pearson 09.15.08 at 2:57 am

Hi im 15 years of age and a local boy of my age died yesterday because he climbed a pylon of 66,000 volts and unfortunatley he touched something he shouldnt have was shocked and died. Hopefully hes okay up there but for now please stop ripping people :( it isnt nice abouth those who have suffered or those who have seen those suffering, i didnt know the boy but i would like his respects to be paid just the same..

Poor Child. X rest in peace X ;]

5 Todd Rogers 09.15.08 at 8:15 am

Indeed it is tragic that both Mr. Hopkins was severely burned and also had amputations and also about this alleged child who was electrocuted. Certainly some contributors here wax personal attacks at victims (and the foolishness of their choices). However, in the case of Mr. Hopkins, it seems quite clear – unless the media source is just simply wrong – that in his alleged drunkenness, he put himself right in the way of the forces of Darwin and some how managed to survive. While his family is most likely incapable of seeing any humor is this (as would any family of an injured party), I can’t help but take advantage of Siobhan Hopkins’ post. This site is pretty much a chronicle of examples of how our justice system, and some of its agents, have become corrupted by the hyper-pursuit of dollars. The stories and also most of the contributions are merely the messengers that the system is very broken. And in the larger picture, this corruption and broken system are slowly eroding the soil which holds the foundation of our civilization. In sending this message, we (tort reform advocates) certainly get colorful. But I have to say, in this case as it was presented, Hopkins will probably think twice about climbing on trains and on some level, I’m pretty confident that when he cashes that settlement check, at some point he will feel a slight sting of guilt about taking something that probably doesn’t belong to him. The one third that he doesn’t get will likely cause no one any guilt of any kind – that’s the problem.

6 Peter 09.16.08 at 7:46 am

“probably get their facts straight”. Ok so where it is wrong we should all hold our collective heads in shame. So what facts were wrong? Hmmmm?

“something that you honestly know NOTHING about”. So you know more that the rest of us. Ok, so how about telling us something about it? Please – enlighten us.

“You say this young man should be “removed from the gene pool”…that “he’s stupid”…that you can only hope his “nads got zapped”…well I feel the same way about all of you that have written any of the harsh words on this blog”. I think that bad karma coming our way just got reversed. But more seriously, the comments were written as a response to a drunken stupid act, but highlighted by the sober but equally stupid act of trying to blame someone else. Not very sensitive or caring, but funny. Can’t live with funny insensitive commentary – don’t read blog comments.

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