Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Hottensteins vs Hypothermia

OK.  This is sad, but I still laughed at many, many aspects of this story.

I am going to “take the lunge” in Sunday Feb 5th in Rehoboth, DE.  Along with my buddy Jim, and I’d imagine a shit load of other people, I’ll be jumping into the ocean as part of the Polar Bear Club.  So I looked up to find out if anyone ever died participating in this event.  The answer is…kinda?

Tracy Hottenstein, 35, of Conshohocken, PA, was found dead in Sea Isle City the morning of 2/15/09.  She was last seen leaving The Ocean Drive Bar, or OD as it’s called, at 2:15 am.  Her family however blames more than just alcohol for contributing to her death.  They blame everything from the Atlantic Ocean to the doctor who pronounced her dead.  Oh, and they are suing…EVERYONE!

Their law suit, which is still pending, names 19 defendants in the case.  Among them:  the Polar Bear organization, Sea Isle City, the owners of two bars that Tracey drank at that night, the couple who invited her to dinner at their home that evening, the hospital where she died, the doctor who pronounced her dead, the Sea Isle City Police Department, and certain individual officers.

Obviously this is a sad story because someone lost their life, but when you delve a little deeper, there really is no cause for a lawsuit, definitely not one with SO many defendants.

It’s important to note the victim “only attended the plunge, and didn't participate in the (Polar Bear) event” in 2009.  Her cause of death is listed as “accidentally from hypothermia and acute intoxication.”  One would assume you’d have to be PRETTY drunk to jump into water that cold.  Authorities believe Hottenstein “jumped in the water later that night” long after the event had ended. 

So she didn’t actually participate in the Polar Bear event, so they should be removed from the list.  But she was apparently stuck by a “seize the day” mentality.  So perhaps the poet Horace should be added as he is most associated with the phrase Carpe diem.  Or maybe Peter Weir, the director of Dead Poet Society which used the latin phrase as a mantra.  At the very least we can all agree the kid working at Blockbuster who rents the video to irresponsible day seizers is culpable.

Polar Bear Club

Many cities along the coastline host these less than impromptu swimming events.  Sea Isle City just happens to be unlucky enough to be the beach point that Hottenstein choose.  Can they really be blamed for such a random choosing?  Perhaps instead The Magic 8-Ball should be held responsible here for not dispensing the “outlook not so good” advice that was clearly required.

Sea Isle City

Never let it be said that this Irishman longs to live in a world where bar owners are subject to the laws of the common man.  Personally I think bar owners should be accorded the same rights as diplomats or Dali Lamas.

 Bar Owners Across America

The couple who invited her to dinner at their home that evening?  Are you serious?  So people invited you over for dinner and your family decides to sue them for your death?  Unless the plaintiff happens to be the parents of Hansel & Gretel, I think this is gratuitous.  Wait, what did they serve for dinner?  Because if they attempted to pass a DiGiorno off as pizza they ordered…fuck them!

Dinner Providers

Next up, the hospital where she died and the doctor who pronounced her dead.  Was she alive and they pronounced her dead?  Because otherwise, this guy can’t possibly be at fault and if he is, isn’t that the kind of “malpractice” you’d prefer? 

“You’re dead.”
“No I’m not.”
“Please don’t sue.”

I’m not sure what the hospital was supposed to do.  I haven’t seen all (or any really) of the files in this case, but I’m thinking they attempted to help her.  If not, than sure, you have a case.

Hospital & its employees

Finally, The Sea Isle City Police Department.  The corruption has been running rampant for years within this high profile organization.  I guess they are named because they allowed this girl to jump in the ocean sometime after 2:15 am.  They should have had vicious police dogs patrolling the beaches to keep drunken fools away from the “pretty water.”  It would seem the SICPD fell down on the job and its ranks should all be made to take an early retirement.  Might I recommend seeking employment at the lawless hospital down the street or maybe buying a bar where one never feels the burden of societal rules.

The real culprit here?  God.  He’s been killing people for decades.  Not because he created the oceans, not because he allows the fluctuations of temperature and not even because he endowed man to manufacture a poison called alcohol that many of us partake in regularly, but because he created man…and man are they stupid!

The real sin in this story is that a person named Hottenstein dies from hypothermia and acute intoxication.  The opposite of hot is cold and A LOT of alcohol fits in a stein.


Kevin Regan said...

A quick follow up regarding my plunge scheduled Sunday 2/5 (before the Superbowl).

Here are the tips provided by Rehoboth Beach Polar Bear Club:

Bring a robe – great for wearing while waiting to go in and great to slip on as you dry off. Keep your feet covered until the last possible moment and consider wearing water shoes or something on your feet into the water. Bring extra towels or a blanket to stand on – remember, the sand is like ice! Wear layers and loose-fitting clothes, which are easier to get into when your fingers are cold. Plunge with a friend - use the buddy system. DO NOT dive into or enter the water head first.

They don't mention your should cup your balls so they don't fly up inside your body.

Why am I doing this again?

Anonymous said...

Get your story straight dude! I was a friend of Tracy's. In NO WAY do they believe she jumped!!!!! They think she may have slipped or fallen in. I'm glad you found it so humorous. Karma is a real bitch!

Who are you to judge what and who her parents should sue unless you are in that situation? I guess your parents would be having a party! LOL!!!!

You're an immature, coldhearted little asshole!