U.S. Ninth Circuit - The FindLaw 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

Bailey v. US, No. 09-16247

In Bailey v. US, No. 09-16247, an action by the decedent's widow and children claiming the government was negligent in the Army Corps of Engineers' failure to place warning signs near a submerged dam, the court affirmed the dismissal of the action where the decision not to place warning signs on account of worker peril was a discretionary decision commended by Congress for decision by the Corps, not to be second-guessed by a court or jury.

As the court wrote:  "On Memorial Day weekend 2005, John Bailey rowed his boat over a submerged dam on the Yuba River in Northern California. The boat foundered, and Bailey drowned. The Army Corps of Engineers ("the Corps") had placed signs warning of the dam, mid-river upstream of, and on the banks near the dam. However, recent heavy river flows had washed the signs away. Four days before Bailey met his sad fate, the Corps had attempted to replace the warning signs, but had judged that the Yuba was so turbulent as to threaten the safety of its workers who had to ford the river to attach new signs and buoys."

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