Family sues over Minnetonka native's trekking death in India


The family of a 20-year-old Minnetonka native who died in 2011 on a hike in India when he plunged over the edge of a drop-off is suing the outdoor adventure school that was leading the expedition, the Star Tribune reports.

The body of Thomas Plotkin, who had slipped on wet stones and went into the Gori Ganga River 300 feet below the path, was never recovered.

Now his family is suing the Wyoming-based National Outdoor Leadership School that organized the trek, alleging the wilderness school failed to adequately train and protect the University of Iowa junior. The lawsuit filed last month moved from Hennepin County District Court to federal court this week, the Star Tribune reports.

A spokesman for the organization tells the Star Tribune that the group provides training and fully discloses risks for its trips, and he notes that the school has been in touch with Plotkin's family and is disappointed they are pursuing a lawsuit.

The Daily Iowan, the university newspaper, traveled to India last year to examine some of the questions raised after the incident related to the timeliness of the search for Plotkin and whether the trekkers should have been on the rain-slicked path as night fell.

After his death, Plotkin was remembered by his former hockey teammates at Hopkins High School as the guy people depended on and looked up to, WCCO reported.

Plotkin was remembered by his family and friends as adventurous and athletic. "He really loved India and was so excited about being there," Plotkin's mother told Patch three months after her son's death.

Next Up