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

Malik Beasley

Timberwolves Malik Beasley suspended 12 games for offseason incident

Beasley was sentenced to 120 days in jail earlier this month.

Russell Wilson

Vikings fans should REALLY hope Russell Wilson doesn't go to the Bears

Wilson has a 6-0 record against Minnesota and could be on his way to the NFC North.


Celebrated Minnesota musician Peter Ostroushko dies

Ostroushko, who learned his craft in the Ukrainian community of Northeast Minneapolis, had a versatile career including performances with popular artists and orchestras


Costco will bump its minimum wage to $16 next week

The company, which has 12 stores in Minnesota, is pushing ahead of retailers Target and Amazon with its new minimum wage

Seth Green/Gopher Football

Gophers wildcat QB Seth Green announces decision to transfer

Green will have immediate eligibility as a graduate transfer.

Minneapolis skyline

Minneapolis pays 3 times more than it receives in state funds, new report says

This report comes as state lawmakers are debating proposals opponents say would "bail out" the state's largest city.

Kirk Cousins

Coller: Is Kirk Cousins' contract extension helping or hurting the Vikings?

Matthew Coller writes a weekly Vikings column for BMTN, with more of his work found at Purple Insider.

University of minnesota sign

U of M gets $5M donation for new center to address racial inequality in healthcare

Using a donation from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, the School of Public Health will work to address racial disparities in healthcare.