Woman files wrongful death suit against Wyo.-based wilderness academy in son's 2011 fatal fall

LANDER, Wyo. – The mother of a Minnesota man has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a well-known Wyoming-based wilderness training academy.

The lawsuit filed in federal court by Elizabeth Brenner of Minnetonka, Minn., accuses the National Outdoor Leadership School of negligence in the September 2011 death of her son Thomas Plotkin.

The 20-year-old man died during a backpacking trip in India that was led by the school. The lawsuit says Thomas Plotkin slipped on a wet rock and plunged 300 feet down a ravine. His body was never found.

The lawsuit doesn’t specify a specific damage amount but states the number is in excess of $75,000.

Bruce Palmer is director for admission and marketing at the Lander-based National Outdoor Leadership School. He says there was no disciplinary action for any of the school’s employees involved. He declined to elaborate on the incident, citing pending litigation.