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Just the threat of a lawsuit sends a ripple effect through one East Coast town

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: October 11, 2012

She will continue gardening because it's a passion, she said, and will continue to let people in the yard to admire her handiwork. “But unfortunately, we can't do it on such a large scale now because of the enormous liability involved.”

Unless something changes, this means no more gourmet dinners — she's produced scores of those through the years for charity — at her place. No more wedding ceremonies on the grounds, no more welcoming of bridal parties and prom-goers who've had their pictures taken among the flora. No more visits by residents of convalescent homes.

For D'Esopo, it's not worth the risk. Her decision will affect a few charities that have folded garden tour revenue into their annual budgets. And it could cause other Connecticut gardeners who allow their property to be used in a similar way to follow suit.

If that were to happen, “it's going to be a real tragedy,” the past president of the Connecticut Horticultural Society told the Courant. “What it represents is a real loss of funds for all kinds of public good, whether it's scholarships, development of public gardens, charity or inspiration for gardeners.”

All that fallout from what used to be called, and considered, an accident. Alas, not anymore.

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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