AFFIDAVIT OF ROBERT A. NEINAST
I, Robert A. Neinast, being first duly cautioned and sworn, hereby state as follows:
1. The statements contained in this affidavit are based on my personal knowledge.
2. Since going barefoot regularly, I find that my feet no longer hurt the way they used to, or go numb when I drive long distances. I attribute this to their increased muscular strength due to barefooting, and increased flexibility from the exercise barefooting provides them. When I wore shoes regularly, they were enclosed in a warm, moist environment, and foot odor resulted. Since going barefoot continuously, I no longer have that problem.
3. I have been going barefoot nearly continuously since mid-1997. I have hiked over 925 miles barefooted since January 2006, including trails in southeastern Ohio, northern Wisconsin, West Virginia, Virginia, the Badlands in South Dakota, and Yellowstone. I have walked many city streets, including Columbus, Lancaster, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Washington, D.C..
4. I regularly use the following businesses barefoot: Krogers, Galyans, Best Buy, Gander Mountain, Meijers, Dick’s, Staples, OfficeMax, The Andersons General Store, The Santa Maria, CVS, Walgreens, Sears Hardware, Lowes, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, Olive Garden, La Fogata Grill, PetSmart, Barnes & Noble, Tumbleweeds Restaurant, Fadó Irish Pub in Easton, Restaurant Hama in Easton, Mí Mexico Restaurant, and China Dynasty Restaurant.
5. I have visited, or regularly use the following public buildings barefoot: the Statehouse, the Franklin County Courthouse, the Kinneary Federal Courthouse in Columbus, the Stewart Federal Courthouse in Cincinnati, the Columbus Police Department Building, the Hall of Justice in Lancaster (including their law library), the Ohio Historical Society, DMV offices, Port Columbus, Houston International Airport, Atlanta Hartford Airport, the Sarasota-Bradenton Airport, LAX, the Smithsonian, the U.S. Capitol Building, and the Chicago Field Museum.
6. I have ridden COTA buses barefoot at least eight times, never being denied boarding. In a phone conversion with W. Curtis Stitt, Legal Counsel for COTA, he stated that the Board has not passed any regulation prohibiting bare feet, and that the Board relies on the Ohio Revised Code and City Ordinances for regulating patron behavior.
7. It is my experience that bare feet have nothing to do with the decorum of any particular business or location.
8. It is my experience that bare feet are much safer for me than going shod. I have rarely done more than get an occasional scratch while barefooted. However, when shod I get sprained ankles and have a general feeling of clumsiness from the lack of immediate feedback from the soles of my feet.
9. On November 26, 2007, while barefooted, I went to the Baltimore Branch of the Fairfield County District Library and acquired a library card. I then perused the collection there. Nothing was said about my bare feet.
10. On December 12, 2007, while barefoot, I visited the Baltimore Branch again and checked out a book. Nothing was said about my bare feet.
11. On April 10, 2008, while barefoot, I visited the Main Branch of the Fairfield County District Library, perused the collection there, and checked out a few books. Nothing was said about my feet.
12. On April 23, 2008, while barefoot, I visited the Main Branch. While sitting in a chair looking at a book, I was approached by a librarian and told I had to have on shoes because the library had a shoe rule. I then left the library, checking out a book as I left.
13. On all of my visits I used my experience in spotting barefoot hazards to look over the library. I saw no hazards and no potential hazards.
14. After this ejection from the library, I exchanged a number of letters and emails with Ms. Steiner, the Director of the Library. I was informed that the Board upheld their shoe policy at their May 20, 2008 meeting. An email from Ms. Steiner said that “The Board of Trustees upheld its current Code of Conduct based on what they Board feels is the proper decorum for our organization.”
15. On October 21, 2008 I gave a presentation to the Library Board. I discussed how bare feet fit into decorum and also addressed some safety issues. A true and accurate copy of my notes for my talk before the Board, along with their attachments, is attached herein as Exhibit 1.
16. After my talk before the Board, on December 1, 2008, I received an email from Ms. Steiner stating that “There was some discussion by the Board regarding safety issues and they asked that I call the county prosecutor for advice.” A copy of that email is attached herein as Exhibit 2.
17. In response, I sent Ms. Steiner an email on December 3, 2008 trying to address any safety and liability concerns. From my experience going barefoot, I attest to the scientific accuracy of everything I said in that email. A copy of the email is attached herein as Exhibit 3.
18. The December 3 email contained a link to an essay I wrote concerning the safety of bare feet, and the sixteen scientific papers attached to that essay. I hold a doctorate in physics, and as part of my training I know how to read and interpret scientific papers of all sorts in a broad range of science. That essay is based upon my scientific training, and I attest to the scientific accuracy of everything I said. A copy of that essay, along with the attachments, is attached herein as Exhibit 4.
19. The December 3 email also contained the result of research I did using Lexis to find barefooted and shod negligence injury lawsuits. The search was done looking for the words “injury” or “negligence” and the specific kind of footwear mentioned. A copy of that paper is attached herein as Exhibit 5.
Further affiant sayeth naught.
Robert A. Neinast
State of Ohio } } ss: County of Franklin }
Sworn to before me and subscribed in my presence this 26th day of April, 2005.