State Wants Bear Mauling Lawsuit Case Dropped

January 16, 2009

A Utah state attorney says governmental immunity laws protect the state from liability in the death of an 11-year-old boy mauled by a bear in 2007.

Assistant Utah Attorney General Reed Stringham asked a 4th District Court judge to dismiss the lawsuit filed by the family of Samuel Ives.

Ives died during a Father’s Day camping trip in American Fork Canyon. A bear ripped through the boy’s tent and dragged him away.

The family contends that the government knew the bear had attacked another person earlier that day and failed to take action by closing or restricting camping access. The lawsuit seeks damages of more than $100,000.

Fourth District Judge Gary Stott says he’ll make a decision quickly.

The family has also sued the U.S. Forest Service in federal court.

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