Jury Rules Montana Outfitter Was Negligent in Bear Mauling

November 5, 2012

A Park County jury found a Montana outfitting business was negligent in the case of a California hunter who was mauled by a bear five years ago. But the business is not liable for the hunter’s $245,000 in medical bills because the negligence did not cause the injury.

The Livingston Enterprise reports the jury reached its verdict Thursday in a lawsuit filed by Virgil Massey of Barstow, Calif., against Montana Guide Service.

Attorney Mark Carman argued his client was not offered bear spray or instructed in safety measures required for hunting in grizzly bear country, especially since three other hunters were mauled that fall.

Attorney Paul Sandry, who represented the outfitter, argued the bear swiped Massey’s face so quickly that he wouldn’t have had time to use bear spray if he had it.

Carman says Massey was 500 yards away from his guide when the bear’s swipe crushed the bones around his eye, removed his nose, pulled an eyeball out of its socket and broke his jaw.

He says Massey’s medical bills have reached $245,000.

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