Comments about ‘Utah Supreme Court rules in favor of family of boy killed by bear’

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Published: Friday, July 19 2013 4:45 p.m. MDT

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Alpine, UT

I just want to say that I'm so relieved. This has been a long case and I've never forgotten the Ives family and their son/ grandson. THIS COULD HAVE BEEN ANY OF OUR SONS. Because of this ruling, I feel like we might now be safer up our canyon, because we should be warned when a bear has been aggressive in the area. Period. That's all the Ives were trying to have happen. I pray their family can heal from this horrible, horrible tragedy. We have not forgotten Sam. Bless you.

Cache county, USA

Very sad story. But, this is a slippery slope.

The Rock
Federal Way, WA

I fail to understand how anyone in their right mind would keep a campground open and not warn anyone that a bear was in the area and was an imminent threat to human life. If a private campground had done this the owner would find himself in jail and for good reason.

It sounds like the lower court judge had no judgment. Fortunately the Supreme Court Justices do have good judgement in this case.

Cache county, USA

The government nor the state should pay money to this family. Souls there be signs up, yes. But lawsuits are what is destroying this country. And I hate the state and Feds. But money doesn't make this horrible situation change. I hunt, and I know bear issues. I hunt bears 6 months out of the year.

Salt Lake City, UT

It appears that a highly divided Utah Supreme Court has hung out a sign in front of every State District Court that "Ambulance Chasing is Welcome in Utah."


Like money is going to solve the family's problems. The family is seeking solace in the wrong place. My tax dollars aren't going to make you feel any better.

Cottonwood Heights, UT

The state better start putting up signs on every intersection and cross walk warning pedestrians they should stay out of the road. For crying out loud, when you go camping in the mountains you should be smart enough to know that there is a danger of running into wildlife. This case will ruin it for everyone that wants to go into the wild.. we will now need permits, and releases to even get a campground.

Yes this was tragic but the lawsuit was ridiculous and over the top.

Kearns, UT

All the Fish Cops had to do was post a sign and warn them that a bear was in the area. Immunity preserved. At that point, they would be camping at their own risk.

Dietrich, ID

Tragic what happened to family. Most people do know bears are there and there are danger. Is any amount of Money going to bring the kid back? I would not say lawsuit is right answer though that is a tragedy no one wants to deal with.


While I don't agree with the Utah Supreme Court ruling, I do think the DWR policies should be improved.

From the original 2007 article -

"Although DWR posts signs at campgrounds - including Timpooneke - and trailheads in bear country, it has no protocol to verbally warn campers of bear sightings, or even confrontations, said Jim Karpowitz, director of DWR."

I do think that is a mistake, but is it possible to find and warn ALL campers? Maybe not, but certainly you can look at bear behavior and warn those where the bear was seen before. Perhaps even close that one campground until the DWR is certain the situation is resolved?

Gold Canyon, az

Yes, very tragic. But who is really gaining in this? It is the ambulance chaser(s). The lawyers win every time, they are undefeated. So, the family gets some new cars and a mansion for a home, is that appropriate? It remains tragic and I don't think being rewarded for their loss is appropriate. There are better uses for this money, increase funding for the forest service, increase level of technology to keep the bears safe and public safe, for example.

Brother Benjamin Franklin
Orem, UT

My heart and condolences go out to this family. I am so sorry for their loss.

Nevertheless, I disagree with the Court's decision. I do not believe the State was liable in this case and feel this was incorrect. It saddens me because I think it is likely the family would have kept appealing it until they got a judgment in their favor.

This family will likely receive some money from this, but it will not make the pain go away nor bring this boy back. There is no amount of money that can make something like this ever go away.

Burlington, CT

This story is tragic on many levels, especially because the death was preventable. Sorry for the loss of this family’s son. Unfortunately the boy and his family violated a basic principle of camping in bear country. Bears go after food. Keeping food in a tent where you are sleeping underscores the ignorance demonstrated by this family and others who go camping without following basic common sense guidelines. The DN article states: a granola bar wrapper and soda can were found in his tent. Never ever store food, wrappers, containers, even toothpaste, in a tent. Either keep food and other bear appetizers in storage containers in a vehicle or hang the foodstuffs from a rope between trees or branches that cannot handle the weight of a bear. I agree with the dissenting opinion of Justices Parrish and Lee that bears and other indigenous wildlife are a natural condition of Utah’s public lands. Those who don't want to deal with wildlife should camp in their houses.


Yes, SOME STATE EMPLOYEES were negligent in their duties. And Yes, MONEY will not fix the wrong nor make the family feel better. And Yes, the TAXPAYERS will be robbed once again.

If some negligent person goes to work for government, then our current system makes all of us financially responsible for his negligence. What has happened to the negligent employees?
Were they reprimanded, demoted or fired? Did they come to the family and apologize and ask for forgiveness?

Somebody has gotten rich off of this case over the past six years. Can we guess who?

The quotations of the legal leaches are simply pathetic. On both sides. Neither address the real problem - the lack of individual responsibility of SOME STATE EMPLOYEES to exercise a love and concern for their fellow man. What about the individual responsibility of the supervisors of those employees? What have they done?

We have a legal system but we DO NOT HAVE a justice system. And the money continues to flow from the taxpayers to whoever and the problems are never fixed. Six years indeed!

Mchenry, IL

The only way to contain wildlife is to close the campsites. If you camp, you are vulnerable to critters.

Saint George, UT

I hope this sends a clear message to the DWR and others that want to second guess those like the scout leader that killed the bear at a scout camp a couple of weeks ago. When a bear (or mountain lion). becomes this familiar with humans, humans become a competitor for the available food sources in the region. The State Experts know this, yet they did not take care of the problem and a boy died. I'm glad the scout leader took out that bear before waiting for DWR "Experts" to access the problem after a tenderfoot became a meal for a bear at that scout camp.

Spanish Fork, UT

I offciate/umpire girls fastpitch softball, I recently noticed at a complex I did some gamespeopole at there was a sign warning people that softball do on occasion leave the playing field, enter at your own risk. With a sign like this cities I am sure releive themselves of much of the liability regarding a fan being hit by an airant foul ball. I have seen a lot of people hit by foul balls.

There is also the sign No Dogs Allowed, but I still see lots of dogs at parks and I think "The City" is still liable for suit when somene is biten by one of these dogs, as they never police the issue by having dogs removed.

Two signs, one I feel releaves the city the other no so much.

If I were to see a sign at a camp ground posted by USFS or DWRS stating "KNOWN DANEROUS BEAR IN AREA", I think I would move on, atleast a good 5 miles, but that is just me.

But if if I see a sign in the forest posted

kim c

I agree that no amount of money would bring this family's child back, but if I felt like someone's actions or lack of actions reasonably caused my loved one's death, I would pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. It wouldn't be about the money, but about trying to prevent it from happening to someone else. If the son had been killed by the bear and there hadn't been any previous issue, then I don't think anyone could have reasonably been held accountable. Bears are always a possible threat. However, there was a previous issue, enough of one to justify actively looking for the bear with the purpose of killing it. I think they should have put a sign at the campsite as well as told all the campers in the park about the bear and let them decide whether to remain or not. Yes, wildlife is a part of camping, but when people who have authority over the park know that there is a clear and present danger, they have a duty to let everyone know so they can make an informed decision. The family deserves answers when it could have been prevented.

layton, UT

Just a money grab.

Sandy, UT

To the man in the middle maybe someone will take some responsibility for making sure this does not happen again. This family will never never be the same again. It's an arrow in the heart they will need the money to live because they will be so broken it will be difficult to carry on a normal life. The parents and grandparents will always think about what happened in the last minutes of this little boys life. They deserve every penny they get. To the family of this little boy I am so sorry and your son and grandson was so cute and it must have put you in a place no one should have to be. I will pray you can find meaning through this event. Do something so it will never happen again to anyone. All my love Sandy B

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