Why is it that so many people feel that even things that are not predictable
have to be somebody's "fault"? Holy Cow!! Who doesn't know
that bears live in mountain areas? Everything has to be somebody's fault.
Think about all the warning labels manufacturers have to place on products.
"Caution: Coffee is Hot." "Warning: This ice cream contains milk
products." Grow up people. You want your mountains littered with signs,
"Warning! Bears live in the woods." When did people stop being
responsible for using common sense? God gave people brains for a reason...so
they could think for themselves.
I also don't really agree with the logic used to over rule the previous
ruling. Bears are part of the nature of the land. Bears are on the land.
They are indeed harder to predict where they will be than say a rock or a tree
but they are a part of the land, but that doesn't mean they do not
naturally come with the land. I think it should be a split responsibility like
I was mentioning before. The state had some responsibility as did the family.
For either one to deny that is silly. Sure the state could have done something
to discourage camping in the area, but certainly the family should have
understood some risk is involved when camping. Just because something rarely
happens doesn't mean that you should pretend the risk of it happening
I'm not sure I agree with this ruling. The media also doesn't tell us
how the ruling goes. In negligence cases often times both parties are negligent
in some form or another and the responsibility is split according to how
responsible the court feels each party is. This could have happened but this
article makes no mention of it. I would generally say that there is some risk
involving animals attacks whenever you enter a wilderness area. What our legal
system has failed to do is establish how much risk that is (and rightfully so
because determining it would be a headache and a half and probably not very
accurate). I would think that a reasonable person upon entering the wilderness
accepts the risk of animal attacks. Just like a reasonable person upon entering
a sporting event accepts the risk associated with fast moving objects
(baseballs, hockey pucks, etc) hitting them and killing them. No sign needs be
posted for sporting events. I suppose the state posting fliers may have
prevented this death but to say that either party is wholly negligent seems
(with the evidence I have) unreasonable.
Mealymouth said, "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."Yeah, that, and $2M.I think they should have been warned,
that the employees should be held accountable (assuming their job description
and training clearly made them responsible for warning campers there was an
aggressive bear around).I also think that there should be reasonable
limits as to damages. $50K wouldn't bring the boy back, no money would.
But if there was negligence, $50K would bury the child and provide therapy for
the siblings. Which of you would begrudge them that?
Remember, it us the taxpayers who will pay for this settlement. While it might
seem proper and kind to grant them compensation for their loss, the fact remains
that there are critters in the woods and people must take responsibility for
their own actions when they go camping. Penalizing all taxpayers because of the
action of a bear, over which no one has control, is preposterous. I am being
robbed for it, and I resent it greatly!
My understanding was that the campsite in question was "at large" in Am
Fork Canyon, not within a developed campground. These free at large sites have
gotten rarer and rarer over the last 25 years, especially in the Wasatch but
also in the Uintahs. What this decision means is that the state and federal
governments will simply close all the at large campsites so they don't have
to notify everybody about problems. It's a shame and will make camping in
the mountains less private and more expensive.
Someone should have posted a sign, or driven by and told them there was a bear
wandering around. They were in a camp ground, not just under a tree in the
canyon, etc. One sign might have saved the child's life. We'll never
This was an "informal" campsite, not in an established campground. You
can't close an informal camp, and we were always taught that by using one,
you were at the mercy of whatever came by.Also, the family had left
food outside and inside the tent.While it's a terrible tragedy,
we all need to remember that the bears ARE natural there, and to be prepared
Ann Amberly,Is it just that the Utah taxpayer has to pay for the
mistakes of incompetent state officials? I realize Maryland is a corrupt den of
thieves, but that doesn't mean we have to be here. This was a step in the
direction of injustice, but I'm not surprised you'd be in favor, given
your home state.
I got a mosquito bite... Now who is going to pay for that? There were no
mosquito warning signs and these are mosquitos that have been aggressive in the
past. I'm suing!!!
I am so happy for this verdict. I have literally been praying for this
boy's family ever since his death occurred. They should absolutely have
been warned, and there is no excuse that they were not. I am so happy to see
@Mercy'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.'You can't be serious. Almost $2 million to carry on a normal life?
What?!?! Why stop shy of 2 million? Why not go for 200 million? This sue happy
country is going down the toilet. And it's because people have no morals,
like the family that decided to sue the TAXPAYERS of the State of Utah, who had
nothing to do with this, when we are going broke. Oh well. I hope they can live
a normal life, now that they made almost two million dollars off of the death of
their own son.
Seriously people, do we need a sign to tell us that there are wild animals in
the woods? Why do we assume that someone should have warned us
about ANY impending danger? Accidents happen and they are tragic but when we
try to relieve our pain by blaming others for not warning us we have done a
disservice to everyone.I feel sorry for the family of this young man
but a money-grabbing lawsuit doesn't solve any problems or ease any pains.
I feel badly for the loss of a son to this family. Here in WA state, we had a
mountian goat gore a visitor to the National Park in the Olympics. The family
sued the government for 15M and lost. I would hate to camp where it is
understood that a bad bear has no fear of humans. I would also not want to hike
or camp in places devoid of any species of animal. I take my risk when I hike
and camp, don't send the chopper for me, don't kill the wildlife for
me. Let me be in the hands of God, and enjoy his places at my own risk.
Just another example of the entitlement society that we live in. Personal
responsibility is fading into the past.So the next time a similar
incident occurs, the plaintiffs will say the sign posted in the campground was
not big enough, or it wasn't posted soon enough, or the font was too small,
or the message was confusing, or it should have been in more languages than
English, or the wind was blowing a corner over so the sign wasn't fully
visible. Or if the sign was fine, they will say that each person in the
campground should have been been approached and told. And to those out hiking
around their campground, a megaphone or loudspeaker should have been used to
warn them. Or maybe a helicopter flyover with a megaphone should have been
used. This is just a moneygrab using the strategy of going after the big
How dare some commenters insinuate I am blaming victims! I am not blaming
anybody--I am asking people to stop blaming others and allow themselves to heal
from tragedy.The DWR was not negligent. The law states what they
had the responsibility to do, but people are so emotionally blind and ignorant
of the law's true context that they refuse to see this!But
isn't it SOOO convenient to just lay blame when something awful happens?
It isn't enough to educate, to put our tax dollars toward prevention and
allow neighbors and churches to take care of victims. We've got to
humiliate everyone responsible in a court of law and make them suffer too!People need to stop blaming the state and take responsibility for their
own actions, then forgive and move on. What do you expect the DWR to do, be
able to just contact them and expect they will come at a moment's notice?
Get your heads out of the sand and into the game!The state cannot do
everything and be everywhere. Why is it that we have become a society that
refuses to accept responsibility for our failures?
Negligence is not okay....repeat after me everybody....negligence is NOT okay.
And if a tragedy results that could have been prevented except for the
negligence....then negligent people and State agencies MUST be held accountable.
I also think the collective psychology in Utah of blaiming "victims needed
to know better/ take responsibility" is literally, truly immoral. This
"blame the victim" viewpoint isn't limited to lawsuits. Legal
academics have traced this line of thought to other Utah criminal justice
trends, like blaming rape and spousal abuse victims in criminal cases.Utahns should be ashamed of this disgusting, immoral worldview.
I think those irresponsibly suggesting the state should be absolved from
responsibility don't understand that deterrence is a significant purpose in
allowing these damages. The state was in the best position to protect and
didn't, and the damages serve as a future deterrent. If the court had ruled
in favor of the state, they wouldn't have an incentive to take better
precautions.Also, I think the argument that lawsuits shouldn't
be allowed because it is "whats wrong with the country" is insipid and
polyanish. This argument is the same as saying "murderers shouldn't be
punished because the high crime rate is what is wrong with this country."
Normally I would agree with the folks, saying the state was not responsible as
you assume risk by being in nature. But since there had already been an attack
and a the state knew the bear was on the loose, not providing people a warning
was negligent on the part of the state there should be a penalty, and the
responsible parties who failed to provide the warning should be fired as well.
To those who make the argument that wrongful death lawsuits prevent future
instances: They do not. Wrongful death lawsuits are brought about
by people who are often looking for someone to blame for an awful tragedy. They
won't accept the fact that it was a simple accident and let themselves move
on. To them, there is no justice unless "someone pays for what
happened." What happened that made our society so dead set on
seeking revenge and not being satisfied until we make others suffer as much as
we do? We wonder why there are so many lawsuits, divorces, estrangements,
crime, and dysfunction in society. It is for these very reasons. The state of Utah was not responsible for this boy's death. We can
second guess until we are blue in the face, but fighting this out in court has
led to this result: nobody winning. I can only hope we learn
something from this. We must not make mistakes here, and I fear this decision
was based more on appeasing this family's emotional loss than it was on
what the law actually states.
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
Just a money grab.
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.
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
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.
The only way to contain wildlife is to close the campsites. If you camp, you are
vulnerable to critters.
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
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.
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.
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
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?
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
Very sad story. But, this is a slippery slope.
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.