Lawsuit Filed in Connection with Yellowstone Bear Mauling

A $5 million wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against the federal government by the widow of a man mauled by a grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park in June. The lawsuit, which was filed in a federal court in Wyoming on October 25, 2011, alleges that researchers negligently trapped the bear along a trail close to cabins and prematurely removed signs warning the public of their work with bears in the area. As a result of their negligence, the plaintiff alleges a 430-pound male grizzly bear mauled Erwin Erwin Evert of Park Ridge, Ill., who had been in the area.

Evert’s family claims that the government failed to take appropriate precautions to warn Evert, who was had been staying in his cabin about 6 miles from the entrance of Yellowstone, of the researchers’ work and study of the bears in the area. The lawsuit alleges that the researchers were negligent in providing proper warnings by removing warning signs three days too early and failing to warn Evert of their work in the area, despite the fact that they saw Erwin at his cabin at least twice during the course of their research. Researchers are required to warn the public about traps and about any potential for grizzly bear confrontation, pursuant to study team guidelines.

The bear attack occurred on the same day that two of scientists had trapped and tranquilized the bear. The lawsuit alleges that the researchers left the bear before it was fully awake, which is a violation of study team policy.

An investigation found that the researchers had removed the warning signs after they completed their research work and returned to the trailhead. The investigation report also revealed that Evert, a botanist, was aware of the ongoing scientific research and was planning to “catch up with the guys to learn more about their research.

It is important for visitors to national parks to understand the dangers of their surrounds and to take the appropriate safety precautions. The Chicago wrongful death law firm of Ankin Law Offices, LLC is committed to providing exceptional legal services to the victims of catastrophic accidents and their families.

Howard Ankin of Ankin Law Office LLC (www.ankinlaw.com) handles workers’ compensation and personal injury cases. Mr. Ankin can be reached at (312) 346-8780 and howard@ankinlaw.com.

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