Letters to the Editor

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LAWSUIT: Other side of goat-goring

Letter by John L. Messina, Tacoma on Aug. 11, 2011 at 10:28 am | 70 Comments »
August 11, 2011 11:01 am

Re: “Goat-goring lawsuit is ridiculous” (letter, 8-11).

I represent the family of the man killed by the 350-pound goat. It is sad but so prevalent that people make judgments about situations and cases with no knowledge of the facts. Here are some facts in this case:

  • This goat was unusually large and very aggressive.
  • National park policies require that aggressive animals that regularly come near humans be removed or killed, before someone gets hurt.
  • The National Park Service knew for four years that this animal regularly and aggressively encountered human beings.
  • The park service shot and killed an aggressive female elk that had not hurt any human at the park. Its offense was damaging a tent and charging a car. The shooting followed procedure. Why was it not followed with the goat?
  • If this goat had been a bear or cougar, we probably would not be having this conversation.

There is more, but I choose not to fully try this case against uninformed opinions in the media. I felt I had to say something.

We are familiar with the saying, “What are you waiting for? Someone to be killed?” Sadly, that is what happened in this case.

I defend the right of people to speak their minds. They should, in turn, respect the right of my clients to ask a court of law to judge their claims based on the evidence and the law, not on bias or prejudice.

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