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 with 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.

Leave a comment Comments → 70
  1. itwasntmethistime says:

    Here’s a fact — wild animals live in the wilderness. If you want to hike around all day in the presence of animals without experiencing any risk, go to the zoo. Or Disneyland.

  2. surething says:

    Ridiculous lawsuit, no matter how you word it. Wild animals live in the wild.

  3. alindasue says:

    “If this goat had been a bear or cougar, we probably would not be having this conversation.”

    If that goat had been a bear, a cougar, or even a raccoon, it would still be a potentially dangerous animal simply for the fact that it is a wild animal.

    When you are in the wilderness (even in “improved” areas such as a visitors’ center), you have be aware and careful. Nature plays by her own “laws” and sometimes the punishment for disregarding those laws is death.

  4. PumainTacoma says:

    Mr. Messina can play his media blitz however he wants, but many hikers and back country families are not buying his “whoa is me tone.”

    My family also lives on the peninsula, we hike the trails at Hurricane Ridge. We do this several times in one summer. When you go to the Olympic National Park the ranger hands you a pamplet when you enter. Warnings are all over the park pamplet. When you camp, there are warnings on the picnic table, on the entrance to the restrooms and on the billboard staring at you in the face when you wake up in the morning and pay your campground fare. How many other darn stinking warnings does Messina want in this case?

    We talked about this case at my work. We all agree that even though the loss of life is sad, mother nature and the national parks are not to blame.
    If a bear had attacked a person on a trail, we’d say yes, bears are located in the national park. If it was a cougar, we’d say yes cougars are in the national park. Now we have a goat, and we know goats are in the national park.

    I ski in the winter. I know there are hazards to this activity. I also know that when I back country ski there are hazards. I know when I climb a mountain and there are cravasses. I know when I hike there are bees, birds, bears, goats, wolves, deer, cougars and all sorts of animals I may encounter and get injured by or killed.

    Mr. Messina should do us all a favor and stop his “ambulance” media blitz pitch and start thanking the rangers for what they do every single day!

  5. Copper2Steel says:

    The real other side of the goat-goring issue is that if the deceased’s family wins a monetary award to the tune in which they are seeking, it could be detrimental to all of our protected “wild” areas and parklands. We may see them go away due to “liability” issues or they will become so (over)burdened and littered with signs, etc. for those few who can’t remember they’re in the WILDerness.

    I am sympathetic to the deceased’s family. It was a horrible incident — one that I never want to experience or witness. However terrible, it is not the park’s fault.

  6. I choose not to fully try this case against uninformed opinions in the media.

    And that is why I am writing this letter to be published in the media…..

  7. jjohnson67 says:

    Mr. Messina, I had heard that you were a respectable, highly thought of, good attorney. Too bad you have reduced yourself to ambulance chaser.

  8. itwasntmethistime says:

    On the contrary, Mr. Messina’s entire career has been based on ambulance chasing.

  9. bobcat1a says:

    Pumain, Woe, not whoa. ;)

  10. geeterpontiac says:

    Go away Mr. Messina.

    You are full of goat dung!

  11. itwasntmethistime says:

    Why isn’t he suing the goat? Or the goat’s parents, I guess? Does anybody know how old the goat is?

  12. Rollo_Tomassi says:

    Mr. Messina –

    You’re bullet points in this letter to the editor still do not overcome your argument’s fundamental flaw – the goat was a wild animal not under the control or discipline of the Park Service.

    And there is no nice way to put this – Any attempt to extract blood money from taxpayers is low and unworthy of your profession.

  13. If this goat had been a bear or cougar, we probably would not be having this conversation.

    Because you don’t think that a jury would buy into your argument that the Park was responsible for the death if it was a “dangerous” animal that did it?

  14. Flanagan says:

    Maybe it would be best to kill all the wild animals as they might hurt someone. Gees…why do we always have to sue….all the money in the world wont bring back a a loved one. Life goes on, go live it.

  15. pazzo242 says:

    Mr. Messina, if you didn’t want to try this case in the media then you should have kept your mouth shut. If I was the family who retained you I would look for another attorney as you have made their case look just as stupid as it actually is. Your points are lame and absurd.

    If it was a bear or cougar we would still be having this conversation if your clients still wanted to pursue a case against the park service. Wild animals live in a wild environment and are extremely unpredictable. I was a forester for 12 years, working on the coast, in the Cascades and in Eastern Washington. I also fought fires all over the country and everyone who works; lives or uses the forest for recreation knows, very well, that you give a wide birth to wildlife.

    Your client’s litigation is akin to Steve Irwin’s family suing Australia or National Geographic for his demise. You are looking for deep pockets and this is an example why there is such distain for your profession.

  16. harleyrider1 says:

    The #1 reason was “Unusally large…” Really?

    We shouldn’t allow unusally large wild animals to live in their wild habitat?

    Bizaar. Just really screwed up thinking, even for an attorney.

  17. tree_guy says:

    I encountered some aggressive mosquitos at that park. I formally notified the park ranger and sent a certified letter to the Park Service. I hope those aggressive mosquitos have been removed before I return to the park. Otherwise, I’m going to have to retain Mr. Messina.

  18. Omega6234 says:

    There was a Yosemite hiker who just died in a park after falling off a slick trail. Get on that one Mr. Messina!!! The park should have put up guard rails and lined the trail with pillows!!!! Or installed an elevator.

  19. henateme77 says:

    Note that none of the above comments respond to the fact that the park knew this animal was aggressive for four years. It also knew this animal had threaten humans in that four year time span. It also had a policy for getting rid of aggressive animals that threaten humans. No one responds to these arguments. I wonder why that is? Could it be that they have no argument against them?

    I can understand if the park had no prior warning about this goat. That would be a different case. It had plenty of warning and failed to act. Why can’t any of you respond to that fact? The park service had ample warning and had procedures in place to deal with warnings but failed to do so.

    P.S. This is a federal case therefore it will never go in front of a jury. Judge only.

  20. Omega6234 says:

    It said for Four years this animal ecountered humans,,, maybe because they were feeding it?? And what constitutes aggressive behavior??? Getting close to people, or did the goat actually pick a fight with the humans it ecountered in those 4 years?? I would think that if the park rangers thought this goat was going to kill someone they would have taken it out. I dont know too many wild animals that arent agressive. Its the animal kingdom after all. I would like to hear the parks response to this.

  21. henateme77 says:

    I understand the goat’s prior behavior included threat signs (pawing ground, head down) approaching people, following them, cutting them off on trails, not because people were feeding them or taunting them.

    All of these negative comments on this website have one thing in common: they aren’t responding to the facts. I still would like to see someone respond to the facts that Mr. Messina lays out.

    Please, no more rants about ambulance chasing and greed. Let’s try to be objective here.

  22. Sunnyboy says:

    Why does someone have to be killed before action is taken? Maybe if you had all the facts about this case you wouldn’t be so quick to judge?

  23. writergirl says:

    Let me answer some of these questions comments that you people don’t seem to understand.

    “wild animals are not under the control of the parks”

    Um, yeah they are according to park policy. PARK POLICY! They are REQUIRED to relocate or euthanize animals that have known to be aggressive. This animal had been repeated reported over a four year span. They knew it was this particular goat because of his size, that is why size matters in this case. This is the parks own policy. What is it about that that you don’t understand?

    And do you think attorneys just take cases without researching it first? If you do than you know nothing about how the legal system works.

    I think your personal attacks on Mr. Messina are unfounded, uneducated, and downright nasty. How dare you attack him. Look at his record. Have you done that? Probably not because you’re not interested in facts, as proven by these comments. You could ask his clients, judge’s, and even defense attorneys as to his character and ethics.

    And let me ask you this, why did they shoot the animal AFTER the goring? Because it was a KNOWN aggressive animal. Too bad they didn’t follow their own policy BEFORE someone died. I like Mr. Messina’s comment, “What are you waiting for? Someone to be killed?” It’s unfortunate that had to happen before they killed the goat.

    Who will you call when your loved one is injured or killed at the fault of someone else? Yes fault. Not following procedures is considered fault. I bet you would call one of these so called “ambulance chasers” you pretend to hate.

    It is not for you to decide if this is a frivolous lawsuit. It’s up to a judge who knows the laws and legal system. If the judge says go, there’s merit to the case.

    If you’re going to attack someone’s character, Mr. Messina’s and the poor widow of Mr. Boardman who had to witness her husband’s death while the goat stood over him like a hunter at his kill, you may want to know the facts and legalities of the situation before you open your mouth or type away at your keyboard.

    Be informed people.

  24. Omega6234 says:

    Sounds like another case of Survival of the fittest to me. If you believe in Darwinism this should be celebrated,, no?? Still not buying it.

  25. writergirl says:

    Sarcasm about someone’s death is not funny.

  26. Sunnyboy says:

    I’ve been following Mr Messina in the news for years and I have the utmost respect for this man who is passionate about helping people. Labeling him an “ambulance-chaser” is so unkind.

  27. mustangnorm says:

    I guess the next warning sign should be to all entering the parks shoud have a sign saying ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK ?

  28. henateme77 says:

    Mustangnorm –

    What does your comment have to do with the facts of the incident?

    Same question to Omega.

    Why can’t any of these dissenters engage the facts? There has to be a reason. Hmmm…

  29. fbergford says:

    Oh and one more thing…if they saw a bear or a cougar they would run the other direction because they know bears and cougars can KILL you! They didn’t associate wild mountain goats as aggressive animals because they are goats!

  30. Sunnyboy says:

    Again you aren’t paying attention to the FACTS of this case. The family wasn’t trying to feed this goat; they were trying to leave the park and were chased by this aggressive goat. Quit trying to manipulate the facts to reach to your own unfounded conclusions.

  31. henateme77 says:

    Fbergford –

    You are making insane assumptions about this incident. Where do you get the idea that these people fed this mountain goat? You are making false assumptions. You are creating arguments out of thin air, like the rest of your lot commenting on this letter. These people walked the other way to get away from this goat. They didn’t stop to feed it. The goat followed them for a mile and then attacked. Those are the facts. Animals don’t have to be provoked to attack!

    I don’t understand why all these dissenters seem to “know what probably happened.” You are arguing a ghost. You don’t know what happened because A) you weren’t there B) you don’t know the facts of this case and C) because when some of the facts are layed out you fail to acknowledge and respond to them.

  32. writergirl says:

    fbergford, you obviously did not read my post carefully. This is not about wild animals being aggressive. Of course they’re aggressive. This is about the law and the responsibility of the parks.

    Secondly, everything in the news has stated that Mr. Boardman was an experienced hiker. He did not feed the goats. When the goat approached, he urged his party to move forward, following behind. The goat followed and then out of the blue charged and gored.

    Um, would you pick up a stick, and number one, approach, and number two, start beating a 370 pound goat on the head? I seriously doubt it. You’d probably pee your pants. Let me know if you ever do, I’d like to know the outcome.

    And once again, I will point out that this is about the LAW and FAULT. The park has a set POLICY to get rid of known aggressive animals. Do you understand what policy is? Here:

    1 a : prudence or wisdom in the management of affairs b : management or procedure based primarily on material interest
    2 a : a definite course or method of action selected from among alternatives and in light of given conditions to guide and determine present and future decisions b : a high-level overall plan embracing the general goals and acceptable procedures especially of a governmental body

    Do you see where is says, “governmental body”? Parks are part of the federal government.

    If it were a bear or a cougar they would not have thought twice about killing it. You have a procedure set it place you follow it. If you don’t and people get hurt, you’re at fault.

    You may want to rethink your statement about “stupidity”. What I find reprehensible is people judging this case and flapping their jaws ( and clickity clacking on their keyboards) while completely ignoring the facts and laws involved in this case.

  33. fbergford says:

    SUNNYBOY and HENATEME…you don’t know the facts either! So we can both make assumptions about what happened! My assumption is that they were retards and tried feeding goats! You assumption is that they were not! Now don’t point your finger at me and tell me I’m out of my element when you are just they same! The only facts we know is what has been reported in the news, and we all know that the news reports things at a 6th grade level so people can comprehend what is being reported about!

    “Animals don’t have to be provoked to attack!” You are an animal, just like I am. When you feel threatened what do you do? Either two things…fight or flight! This goat felt threatened somehow and decided to fight!

  34. Sunnyboy says:

    Writergirl you are so on it; thank you for addressing these people who are so quick to type when they’re clearly not educating themselves before doing so.

  35. writergirl says:

    fbergford,

    if you read all the articles, you will find that Mr. Boardman and his party were not being “retards” as you so eloquently put.

    Do your homework or be quiet.

  36. fbergford says:

    writergirl…what is you definition of a aggressive animal? So by your definition whatever it maybe, we should just get rid of all the wild animals in the parks! and by the way, yes I would have attacked it with a stick and I would’ve won cause A) I grew up on a farm and know how to act around aggressive animals B) I was in the army and was taught how to use any object as a weapon

  37. Sunnyboy says:

    Yeah right; whatever fbergford

  38. fbergford says:

    No death is worth 10 million dollars I don’t care how you put it!

  39. writergirl says:

    Since you have a theory about what happened, I will give you a theory about what would happen if you attacked a 370 boat with a stick.

    He rears his head and gores your arm.

    You drop the stick.

    Then he gores another body part. Maybe he hits and artery like he did with Mr. Boardman, maybe he doesn’t. But as you lay there bleeding he stands over you not allowing anyone to come to your aid, and not allowing you to get back up.

    I don’t care if you lived on a farm and were trained in the military. My theory is a 370 pound goat with big sharp horns is going to win this fight.

  40. writergirl says:

    and of course that should say goat, not boat. haha.

  41. Sunnyboy says:

    I hope you live to eat your own words about a loved ones death.

  42. fbergford says:

    no when you have a large stick in your hand you can reach out and touch things! When the goat tries to strike, you perry his head off to the left or right and then come in with a butt stroke to the head. It’s simple bayonet training

  43. fbergford says:

    I have…my friends family only received 450K when they died from the government.

  44. fbergford says:

    I will say it again, no death is worth 10 million dollars!

  45. Sunnyboy says:

    Every case is different and just because 10 million was asked for; doesn’t necessarily mean they’re expecting it.

  46. writergirl says:

    fbergford,

    I’m sorry for your loss.
    Obviously, we will not agree on this.
    Have a nice day.

  47. fbergford says:

    I am not trying to be a d*ck about this, but where I am coming from is this was an unfortunate accident that happened. You know it sucks, I feel for the family, it was tragic….no one in a million years (I’m exaggerating there to help get my point across) would ever think a mountain goat would gore someone just hiking along a trail enjoying their day. But they took the risk to go on a hike. Just like everyone else that enjoys the outdoors and our national parks. We lose a few mountain climbers a year trying to summit Rainer, A kid fell 100 feet a few days ago trying to climb Mt St Helens (he survived in the hospital)…people get lost, get hurt, and die while they are enjoying certain activities that make them happy. This was recreation, and I find a hard time trying to sympathize for the family suing the the Park Service. He was an avid hiker and knew the risks, but apparently his family didn’t associate hiking with being dangerous. Should the family get something, maybe but not 10 mill! This could also open up a huge can of worms for anyone that gets hurt, lost or dies at any of our National Parks to bring a lawsuit. It’s like there is no common sense there. I’m assuming most of you enjoy hiking and your curiosity was peaked when this came back out in the news. That’s why I clicked on it.

  48. I hate to be another devils’ advocate, but the facts are the facts and the law is the law. Wild aggressive animals that pose a danger to humans need to be removed or killed. The park knew about this 350 lb aggressive animal. The park failed to act. What’s the difference if the park does it or an armed citizen does it when they carry their concealed weapon into the park when faced with the animal? An animal that poses a danger to humans needs to be dealt with. What if this goat took on a child at the visitor’s center? If you don’t like the law, change it, otherwise abide by it’s consequences. OR Get the Olympic National Park off the National Parks list and turn it into wilderness. Not to mention, these goats are not natives to the park and do not have enough natural predators. Funny thing, we are the only species quick to turn on our own species.

  49. jjohnson67 says:

    You go into a natural area with ‘wild’ animals. If you aren’t aware of the risks, you are a fool. Accidents do happen. Don’t want to take a chance of a wild animal attacking you on a park trail, stay home or go to the mall or someplace where there aren’t ‘wild’ animals.

    Wanna see the animals? Take your chance, but don’t make taxpayers pay your greedy souls and the greedy soul of the ambulance chaser when an accident does occur.

  50. writergirl says:

    jjohnson, you should read the other posts. Just like Frida says, the law is the law. If you break it, you’re responsible. You are all stating the same thing. “Wild Animals are Wild” We get it. The park has policy that they get rid of animals that are aggressive to humans. Do you get that? What is it about that one fact that all of you don’t understand?

  51. According to the Peninsula Daily News, the rangers stated that the complaints since 2008 weren’t anything serious enough to warrant exterminating the goat. But there are signs littering the trail that encourage hikers to throw rocks and make noise and attempt to scare goats away, should they get too close.

    My research shows that mountain goat attacks on humans are extremely rare. Boardman, according to Olympic National Park rangers, was the first animal-caused fatality in the park’s 73-year history

    So……the Park was attempting to do something to deal with the aggressive goat. The rangers were “hazing” the goat in an attempt to scare him off from humans and there were signs warning hikers to take precautions. Mountain goats attacks on humans (unlike bear and cougar) are extremely rare and there had been no previous animal caused deaths in the Park – the most obvious conclusion is that, based upon the facts that were available prior to the attack, the Park was taking prudent action. The fact that their actions – in hindsight – were not enough to prevent this doesn’t change the fact that they were – based upon available evidence – taking the right action.

    Even if the family wins the lawsuit it won’t change what happened. There are no higher, noble principles at work here. This is about money and trying to get even. At a time when the National Parks are seriously underfunded I see nothing good about the motives of the family and the lawyer.

  52. itwasntmethistime says:

    Again, if you MUST fix blame, fix it on the goat. Sue the goat. Don’t make me and everybody else pay our hard earned dollars because of a bizarre accident.

    Certainly the victim did not see this coming. I’m going to argue that the Forest Service didn’t either. So don’t sue me because of a faulty crystal ball.

  53. Sunnyboy says:

    I think all of these negative comments wouldn’t have been on this posting if it had been one of their own families and had experienced what they had. One never knows until it happens to them how they would react. Kind of like “walking in someone elses shoes.”

  54. Of course John Messina is not trying the case in the media, duh! A long lengthy letter outlining his position is not trying the case in the media??? Is he tainting the jury pool? And, ten million dollars for a 63 year old? Oh, one third for the lawyer!

    The fact of the matter is the goat belonged in the park. The goat is a wild animal which belongs in the park. Are we to kill every animal that exhibits the slightest sign of defending its turf. It’s bad enough when society starts killing bears, cougars, etc when the animal shows up in a backyard that had been its habitat.

    When running with the bulls, expect to get gored.

  55. theglovesRoff says:

    Interesting to see these new made up names posting on here in support of the lawsuit. I wonder if they work for the lawyer?

    Kooky

  56. itwasntmethistime says:

    gloves — I was thinking that same thing.

    I’m going to have to make the deer that traipse through my yard and eat my flowers sign a waiver if they insist on trespassing. Once in a while a neighbor dog gives them a good chase. If the deer, or a dog, were to turn an ankle on my property I wouldn’t want to get sued.

  57. pazzo242 says:

    .To writergirl & henateme77: I still say Mr. Messina should have kept his mouth shut. He did a huge disservice to his clients. His arguments should have been left to the courtroom and not played out in this public forum. He has done exactly what he stated he didn’t want to do and opened the door to criticism.

    Most of us who have spent any number of hours in the wild would NEVER think of filing a suit because an animal is acting like an animal. No one asked him to write a letter to the editor, but once he did he has given the public the right to respond, negative or positive.

    Mr. Messina may be an honorable person but the lawsuit, on the surface, does not appear that way. He should have kept his thoughts and strategies to himself.

  58. 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?

    Did the goat come into areas more populated by humans and then damage a tent or charge a car?

  59. And…….what is the established Park procedure regarding problem goats?

    Since goat attacks are so rare it is likely that there is none. So your argument that the Park was derelict in its duties because it didn’t follow established procedures is false.

  60. penumbrage says:

    According to Mr. Messina’s logic, the families of the Forza officers (and the families of thousands of other murder victims) should be paid $10,000,000 each by the Police Department(s) because:

    Maurice Clemmons was unusually large and very aggressive (well, wide anyway).
    Police policies require that aggressive criminals that regularly come near humans be removed or killed, before someone gets hurt.
    The Police knew for years that this animal regularly and aggressively encountered human beings.
    The Police shot and killed some other aggressive criminal that had not hurt any humans. The shooting followed procedure. Why was it not followed with Clemmons?

  61. harleyrider1 says:

    Nice to set a “policy” when people want to take over a forest, a wildlife park, a place where wild animals live. If they don’t comply with our policy, we’ll shoot them. We don’t even do that to the gang-bangers!

    Here’s a thought – stay out people; you’re no match for animals. And if you think you are, then understand consequences.

    I hope you lose the case John. Suing us people becasue we should have killed this goat in its wild environment is just screwed up thinking – right with the spend, spend, spend. We better get back up there and have organized hunts for bobcats, mountain lions, and wolves – becasue there are lawsuits there waiting to happen according to you, John. And a couple of you other idiots.

  62. tree_guy says:

    Mesinna claims that the Park should have used the same methods to control aggressive goats that they used to control agressive Elk.

    However these situations can be easily distinguished. There are lots of examples of humans injured or killed by aggressive elk. Mature elk weigh from 500 pounds to 1300 pounds. Mature mountain goats weigh from 100 pounds to 300 pounds and were previously thought to be annoying but generally benign. I’m sure the judge is going to find that the sad event was unforeseeable. Case dismissed.

  63. If the danger from the goat was so clear that the goat needed to be destroyed, why did the hiker, who had complained about the goat on previous occasions, return to the same area that he knew was frequented by the goat?

  64. One never knows until it happens to them how they would react.

    But one does know how he hopes he (and his survivors) would act….

    I would hope that neither I nor my family would attempt to destroy the NPS which has provided us with so much joy over the years.

  65. I couldn’t find the Park’s 2011 budget but found this:

    In 2003, Olympic National Park had a budget of $10.29 million, but unfunded operating needs totaled nearly $6.1 million.
    http://www.npca.org/stateoftheparks/olympic/

    The family and the lawyer, by asking for $10 million, are seeking nothing less than to bankrupt the Park. They are asking that their “wrongful death” be paid for by the taxpayers, not only in money, but by closing down one of the National treasures.

  66. leehallfae says:

    Dear Mr. Messina:

    Thank you for your letter, and while, in theory, I can agree with everything that you have claimed, you do NOT want me on the jury:

    Because I could say “Yes, there was negligence on the part of everyone” and still vote to award your client nothing. Even if the Olympic National Forest personnel did know, somehow, someway, that this Individual goat was especially aggressive, still not going to give your client anything, except maybe a sympathy card.

    To side with you, Mr. Messina, would mean that I would be telling the citizens of the State of Washington that we must reach into our own pockets, to pay tor the unfortunate accidental death and no matter how horrifying it was [and it was very sad],t [finding in your favor] would be not to my taste.

    Best of luck with the lawsuit, by the way.

    JG

    Seattle

  67. pazzo242 says:

    “Sunnyboy says:
    August 12, 2011 at 4:01 pm
    I think all of these negative comments wouldn’t have been on this posting if it had been one of their own families and had experienced what they had. “

    You are absolutely right, because I would have never dreamed of suing the National Park for an animal being an animal!!! That is the chance we ALL take when we head out to the wilderness.

    Reports are that the man who was killed was an outdoorsman. That said he’s probably churning in his grave over this lawsuit in his name. If, in fact, he was the hiker as reported he knew that each and every time one goes hiking something can go wrong–wrong enough to get seriously hurt or even killed. That is the risk we are all willing to take to enjoy the wilderness.

    Your comment is still as ridiculous as the lawsuit.

    Nobody on this blog likes the idea the man was killedbut this has all the markings of people who want to benefit off his demise and that is where this entire thing is pathetic.

  68. geeterpontiac says:

    This is really a sad accident.

    But, there is money to be made and I bet Mr. Messina isn’t going to donate his time for nothing.

    Life is unfair and sometimes unfortunate things happen.

  69. hansgruber says:

    When you choose to go into the wild, like a National Park, you assume the risk. It’s not an amusement park.

    What I don’t like is win or lose , Mr. Messina and his client(s) are costing me and all taxpayers money for running this through the courts.

    Clearly you have made the claim against the National Park Service and it was denied or the family did not like the alternative the Park Service offered.

    Grow up, mourn your loss and move ahead in life, there is no money to made here or there shouldn’t be.

  70. Sunnyboy says:

    We all have choices to make every single day of our lives. I’m glad we have this freedom. I’m glad I can do this without anybody telling me what I should or shouldn’t do. I hope you all understand what I’m saying.

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