In a decision released on Tuesday, a judge in Salt Lake City has ruled that the state of Utah is not liable for the death of a 12-year-old boy in a 2007 bear attack. District Court Judge David Mortensen said that because bears are a "natural condition" of the state, Utah officials are not compelled to protect the public from attacks. Sam Ives, 12, was camping with his parents in June 2007 when a black bear entered the family's campsite and pulled Ives from his tent. The animal had menaced campers earlier in the day, and Ives's parents have said that state officials should have warned campers of the bear's behavior. Earlier this year, a federal judge awarded Ives's family $1.65 million in a separate suit brought against federal wildlife officials. A similar lawsuit filed by the family of a man killed by a mountain goat is pending in the State of Washington.
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