Judge Dismisses Yellowstone Grizzly Death Suit
Says federal researchers not responsible for mauling
A federal judge has dismissed a wrongful death suit blaming federal researchers for a grizzly attack near the East Gate of Yellowstone National Park. Erwin Evert, a 70-year-old Chicago botanist, was hiking near his cabin in Wyoming’s Shoshone National Forest when he was killed by a grizzly that had been tranquilized, collared, and released just hours before. The 430-pound bear was being studied by researchers from the Interagency Grizzly Bear Team. Defense attorneys for the federal government said that signs warning of the research activity had been removed on the assumption that no one would be hiking in that remote area in such bad weather. U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Freudenthal ruled that the government was protected under a Wyoming law that releases landowners from responsibility when allowing free outdoor recreation on their land.