Court Rules in Favor of Utah Family After Loss of Child to Bear Attack

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A federal judge announced the verdict in the case regarding an eleven-year-old, who was mauled to death by a bear while camping in American Fork Canyon in 2007.

Utah Injury Lawyers Young and Young

Young and Young help bring justice to Utah family

We were very satisfied that the judge recognized the duties owed by the Forest Service to the citizens of the United States and our clients.

It was bittersweet smiles and tears on May 3 in the Salt Lake City Courtroom, as a federal judge announced the verdict in the case regarding eleven-year-old Sam Ives, who was mauled to death by a bear while camping in American Fork Canyon in 2007 (2:08CV0244DAK United States District Court, District of Utah Central Division).

The young boy’s grieving parents, Rebecca Ives and Kevan Francis, have worked tirelessly since 2007 with the help of Young and Young Law Office to seek justice in this case of negligence against the U.S. Forest Service. A judge issued a ruling three months after the case was tried.

The case was a very difficult one to take to trial, as general public opinion on the incident did not initially rule in favor of the Ives family. While the public response was mixed when it came to the details of the case, Young and Young stepped up to the challenge.

“We knew we had a strong case because of the facts of this particular case,” stated Utah injury attorney Tyler Young.

Despite the best efforts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office to throw out the case, Young and Young Law uncovered and presented evidence of employee negligence, when it came to warning the family regarding the presence of the dangerous bear, who had previously attacked a camper in the very same campsite only 12 hours earlier.

According to Young and Young, the young boy’s death could have easily been prevented, had a warning to the family and other campers been issued upon their arrival to the campground. The campsite was very primitive and underdeveloped, and the Ives family was the only one in the area. This breach in duty caused a preventable death, along with serious emotional trauma to the Ives family.

Young and Young faced many challenges in obtaining the necessary records. "The Forest Service vigorously attempted to keep us from obtaining the firing records by claiming every legal privilege imaginable. We persisted and ultimately received the records. We didn't back down,” stated attorney Tyler Young.

In the verdict announced May 3, the family was awarded $1.95 million dollars in damages from the United States. Regarding the final ruling, the office of Young and Young stated, “We believe the Judge's ruling was well reasoned and just. We were very satisfied that the judge recognized the duties owed by the Forest Service to the citizens of the United States and our clients.”

The courage of both the Ives family and their lawyers is ultimately what brought justice to this grieving family. As Tyler Young stated, “The public perception of this case was largely against our clients. We made the determination that this was a good case, despite what people told us, and did justice for our clients.”

As injury lawyers in Utah, Young & Young has been practicing for a combined 45 years. Their office is located at 75 S 300 W in Provo, UT. Their areas of practice include personal injury cases, including wrongful death and car accident cases, and general civil litigation. For more information on this case (2:08CV0244DAK United States District Court, District of Utah Central Division), visit http://www.utahinjury.com.

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Tyler S Young
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