WILDLIFE ENCOUNTERS -- A judge has dismissed most of a widow’s claims in a $10 million suit against the federal government after her husband was killed by a mountain goat at Olympic National Park two years ago, saying that even if it seems unfair, the park can’t be sued for the decisions it made, according to the Associated Press.
Robert Boardman, a 63-year-old registered nurse, was trying to protect his wife and friend when the 370-pound billy goat gored him, severing arteries in his thigh, on a trail near Hurricane Ridge in October 2010. The goat is believed to have been one that harassed park visitors for years.
- The incident spurred park officials and hiking groups to work harder at educating hikers on ways to visit the high country without teaching mountain goats bad habits that can lead to aggressive behavior.
His wife, Susan Chadd, sued, accusing the government of negligence in its management of the goat, known as “Klahanne Billy” for the name of a nearby ridge. She also alleged that the park botched the rescue effort – the one claim that was not dismissed in U.S. District Judge Robert Bryan’s ruling in Tacoma this week.
Bryan said even though the park could have acted more quickly to kill or relocate the goat, its actions are immune from lawsuits under the Federal Tort Claims Act because they involved an exercise of discretion related to public policy.
The one remaining claim is that the park staff failed to act quickly once the attack was reported, AP reported.