The National Park Service is facing nearly $270 million in lawsuits after an unsecured gate decapitated a woman.
The family of a woman’s rights activist is filing a $270 million lawsuit for wrongful death. They are also filing a personal injury claim, due to the Ugandan woman’s decapitation at Utah’s Arches National Park.
National Park Incident
According to a claim filed in October, 25-year-old Esther Nakajjigo and 26-year-old Ludovic Michaud were celebrating their one year anniversary of meeting with a trip to the Arches National Park in Utah back in June.
After leaving their campsite to get ice cream, an unsecured metal gate was blown shut by strong winds. The newlywed’s car was in the way as the gate cut through the side of the car “like a hot knife through butter.”
Michaud was unhurt as the gate missed his side of the car. His wife, Esther, however, unfortunately, died. She was an ambassador for women and girls in Uganda as well as starting a health center there for free health services to adolescents 17 years ago.
“I had a ton of flashbacks. Several dozen per day,” Michaud said on Thursday in an interview. “I’m still trying to figure out how to move forward, how to wake up in the morning. We just don’t want this to ever happen again.”
Wrongful Death Claim
He is seeking more than $240 million in damages, while her parents are seeking $30 million.
The National Parks Service sent an email to The Associated Press offering her condolences to the woman’s family and friends. However, it did not mention the claim.
The claim states that the federal government knew about the issue with the unsecured, sharp gates. In 1980, a gate pole impaled a man while in Stanislaus National Forest in California.
They also stated, “For want of an $8 basic padlock, our world lost an extraordinary warrior for good; a young woman influencer who was destined to become our society’s future Princess Diana, Philanthropist Melinda Gates or Oprah Winfrey.”
Esther Nakajjigo had just moved to Colorado with her husband for a social entrepreneurship program at the Watson Institute in Boulder.
[H/T Washington Times]