The surviving husband of a woman killed at Arches National Park has filed a wrongful-death administrative claim for a lawsuit potentially worth $270 million last month.
KUTV reports that the incident happened on June 13th when Esther Nakajjigo was decapitated by a gate that swung into the car that she and her husband, Ludovic Michaud, were in as they were leaving the grounds of the national park.
Emergency response personnel from the National Park Service, the Grand County Sheriff’s Office, Grand County EMS, Utah Highway Patrol, Moab City Police Department, and Moab Valley Fire Department responded to the accident scene.
Nakajjigo was declared dead at the scene.
The claim, which was filed on October 22nd, alleges that the gate was not correctly installed, or if park officials had installed an $8 padlock to prevent it from being moved in the wind, Nakajjigo would still be alive.
Michaud was uninjured in the incident which killed his wife. However, court documents indicate that he was covered “head to toe in his wife’s blood.”
“Our mission is to make sure that this never happens again,“ Michaud told reporters.
Michaud is being represented by Los Angeles-based trial attorney, Deborah Chang.
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The requisite administrative claim in the suit alleges that National Park Service workers could have done more to prevent Ms. Nakajjigo’s tragic death. The plaintiffs allege that if park personnel performed regular inspections, made a note of any issues with the gate, and installed a padlock to hold it in place, the accident may not have happened.
The lawsuit is expected to be filed sometime soon.