Mauled Camper Won’t Appeal Judge’s Decision
Andrew Brodie, one of two mauled Aussie tourists whose lawsuit against the Canadian government was dismissed last week, is not a happy camper, the Toronto Sun reported.
“This decision is very disappointing for us,” Brodie said in an e-mail to QMI Agency from his home in Melbourne, Australia.
Brodie said Justice Ged Hawco’s decision clearing Banff park wardens of any wrongdoing in the attack has left him with a bitter taste of the Canadian judicial system.
“The whole process has been an arduous and expensive ordeal, which ended up with an unfair decision which didn’t attempt to look at the key issues in the case,” he wrote.
Brodie said he’s grateful to those who assisted him and friend Owen Hereford after their Sept. 25, 1995, mauling, but feels the system let them down.
“It has taken us fifteen years of waiting and putting up with questionable legal tactics of the defence and the antiquated Canadian legal system in order to get our case heard,” he said.
Brodie and Hereford were tenting in a Lake Louise campground when a grizzly tore apart their tent and attacked them, leaving both seriously injured, before going after four other campers.
The two men argued park officials were negligent because they didn’t provide adequate warnings about bear activity in the area.
Three days earlier two grizzlies ripped apart an empty tent in the same campground and there were several other human/bear conflicts in the days leading up to the attack.
“We are extremely thankful that no one was killed that evening (among) the six that were mauled,” Brodie said.
Hawco ruled government officials could not have been held liable because there was no way to predict a grizzly would attack a tent which didn’t have food, or garbage in it.
But Brodie said wardens failed in not preventing what could have been a tragedy.
“The fundamental premise of the trial has never been that the attacks could have been predicted but they could have been avoided by providing campers with information or by closing the campground,” he said.
Brodie also said he has no plans to appeal Hawco’s ruling.
“I am grateful that our legal proceedings are over and although I will always believe that the judge got it wrong, I can’t see any point to appeal the decision as it would mean getting involved with the Canadian legal system again,” he said.