Arches National Park was recently named in $270 million wrongful death administration claim after Esther Nakajjigo, a 25-year-old woman, was killed at the park.
Earlier this week, Arches National Park was hit with a $270 million wrongful death administration claim after a 25-year-old woman was killed at the popular park. According to the suit, Esther Nakajjigo, a human rights activist from Uganda, was “needlessly decapitated on June 13 by a metal gate that swung into the car she and her husband were in as they exited a parking lot in Arches National Park.”
Shortly after the incident, Arches National Park issued the following post on Facebook:
“On Saturday, June 13th a single-vehicle accident occurred on the entrance road of Arches National Park, near the Visitor’s Center. The entrance to Arches National Park was shut down for several hours during the initial investigation of the accident…There was one fatality that resulted from the accident. Emergency response personnel from the National Park Service, Grand County Sheriff’s Office, Grand County EMS, Utah Highway Patrol, Moab City Police Department and Moab Valley Fire Department responded to the scene to assist with the accident…The Grand County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the accident, and it is still ongoing at this time. Our sympathies go out to the family members of the deceased and our thanks to all agencies that responded to assist with the accident.”
The lawsuit was filed on October 22 and claims if the gate “had been properly installed or an $8 padlock had been placed on the gate to secure it from moving in the wind, the world would not have lost a young woman influencer destined to become our society’s future Princess Diana, Philanthropist Melinda Gates, or Oprah Winfrey.”
Ludovic Michaud, Nakajjigo’s husband, escaped the incident unscathed, but in the suit, he noted he was “covered head-to-toe in his wife’s blood.” As a result of the tragic incident, he is seeking $270 million in damages. In a recent interview, Michaud said, “Our mission is to make sure this doesn’t happen again.” When talking about his late wife, he added:
“She was always willing to help…I was a couple of inches from dying, but I didn’t, and right now I have a mission: It’s to make sure what she’s done continues.”
Deborah Chang, a trial attorney based in Los Angeles, said there was nothing “Michaud could have done to move out of the way.” She did, however, note that “park employees could have done a lot to avoid the tragedy, including taking notes during inspections of the gate and putting the $8 padlock on the gate.”
An administration claim is required before a lawsuit can officially be filed. The suit for this case is expected to be fired in the coming months.