“Hunting guide Craig Bingham filed a lawsuit in 2016 against the Boy Scouts of America, local council and a number of Scoutmasters,” Salt Lake City’s sltrib.com reports. “He alleges the defendants were negligent during a pheasant hunt on March 22, 2014, when someone in the party shot him in the eye, hand and thigh. Bingham was permanently blinded in one eye by birdshot when the nine people he was leading opened fire with shotguns on some pheasants at a private hunting reserve in Cache County.” Wait. Nine?
That’s a very large bird hunting group to wrangle. The Trib article doesn’t tell us if hunting guide Craig Bingham was guiding the hunt. If so . . . Anyway, can you sue an entity over an accidental shooting?
Absolutely, yes. However, you must first prove that the entity had knowledge and control of the events leading up to the shooting. That didn’t happen here.
The Boy Scouts of America and the local Trapper Trails Council have been dismissed as defendants in a lawsuit filed by a Cache County hunting guide who was shot during a Scouting-oriented pheasant hunt in 2014.
First District Judge Thomas Willmore on Monday granted the BSA and Trapper Council’s motion for summary judgment, finding the two entities had no knowledge or notice that the hunting activity was planned or would occur.
Instead, it was the local charter organization, the Middle Fork Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that “was in complete control, knowledge, notice and approval of the hunting activity.”
The judge also granted summary judgment to a father and son who were on the hunting trip. The father was “equally peppered with pellets,” according to the judge’s ruling, and had argued he therefore could not have fired the shots that struck Bingham. There was no evidence the son ever fired his gun.
As for the actual trigger pullers . . .
Judge Willmore ruled that Bingham’s lawsuit can continue against the Scout leaders and others in the hunting group who are named in the lawsuit.
It pays to remember that every bullet comes with a lawyer attached. Although not literally. Sadly.