The husband of a Ugandan activist killed in June at Arches National Park will sue the park system for more than $270 million in damages, his lawyer announced. An administrative claim was filed against the park on Oct. 22, as reported by NBC News.
Esther Nakajjigo, a 23-year-old internationally recognized human rights activist, was killed at the entrance to Arches on June 13, when the arm of an unlatched security gate swung into traffic due to high winds. Her husband, Ludovic Michaud, was driving the car at the time and was not injured.
The administrative claim said that “the end of the lance-like gate pierced the side of their car and penetrated it like a hot knife through butter,” leaving Michaud with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Nakajjigo would still be alive if the park had properly installed the gate or put an inexpensive padlock on it, the claim alleges, pointing to other instances of similar accidents within the park system.
Michaud’s Los Angeles-based attorney Deborah Chang told NBC News that the damages sought in the lawsuit were “a reflection of the suffering [her family has] gone through plus the loss of Nakajjigo’s future income and fundraising abilities.”
Nakajjigo was named Ambassador to Women and Girls in her home country at 17, rising to fame after using the money intended for her college education to found a nonprofit community health facility.
Unlatched gate swung into traffic in June, killing Esther Nakajjigo