SALT LAKE CITY The United States will pay family members of a Ugandan human rights activist killed in an accident at Arches National Park more than $10 million in damages, a federal judge ruled Monday. Turn on desktop notifications for breaking stories about interest? . Michaud hopes he and Nakajjigos family can continue her legacy. Though the amount was substantially less than pursued, attorneys representing the family of Esther Nakajjigo celebrated the judgment, saying it was the largest federal wrongful death verdict in Utah history. "The National Park Service has, in fact, known for decades that an unsecured metal pipe gate creates an undetectable hazard and dangerous condition," the claim states. In the court documents filed in U.S. District Court in Denver, Chang described the gates as the same color as the landscape. This photo was taken in the hours before a gate swung into the couple's car, killing Nakajjigo. Nelson, the government's attorney, said an appropriate award would be $3.5 million, far less than the $140 million being pursued. Mail that Nakajjigo has continued to receive after her death has been a stark reminder of the life they should still be enjoying together. Nakajjigo created a reality TV show that helped child mothers stay in school and develop life skills, according to The Denver Post. Chang expects to file the lawsuit in about six months. Gate accidents similar to Nakajjigos have happened across the country, according to NBC News. DENVER (CBS4) - The family of a woman killed while visiting Arches National Park is hoping they can change the dangerous conditions that lead to her death and continue the philanthropy she. The suit was filed last . At just 17, using her college tuition money, she created a nonprofit community health center. By his verdict, Judge Bruce Jenkins has shown the world how the American justice system works to hold its own government accountable and greatly values all lives, including that of Esther Nakajjigo, a remarkable young woman from Uganda," Randi McGinn, the family's attorney said in a statement. What awaited them there was as awful as it was unthinkable. It feels lonely, and thats hard. Nakajjigo accomplished more by age 25 than most people do in a lifetime. As recreation areas in eastern Utah reopened that summer, Michaud was excited to take his new wife to Arches National Park, and the two drove there in June. Instead, the Utah park became the site of a horrific accident that killed her. In his ten-page verdict, U.S. District Court Judge Bruce Jenkins said the government admitted fault and apologized for Nakajjigos death. Nakajjigo and her husband, Ludovic Michaud, were vacationing in eastern Utah, visiting the regions national parks months after their wedding. Of the accidents aftermath, Michaud told FOX 13: I saw the worst thing I hope I will ever see.. The amount was far less than the $140 million Nakajjigos family originally sought. A federal judge this week awarded $10.5 million to the family of a Denver woman. Nakajjigo, who went by Essie, was a women's rights champion in Uganda. 'Shadow pandemic': Women, girls bear unequal share of Covid-19 burden, U.N. official warns, National parks begin to reopen across the country. "We don't know with any level of certainty what her plans were," Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Nelson said. It may take up to 1 hour for your comment to appear on the website. She earned numerous global awards and traveled to the U.S. to further her education, the newspaper reported. They had a courthouse ceremony in March, with plans to throw a big wedding in Uganda once it was safe to travel again. DENVER -- Ludovic Michaud has notified the Department of the Interior and the National Park Service that he intends to file a wrongful death lawsuit because of a crash at the entrance to Arches National Park that claimed the life of his beloved wife, Esther Nakajjigo. "I don't want anyone or any other family to go through what we've been through," Michaud told CBS affiliate KUTV. But when she met Michaud in June 2019 in Aurora, Colorado, through a dating app, he just saw her as a smart person who loved to laugh. Nakajjigo worked on fundraising to open a hospital in an underserved part of Kampala, Uganda's capital, became a philanthropic celebrity and immigrated to the United States for a fellowship at the Boulder, Colorado-based Watson Institute for emerging leaders. Esther Nakajjigo, age 25, of Denver, Colorado passed away on Saturday June 13, 2020. Though the amount was substantially less than pursued, attorneys representing the family of Esther Nakajjigo celebrated the judgement, saying it was the largest federal wrongful death verdict in Utah history. Download the app . "I've always wanted to meet him, though not in this way," he said. The family of Esther Nakajjigo was awarded over $10 million from the U.S. government in a wrongful death case stemming from a tragic accident in 2020. "This act of selflessness went viral throughout Uganda, and she was featured in numerous magazines and news publications. The metal pole forming the top of the gate pierced the passenger side of the car and struck Nakajjigo in the head and neck. One time it was the delivery of her Social Security card; another time, an update on her immigration status. I didnt know who she was at first, Michaud, 26, told NBC News in his first interview since Nakajjigos death. A spokeswoman said the single vehicle accident happened June 13 on the entrance road of Arches National Park, near the Visitor's Center, and that the entrance was shut down for several hours. She said there was nothing that visually set them apart. Catch up on the developing stories making headlines. Shed come to Colorado to learn how to bolster her business acumen at the Watson Institute in Boulder. Ugandan activist's family awarded $10.5 million for Utah death - Los Angeles Times ARCHES NATIONAL PARK, Utah - Trial began Monday, Dec. 5 for the death of Ugandan women's activist Esther Nakajjigo, who died after a gate at Arches National Park swung open and decapitated her.The family is in federal court with a $140million-dollar wrongful lawsuit and personal claim lawsuit against the National Park Service.The U.S. already admitted responsibility for the wrongful death . What awaited them there was as awful as it was unthinkable. Sign up for service and obituary updates. "Nakajjigo, who went by Essie, was a women's rights champion in Uganda. "It could have happened to the people in front of us, or behind us," he said. Jenkins awarded Michaud $9.5 million; Nakajjigo's mother, Christine Namagembe, $700,000; and her father, John Bosco Kateregga, $350,000. Esther was born April 16, 1995. Esther Nakajjigo was a prominent Ugandan human rights activist who was killed in Utah's Arches National Park in 2020. But an attorney for her parents and husband said they were grateful for the judgment, which represents the largest federal wrongful death verdict in Utah history. Throughout the trial, attorneys debated estimates of Nakajjigo's earnings potential. Her passions included lowering teen pregnancy, as well as creating two reality television shows that empowered women, the outlet reported. On Monday, a federal judge in Utah ruled that the U.S. government must pay her family more than $10 million in damages. The suit does not specify the amount the plaintiffs are seeking, though it accuses park staff of negligence. She rose from poverty to become the host of a solutions-oriented reality television series in Uganda focused on empowering women on issues such as education and healthcare, and had successfully raised funds to build health care facilities in her hometown. Their economic expert will testify that her death represents a. The large monetary damages being sought on behalf of Michaud and Nakajjigos parents are a reflection of the suffering they have gone through plus the loss of Nakajjigos future income and fundraising abilities, Chang said. Your entry has exceeded the maximum character limit. Our mission is to make sure this doesnt happen again, Michaud said. I found her really interesting. No services are scheduled at this time. Most Facebook users can now claim settlement money. The young activist participated in programs at Drexel University in Philadelphia as a Mandela Washington Fellow and at the Watson Institute in Boulder, Colorado as a Luff Peace Fellow, Moab Sun News said. At age 17, she used her college tuition money to start a nonprofit community health center, which provided free reproductive health services to young women and girls. @ArielleHarrison https://t.co/YoCT50YObz. 2023 SCI SHARED RESOURCES, LLC. As the couple was leaving the park, gusts of wind swung the gate around rapidly, enough to slice through the passenger side door of the couples car, decapitating Nakajjigo as her husband sat feet away in the drivers seat. SALT LAKE CITY The family of human rights activist Esther Nakajjigo, who was decapitated in an accident in Arches National Park, has sued the National Park Service. Several dozen per day. Ludovic Michaud was driving around the scenic red rock landscapes of Utah's Arches National Park on a windy spring day in 2020 when something unthinkable happened: A metal gate whipped around, sliced through the passenger door of his car and decapitated his new 25-year-old wife, Esther "Essie" Nakajjigo. "Our sympathies go out to Esther Nakajjigo's family, friends and those whose lives she impacted," Public Affairs specialist Vanessa Lacayo said in a statement. For this work, the United Nations Population Fund gave her the Woman Achiever Award. For this work, the United Nations Population Fund gave her the Woman Achiever Award. The end of the gate impaled the car like a lance, and literally beheaded his newly-wed bride right in front of him.. Attorney: 'For want of an $8 padlock, woman lost life'. She was particularly passionate about reducing teenage pregnancy and created two reality television shows that empowered women. Michaud's wife, Esther Nakajjigo, 25, was a celebrated human rights activist in her home country of Uganda. In June, the couple needed a break from quarantine, so they drove to Utah. The lawsuit alleges that a simple $8 padlock could have prevented the gate from swinging, and claims the park violated regulations. She served as an ambassador for women and girls in her native Uganda, and created a reality TV show to combat early pregnancy and forced marriage. At age 17, Nakajjigo. SALT LAKE CITY -- The United States will pay family members of a Ugandan human rights activist killed in an accident at Arches National Park more than $10 million in damages, a federal judge ruled Monday. Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! The same year, Nakajjigo was named Ugandas ambassador for women and girls. We loved getting out and going to beautiful places, Michaud said. Here's how. Chang has filed a $270 million claim for wrongful death. Attorney Randi McGinn, representing Nakajjigo's family, on Monday described the death in gruesome detail. #EDD #sheiswe pic.twitter.com/VUD1jd7U7H, Esther Nakajjigo (@nakajjigo) June 7, 2018. She met Michaud on Tinder in 2019, when she was attending a leadership program in Boulder, Colorado. Jenkins awarded Michaud $9.5 million; Nakajjigos mother, Christine Namagembe, $700,000; and her father, John Bosco Kateregga, $350,000. Esther Nakajjigo, a Ugandan human rights activist, was killed in Arches National Park in Utah on June 13, 2020. The United States will pay more than $10 million in damages over the death of Esther Nakajjigo, a prominent Ugandan human rights activist killed in Arches National Park in 2020 By SAM METZ Associated Press January 31, 2023, 11:37 AM 2:19 National headlines from ABC News Catch up on the developing stories making headlines. Nakajjigo, who was 25 at the time, was needlessly decapitated, according to a wrongful death administrative claim obtained by NBC News. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. "I turned my head and saw what I wish I didn't see.". Businessman Awarded Sh126 Million for Land Forcefully Taken to Build SGR The Environment and Land Court has awarded over Sh126 Hotel Rwanda hero and government critic arrives in US Paul Rusesabagina, an outspoken critic of the Rwandan government, has arrived 2023 SAMRACK - Diaspora News & Updates; design by: Samrack. Randy Rost was injured when the camper pickup truck in which he was riding was impaled on a piece of gate in the Stanislaus National Forest, California, according to a court document. Ludovic's attorney, Deborah Chang, told Denver7 the entrance gate should have been locked open, and not allowed to swing freely. The family of Esther Nakajjigo accused the National Park Service of negligence for not properly securing the metal gate that killed her. Michaud, in February, told FOX 13 about the trip to the park. A lot of things remind me of her, Michaud told the. Add a Memory The Dignity Memorial brand name is used to identify a network of licensed funeral, cremation and cemetery providers that include affiliates of Service Corporation International, 1929 Allen Parkway, Houston, Texas. Everything reminds Michaud of Nakajjigo. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Nakajjigo received numerous international accolades and awards and had come to the United States to further her education, participating in programs at Drexel University in Philadelphia as a Mandela Washington Fellow and at the Watson Institute in Boulder, Colorado, where she was the recipient of a Luff Peace Fellowship. The woman I loved and I saw her for just her.. She was also awarded a full scholarship from the king of Buganda. Esther Nakajjigo (credit: Ludovic Michaud) Nakajjigo, 25, was a Ugandan human rights activist and moved to Colorado in 2019 to attend the Watson Institute in Boulder. It could have happened to anyone and if nothing is done, its going to happen again, he said. The ruling was. Activist Esther Nakajjigo dies in the U.S NTVUganda 930K subscribers Subscribe 28K views 2 years ago The family of Esther Nakajjigo a Ugandan Activist who died in the US is asking the. CBS News Poll: How GOP primary race could be Trump v. Trump fatigue. Esther Nakajjigo, a native of Uganda, accomplished more at age 25 than most do in a lifetime. CANDLE HAS BEEN LIT CANDLES HAVE BEEN LIT, We are reviewing your submission. Download the app. The wind whipped a metal. I didnt know who she was at first, the 26-year-old expressed to NBC News. In opening statements Monday in Salt Lake City, attorneys representing Michaud and Nakajjigo's family said they were seeking $140 million in damages from the government. Esther Nakajjigo, 25, was driving around the stunning Arches National Park in Utah, US, in 2020 along with her husband Ludovic Michaud when the unthinkable happened. Esther Nakajjigo is a former Uganda activist who was decapitated this summer at the Utah Arches National Park. After requesting that the family leave the courtroom, she recounted the moment Michaud realized his wife had been killed, when he inhaled the copper-tinged smell of blood, turned to figure out what it was and saw she was dead. Esther Nakajjigo, 25, died on a windy summer day in 2020 when a piece of a metal gate from Utah's Arches National Park broke through the passenger door and decapitated her - and now her husband. How do you measure someone like her? On a windy spring day in 2020, Ludovic Michaud and his newlywed wife, Esther Nakajjigo, who was an actress and singer from Uganda, were traveling through Arches National Park when Nakajjigo was decapitated by a metal . After seeing a pregnant 14-year-old girl die during a difficult delivery, Nakajjigo decided to use her college tuition money to start a nonprofit community health center that provided free reproductive health services to females aged 10-24. Heres what you need to know about Esther Nakajjigo: Saving Innocence Challenge is a high school reality TV show of urban school girls empowering their rural counterparts to prevail over teenage pregnancy and keep in school. Newlyweds Esther "Essie" Nakajjigo and Ludovic Michaud visited the park in mid June. Attorneys representing Michaud and Nakajjigo's parents asked for $140 million in damages, while the government said an appropriate award would be roughly $3.5 million. After COVID-19 closures were lifted, the newlyweds took a trip to Arches National Park. She received multiple honors for her humanitarian work and was attending a leadership program in Bolder, Colorado, at the time of her death. The claim, served Oct. 22, is seeking more than $270 million in damages from the National Park Service. Illinois highway pile-up causes multiple deaths, police say, Trump motion to declare mistrial in E. Jean Carroll lawsuit denied, Transgender Montana lawmaker Zooey Zephyr sues over censure, Debt ceiling standoff heats up over veterans' programs, U.S. tracking high-altitude balloon first spotted off Hawaii, Biden administration ending vaccine mandate for federal workers, travelers, The weirdest items passengers leave behind in Ubers. Arches National Park is a 120-square-mile desert landscape near Moab, Utah, that is visited by more than 1.5 million people annually. Wilson Jaga, head of communications for the Office of Ugandas Ambassador for Women and Girls, advocated for her return in a statement obtained by the outlet, writing: We have also petitioned the Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda requesting that H. E. Esther Nakajjigos short lived but very instrumental life be celebrated and Essie accorded a State Funeral as a symbol of recognition of small interventions made by young people to make their country a great nation. It argues that park employees only needed to install the gate with an $8 padlock to prevent it from killing a young woman influencer destined to become our societys future Princess Diana, Philanthropist Melinda Gates, or Oprah Winfrey, NBC News said. Nakajjigo, who was 25, lived with her husband in Denver, where she moved to attend a leadership course on a full scholarship. United States attorneys do not dispute that park officials shouldered blame, but argued the amount the family should be awarded is far less and called into questions the ways in which the damages being sought were calculated. The trial gave me and Essies family members an opportunity to tell Essies beautiful story, and it was so important to me to have the chance to stand up and speak for this amazing woman.. Esther Nakajjigo (credit: Ludovic Michaud). Instead of planning their future together, Michaud is now processing the trauma and grief of Nakajjigos gruesome death and hoping the lawsuit his attorney plans to file will save other families from experiencing what he did. Nakajjigo's younger brother John, who traveled from Uganda to the U.S. to be at the trial, told KUTV that life without his sister has been extremely tough, but he is grateful for the opportunity to be at the trial and also meet Nakajjigo's husband for the first time. Nakajjigo was a performer who used her celebrity to improve the status of women and girls in Uganda. She said entrance gates should be locked into place whether they are open or closed. Its a fear of erasing her, I guess, when you use something that she bought or that she ate or that we did together, he said. "For want of an $8 basic padlock, our world lost an extraordinary warrior for good," the claim continues. I couldnt work properly for a couple of months. Her dreams were just about to come true, Chang said. Olinger Hampden Mortuary, Cremation & Cemetery, Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information. The suit was filed last week in federal court in Denver by the widower and parents of Nakajjigo. Ludovic Michaud and his new wife, Esther Nakajjigo, were driving around Arches National Park on a windy spring day in 2020 when a metal gate whipped around, sliced through the passenger door of. Copyright 2023 CBS Interactive Inc. All rights reserved. "Emergency response personnel from the National Park Service, Grand County Sheriffs Office, Grand County EMS, Moab City Police Department, Utah Highway Patrol and Moab Valley Fire Department responded to the scene to provide assistance. I really wanted to show her Arches, he said, because I know all the parks around Moab It's one of my favorite places in the U.S., if not my favorite place.. It alleges that if park employees had properly installed the gate to not swing into oncoming traffic or placed an $8 padlock on the gate to secure it from moving in the breeze, the world would not have lost a young woman influencer destined to become our societys future Princess Diana, Philanthropist Melinda Gates, or Oprah Winfrey..
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