Cliven Bundy just doesn’t like responsibility — whether it be paying grazing fees for public land he utilizes to graze his cattle, or admitting that it’s his negligence that led to a Las Vegas woman crashing her car into one of his cattle that escaped.
Danielle Beck has sued Bundy after she collided with one of Bundy’s cattle on Interstate 15 two days after Welfare Cowboy’s domestic terrorists threatened the federal government into backing down from their attempts to remove the rancher’s cattle from the land.
The lawsuit alleges that Bundy “recklessly, carelessly and negligently allowed his cows to enter onto Interstate 15 through an area where he had no grazing or other rights.” Beck seeks at least $20,000 for medical expenses, lost income, and other damages.
“She’s lucky she lived,” said Bob Apple, Beck’s lawyer. “I’ve been practicing since 1975, and I’ve never seen someone with so many broken ribs.”
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that,
The crash occurred about 1:15 a.m. on April 14, less than 48 hours after the Bureau of Land Management abandoned its roundup and allowed Bundy to take back his impounded livestock following a tense standoff with the rancher’s supporters, including armed militia members from across the country.
According to the Nevada Highway Patrol’s accident report, Beck and her boyfriend, Matthew Zanatta, were headed north on I-15 about 75 mph when they encountered cows in both lanes of the road. Zanatta tried to stop the car, but it hit one of the cows. The animal rolled up onto the roof, and the car swerved off the road and into a culvert.
Both Beck, 34, and Zanatta, 40, were taken by ambulance to the hospital in Mesquite.
Apple said his client has recovered enough to return to her job as a schoolteacher, but she was unable to work the second job she usually takes to earn extra money during her summer break.
The accident report said authorities at the scene had to herd four other cows away from the highway through a hole in the fence along the interstate.
“The cow’s owner never arrived on scene after being contacted by NHP dispatch,” the report said.
Bundy had not been served with a notice of the lawsuit Wednesday, but he told the Review-Journal that, though it was his cow that was hit, it’s not his responsibility. Bundy claims that it’s the state’s job to maintain the fence that keeps his livestock off the interstate.
“It’s a state problem. It’s not our problem,” Bundy said. “We really feel bad when it happens. We sure don’t want it to happen. But we’re not liable.”
Apple said he does not know why there was a hole in the fence, or who is responsible for fixing it, but more defendants could be added to the suit. According to the Review Journal,
One thing is clear: Bundy does not have the BLM’s permission to graze his cattle on federal land that brackets the highway and surrounds his 160-acre property along the Virgin River.
The rancher’s federal grazing permit was canceled 20 years ago after Bundy stopped paying his grazing fees in a dispute over the BLM’s new range restrictions meant to protect the desert tortoise. The land since has been closed to grazing, but Bundy kept his livestock on the range, and the government kept assessing fees and penalties that now exceed $1 million.
Bundy says that he is within his rights to make a claim against the victim of his negligence.
“The person whose car hit that cow is liable to me,” he said.