Indian Reservation Fire Lawsuit Ruling Reversed by Appeals Court

According to Valley News Live, in North Dakota, an appeals court reversed a ruling that allowed an insurance company to be sued.

The family members of 2 daughters who were killed on the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation in a house fire were looking to sue an insurance company for wrongful death and personal injury.

In 2008, a federal judge refused to throw out the lawsuit against Amerind Risk Management Corporation that was filed in tribal court by tribal members Carol Belgarde, Lonnie Thompson and Myrna Malaterre.

The daughters of Belgarde and Malaterre were lost in a fire in 2002, while Thompson had been injured in the fire.

In a 2-1 ruling by a three judge panel in the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the prior ruling that would have allowed the Amerind company to be sued. A “perverse result,” according to the one judge who ruled against overturning the original decision.

The attorney for the tribal members will be filing an appeal.

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