In a novel decision, Newfoundland court has ruled that victims of moose-vehicle collisions may sue the government for negligently failing to manage the provincial moose population. Last year, there were an estimated 800 collisions or close calls involving moose.
The plaintiffs allege that the government introduced a non-native species of moose to Newfoundland in the early 1900s and since then has failed to manage the population.
The decision opens the door for the class of plaintiffs to move forward with the claim. However, the plaintiffs must still prove that the government has been negligent.
Regardless of the outcome of the lawsuit, we hope that the province can find effective ways to manage the moose population. Moose pose a significant danger to drivers and passengers. A bull moose can weigh over 1100 pounds. When a car hits its long, spindly legs, it crushes them and the top-heavy mass comes hurtling through the windscreen, killing or crushing those in the front seats.
The case has garnered attention from international publications such as The Economist.