Bear Mauling of National Outdoor Leadership School Students - The New York Personal Injury Law Blog

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Bear Mauling of National Outdoor Leadership School Students

A New City teen was involved in a grisly bear mauling in Alaska over the weekend. Seventeen-year old Joshua Berg was a student at Wyoming-based National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) when he reportedly was attacked by the bear. He suffered serious, but non-life threatening, injuries, and this is the second serious incident in two weeks involving a Wyoming-based outdoor adventure company.

According to ABC, seven teens from around the country were hiking along a river in the Alaskan wilderness as part of a 30-day NOLS wilderness survival course. The teens were on the 24th day of their course and were hiking unsupervised by NOLS staff.

During the hike, the group camp upon a mother bear and her cubs, reports ABC. The teens attempted to run away, but two of the teens were tracked down and mauled. Berg reportedly suffered the most severe injuries.

After the mauling, ABC reports that the teens were able to put their survival training into action. They set up a first aid tent and were able to care for the injured teens while waiting for help to arrive.

Still, despite the teens' ability to treat the mauling victims, NOLS may come under attack for allowing the group of relatively inexperienced teens to wander alone in the Alaskan wilderness without any professional supervision. The teens had been trained on survival skills for only a little over three weeks.

NOLS defended their course and their training saying that the students learned enough in their training through 24 days to fend for themselves in the wilderness.

Investigators are still reviewing the incident and it is not sure if the bear mauling was preventable. However, National Outdoor Leadership School may face a personal injury lawsuit if it was careless in allowing a city teen like Joshua Berg to wander the Alaskan wilderness alone without professional supervision.

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