Despite pleas from government attorneys to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the survivors of two men who drowned in Kolob Creek Canyon, a judge has ordered the case to go to trial.
Judge J. Thomas Greene denied the motion to dismiss and set a trial for June 18.David Fleisher, 27, and Leroy Kim Ellis, 37, drowned while on a Scouting expedition in Kolob Creek Canyon in July 1993. In their suit, the families of the two men allege that when park officials issued the group a back-county permit they had an obligation to warn them of a large release of water from Kolob Reservior.
Government lawyers made the motion to dismiss the lawsuit on April 24, stating that under federal law, government is immune from suits when employees are performing discretionary functions.
Rob Clark, the lawyer who is representing the plaintiffs, said, "We're obviously very pleased that Judge Greene has cleared the way for the trial of the matter. We look forward to pleading our case. I feel this is an important step in the process."
Fleischer drowned after jumping into a waterfall-fed pool in Kolob Creek Canyon. He was with a group of five teenage Scouts from an LDS ward in South Salt Lake. Ellis drowned while attempting to save Fleischer.