Wrongful death suit against Nez Perce Tribe tossed

A federal judge in Idaho dismissed a wrongful death suit that accused the Nez Perce Tribe of contributing to the death of a 17-year-old who was killed in a hunting accident.

U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge said the tribe is entitled to sovereign immunity. He rejected the lawsuit filed by Dana and Deanna Thomason, the parents of Colby James Thomason, who was killed in September 2002 on the reservation.

Thomason and a friend were practicing bugling for elk when Kim Ellery Rickman Jr., a tribal member, heard the call and responded with his own bugle. Thomason returned the call and Rickman shot in the direction of the sound, killing Thomason.

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Court dismisses wrongful-death claim (AP 8/31)