Family of boy sprayed by cyanide bomb files lawsuit against federal governmentPublished at | Updated at
POCATELLO — A little over a year after a boy and his dog were victims of a cyanide bomb explosion that killed the dog.
Now the family has filed a lawsuit against the federal government.
The civil suit was filed by Mark and Theresa Mansfield, the parents of Canyon Mansfield, who was sprayed by the cyanide bomb. The suit claims the person who placed the two bombs on public property acted negligently and blatantly disregarded the EPA’s use restrictions on M-44 cyanide bombs. The bombs are used as a deterrent for predatory animals, such as coyotes.
Todd Sullivan, the Eastern District Supervisor for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, told investigators he placed the two bombs responsible for spraying Mansfield and killing the family dog Casey.
According to the lawsuit Sullivan said his department had an agreement with the owner of the sheep that grazed on the private land where the bombs were placed. However, despite being able to tell the boundaries between the public and private land, Sullivan said he mistakenly placed the bombs on public land just 300 yards from the Mansfield’s home.
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In doing so Sullivan violated multiple EPA use restrictions on M-44s. According to the lawsuit, not only did he fail to place the bombs on private land and away from people and pets, he failed to put up warning signs and didn’t check to make sure predators were even a problem in the area.
M-44 are permitted in the use of killing coyotes that are praying on livestock, however, the EPA requires full documentation and evidence that livestock are being killed by coyotes. Something Sullivan did not obtain and the rancher admitted to not having had any sheep killed.
According to the lawsuit Sullivan said he “just wanted to get a jump on the season.”
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The lawsuit claims due to Sullivan’s negligence Canyon was sprayed by the cyanide bomb in his left eye and all over his clothing and still undergoes regular blood tests and experiences headaches likely due to his exposure to the sodium cyanide contained in the cyanide bomb.
The family is seeking a minimum of $75,000 for pain and suffering. They are also seeking another $75,000 minimum for economic damages.
Because Sullivan was acting as an employee of the federal government the lawsuit was filed against the federal government.
EastIdahoNews.com reached out to Mark Mansfield for comment, but the call was not immediately returned.