North Metro Man Awarded Big Bucks in Spat with Anoka Co Over Deer Carcass Removal

November 29, 2017 09:19 AM

A north metro man who pulled animal carcasses from the road for a living has been awarded more than $400,000 after suing Anoka County. 

Ricky Johnson of Nowthen says he has had a contract to pick up all deer carcasses on Anoka County highways after collisions for several years. After learning that in 2003 the county began using jail inmates to supplant some of Johnson's work, he filed a lawsuit, claiming the county didn't honor the contract.

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"I said, 'Well you can't really do this,' and they're like, 'No, we are going to do it,' and that's the end of the story," said Johnson, now retired. "I was like backed into a corner. I didn't have any choice."

This week, the Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld a lower court decision that the contract was breached, awarding Johnson the money. 


Road Kill policies by county

Most county websites list specific policies regarding road kill disposal, though some are less clear. Below are a smattering.


"I didn't have a choice in my case, but I think people have to stand up for themselves," Johnson said. "This was my family and my livelihood."   

Anoka County says it's can't comment on the ruling because it's considering an appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court. Anoka County has 30 days to deliver that petition, but it doesn't mean the state's high court will hear the case.

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Joe Mazan

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