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Tag: robert stevens

Widow of Anthrax Victim Settles Lawsuit Against Feds

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Maureen Stevens’ legal battle with the feds over the anthrax death of her husband seems to be over.

Reuters reports that the widow of the deceased Florida tabloid photo editor Robert Stevens — one of five people killed in the 2001 anthrax attacks in the U.S. — has reached a settlement with the government in her wrongful death suit. She had asked for $50 million in damages, but the terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

“The parties have reached a tentative settlement subject to required approval by officials in the Department of Justice,” said a Oct. 27 document filed with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in West Palm Beach, according to Reuters.

Maureen Stevens had filed the suit in 2003, saying the government was negligent by failing to secure the anthrax used in the attacks.

The government eventually concluded that government scientist Bruce Ivins had sent the deadly anthrax. Ivins committed suicide in July 2008, just before the feds planned to charge him in the case.

Some scientists and Congressional members have questioned whether Ivins was really the culprit, but the Justice Department and the FBI have insisted the evidence as whole is overwhelming.

Judge Blocks Justice Dept. From Correcting Statement About Anthrax Suspect

Anthrax Suspect Bruce Ivins

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A federal judge temporarily blocked the Justice Department from correcting a court filing that undercut the FBI’s conclusion that Army researcher Bruce Ivins was responsible for the anthrax letter attacks in 2001, PBS Frontline, McClatchy and ProPublica reported in a joint story.

U.S. District Judge Daniel Hurley of West Palm Beach, Fla., on Monday issued a written order saying the government must “show good cause” before allowing Justice to amend the court filing.

The filing was part of a lawsuit filed by the wife of a National Enquirer photo editor Robert Stevens, claiming the government failed to do enough to protect people from an anthrax attack.

Monday’s court order  appeared more procedural than substantive.

The government in the original filing said that Ivins did not have access in the lab to the special equipment needed to make the deadly powder, the publications reported.

The Justice Department wants to correct that to say Ivin did in fact have access to the equipment at U.S. Army bio-weapons facility in Frederick, Md., where he worked.

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