Anthrax Attack At Boca Raton's American Media Ends In Multimilllion Dollar Settlement

BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — It took more than a decade, but finally there is closure for the family for Bob Stevens who died following an Anthrax attack in Boca Raton back in 2001. He was the photo editor of “The Sun” which was published by American Media, headquartered at the time in Boca. The federal government will pay his survivors $2.5 million for not preventing the attack. 
 
The publisher of BocaNewsNow.com, then working for a major broadcast network, covered the aftermath from the scene and recalls the fear that so many felt at the time not knowing where the Anthrax originated, or who sent it. He also recalls the wave of “false alarms” reported to local authorities on a regular basis, resulting in building evacuations and haz-mat wash downs where people had to take showers outside in the name of decontamination. 
 
It was a crazy time.
 
While the settlement is public record, here are a few paragraphs wrapping it up from our friends at CNN.com

 

“The family of the first victim to die in the 2001 anthrax attacks will get $2.5 million from the U.S. government under a settlement reached last week, according to court documents.

Bob Stevens, 63, worked as a photo editor for American Media Inc. and was the first of five victims of the attacks. He died Octobert h 5, 2001, after inhaling anthrax that investigators believe was in a letter sent to American Media, the publisher of the Sun and National Enquirer tabloids, at its offices in Boca Raton, Florida.

The FBI eventually blamed the attacks on a civilian scientist at the Army’s biological research laboratory at Fort Detrick, Maryland. The suspect, microbiologist Bruce Ivins, had a history of mental illness and killed himself in 2008 before investigators brought charges against him, federal prosecutors said.

Stevens’ family sued the government for $50 million in 2003, arguing that the military laboratory in Maryland that was identified as the source of the bacterium should have had tighter security.

A settlement notice dated November 23 was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.”

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