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Ken Otto sustained serious injuries after the airbag inflator discharged and hit him on his face on the flightline in Everett, Washington, on November 13, 2014. He was immediately taken to hospital but could not survive.
The wrongful death lawsuit, filed on July 1, claims that Boeing showed negligence in warning Otto and others about the possible hazards of working on a faulty airbag inflator.
Police officers arrived at the scene following a 911 report of a man throwing rocks at vehicles in Pasco, Washington. The officers said that Antonio Zambrano-Montes also threw rocks at them and his behavior was threatening and erratic.
According to the claim filed by the victim’s widow Teresa De Jesus Meraz Ruiz, 32 and 2 daughters, the officers chased him across a busy intersection in downtown and then killed him on a sidewalk. The claim further says that officers were not justified at the use of excessive and deadly force, as Antonio posed no threat to them.
The police and prosecutors confirmed that Antonio did not have a knife or a firearm at the time of his death.
The $25 million claim serves as a notice that the family will file a wrongful death lawsuit if the city does not respond within 60 days.
The lawsuit was filed by the family of a Veteran, Cliff Douglass, who was diagnosed with melanoma in May 2011 and died in November 2012. Douglass served in the U.S. Army just after the Vietnam War and later worked in Puget Sound, Washington. According to his family, a VA scheduler had to refer him for surgery at the University of Washington but he never made the call. The cancer kept spreading for 3 months until Douglass himself made the appointment. By then, the cancer had spread throughout his body.
Recently in January 2015, the Department of Veterans Affairs agreed to pay $900,000 to settle the wrongful death suit filed by Douglass’ sister Connie Olberg. According to Olberg, “I don’t think we can ask for more than that.”
It is believed that the settlement is the largest wrongful death payout by the VA Puget Sound since 2001.