$40K to family of teen in barracks overdose

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Associated Press

Posted on January 17, 2013 at 9:32 AM

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A lawsuit settlement means the family of a Lakewood, Wash., teenager who died from a drug overdose in 2009 in a Fort Lewis barracks will receive $40,000 from the U.S. government and a security contractor.

The New Tribune reports (http://is.gd/YweO0b ) that lawyers for 16-year-old Leah King's mother determined they had a limited chance of winning the lawsuit after an August decision from a federal judge who dismissed the security firm from the case.

The agreement calls on the government to pay Katherine King $35,000 and former Fort Lewis security contractor Doyon to contribute another $5,000.

A Doyon lawyer says the company agreed to participate in the settlement to avoid an appeal.

In 2010, Pvt. Timothy Bennitt was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for "aiding and abetting" his girlfriend's use of the painkiller oxymorphone and anxiety pill Xanax. He was sentenced to nearly six years.

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Information from: The News Tribune, http://www.thenewstribune.com

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