St. Louis, MO - The parents of Michael Brown are about to get their payday for the justifiable death of their son, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The settlement has not yet been finalized or approved by a judge, but it appears that they have reached an agreement with the insurance company. The settlement comes after a likely weakening in the Brown family's case.
The amount of the settlement hasn't been made public yet, but it's presumably just shy of the $3 million limit of the city's insurance company.
Documents about the settlement have been sealed and the court has been closed to the public. When asked why the court was closed to the public, the Brown family's attorney, Anthony Gray told the Post Dispatch, “There's more to it than that, but I just can't comment.”
In January, U.S. District Judge E. Richard Webber, ordered the parents of Michael Brown to turn over requested medical and education records in their wrongful-death lawsuit, despite the protests of his parents, Michael Brown, Sr., and Lezley McSpadden.
The records that have been requested included the parents' medical records for the past five years, their son's education records, and certain medical documents.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Judge Webber said, "The court will not limit the medical records to treatment sought by the plaintiffs for damages specifically related to this matter because (the) defendants will need to evaluate whether the claimed injuries actually occurred as a result of the death of their son."
The documentation was requested by the defense attorneys who represent the City of Ferguson, the Officer Darren Wilson, and the former Police Chief of the Ferguson Police Department. In the lawsuit, Brown's parents state they have "sustained permanent injuries including mental anguish" since his death.
Judge Webber dismissed the parents' claim that the release of the records was "harassing and invasive" by further stating "Repeatedly asserting the same objections to each request is not enough to protect against disclosure."
Attorneys for Brown's parents have argued that the death of their son deprived them of financial support through his future potential wages. Attorneys for the defendants have countered that Brown's complete medical records are necessary and relevant in determining his 'potenital life expectancy and future income.'
In a book that she wrote in 2016, Brown's mother Lezley McSpadden said that her son had "high blood pressure, headaches, impaired vision and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder." The medical records that Judge Webber ordered released include Brown's medical history since he was 10-years-old.
The Judge also ordered the release of Brown's parents' tax returns since 2009, stating that it was "a straightforward way" in assessing how their income has changed since Brown's death.
He also ordered that records of any income that was made from "sales of merchandise or memorabilia featuring their son's likeness, as well as proceeds from any GoFundMe campaigns or other fundraisers linked to his death" must be released as well.
Presumably, the information discovered since the lawsuit began convinced Michael Brown's parents to take a settlement from the insurance company rather than risk the lawsuit going bad in court.
While you may find it disturbing that the family of a justifiably-dead violent criminal is getting a payday, the truth is that jut about all families of justifiably-dead criminals get a payday. No matter how clear-cut a justified shooting is, insurance companies stand-by to pay the families.
Do you think that families should be instant millionaires when their criminal family members get killed while attempting to murder police officers? We'd like to hear what you think. Please let us know in the comments.