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Anthrax Death Raises Responsibility Questions

May 5th, 2008 by flanews

The Florida Supreme Court is debating what responsibility laboratories that make hazardous materials have to the public. Shortly after 911, a Florida photo editor died after receiving anthrax through the mail. As Whitney Ray tells us, the family of the victim believes the anthrax that killed their loved one came from a lab that does work for the government.

It was the scare felt round the world. Anthrax mailed to a tabloid in Boca Raton. Its been seven years since Maureen Stevens lost her husband in the anthrax attack, and shes still fighting for justice. Maureens lawyers spoke on behalf of the family.

It was a very cruel death. A horrible death and to have to witness that and to have to lose a father and a husband, as you can imagine is very difficult for the family, said attorney Richard Schuler.

Robert Stevens worked as a photo editor for a tabloid and was the first victim to die from anthrax following 911. Besides Stevens four other people died after receiving anthrax laced letters through the mail. Attorneys for the Stevens family were at the Florida Supreme Court trying to determine who is liable for the deaths. They believe the anthrax that killed the 63 year-old came from a Government contractor. A lawyer for the company told the justices theres no evidence the anthrax came from their lab. Outside, their lawyer wouldnt talk, but the Stevens attorney did.

The security at that facility is abysmal and theres evidence of that and they need to take responsibility for the deaths that occurred solely as a result of their fault, said attorney Philip Burlington

The State Supreme Court is debating if the lab has a duty to do all it can to keep dangerous materials from the public. The State Supreme Court took the case under advisement. There is no time table for a decision.

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