Anthrax attack widow settles $50 million lawsuit

Maureen Stevens, who has spent a decade trying to get federal officials to accept responsibility for the death of her husband and four others following the 2001 anthrax attacks, has settled her $50 million lawsuit against the government.
Jason Weisser, Stevens' attorney, said that a trial would have tested the FBI's much-criticized claims that the 2001 anthrax attacks were carried out solely by Bruce Ivins, a researcher at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Md., the Palm Beach Post reports.
Ivins killed himself in July 2008, just days before he was about to be charged in connection with five anthrax-laced letters that were sent to Stevens' employer, the National Enquirer, news outlets in New York City and Congressional offices in Washington, D.C.

Stevens' husband allegedly inhaled anthrax spores when he was opening the mail at American Media, Inc., in Boca Raton, Fla., where he worked.
Weisser is prohibited from revealing much of what he learned during the case, but he said that he was stunned by the lack of security at the labs. In addition, Ivins' former co-workers testified that the late scientist did not have the time, equipment or know-how to produce the deadly anthrax. Such conflicting testimony flummoxed government attorneys who were trying to get the case thrown out, according to the Palm Beach Post. They argued that the government is not responsible for the actions of a rogue employee. In the court filings, however, they too said some of the needed equipment wasn't in the lab.
The settlement, the terms of which cannot be divulged until it is officially approved by the U.S. Justice Department, was hashed out last week during a mediation session with government attorneys.