Family of contractor killed in F-16 strafing accident will get payout in settlement with Air Force

The family of a contractor who was killed in a strafing accident during a 2017 Air Force training exercise has reached a settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit against the service.

Charles Holbrook, a retired Air Force master sergeant and tactical air control party airman, was fatally shot Jan. 31, 2017, at the White Sands Missile Range near Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico. An F-16 Fighting Falcon, flown by a student pilot on a nighttime training mission, mistook a row of rental cars in an observation area for the target and fired on them.

Holbrook was struck in the head with a 20mm round at about 7:18 p.m. and died an hour and a half later at the Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center in Alamogordo, New Mexico.

His wife of more than 22 years, Belen, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Air Force and two unidentified F-16

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P.A.I.N Sackler Calls Purdue Pharma Settlement “Justice for Sale”

PAIN Sackler and Truth Pharm activists protesting outside Purdue Pharma’s bankruptcy hearing in 2019 (photo by Jasmine Weber for Hyperallergic)

A recent in-depth report in the New Yorker details a potential settlement between the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Purdue Pharma that would allow the Sackler family to maintain billions of dollars of their personal wealth and face no criminal liability for its role in the opioid epidemic.

Thousands have filed lawsuits against Purdue, claiming it helped create the crisis by using deceptive marketing to promote and downplay the dangers of the addictive prescription drug OxyContin. The company entered bankruptcy protection last year. Purdue is now prepared to pay out $3 billion to victims of the opioid crisis — but likely only on the condition that they are granted a release from future liability. (According to states’ legal filings, the total cost of the opioid crisis surpasses two trillion dollars;

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