The family of astronaut Neil Armstrong was paid a $6 million wrongful-death settlement by an Ohio hospital stemming from claims related to the 2012 death of the NASA hero, who made history as the first man to walk on the moon.
Mercy Health hospital secretly paid the settlement in 2014, but the news of the agreement surfaced this week amid celebrations of the 50-year anniversary of Armstrong’s historic walk on the moon as part of the 1969 Apollo 11 mission.
When Armstrong died in 2012 at age 82, his family released a statement attributing his death to complications from coronary bypass surgery. However, his sons blamed the hospital, saying their dad died prematurely due to negligent post-surgical care at Mercy Health-Fairfield Hospital in Ohio.
Armstrong’s sons Mark and Eric threatened to sue the hospital after it disputed their accusations. However, the hospital eventually decided to pay out the $6 million settlement to avoid a prolonged, embarrassing legal battle, according to court documents.
Attorney Bertha G. Helmich, who represented Neil Armstrong’s grandchildren in the lawsuit, said the hospital made a wise decision. “No institution wants to be remotely associated with the death of one of America’s greatest heroes,” Helmich said in the lawsuit.
As part of the settlement, Neil’s sons Mark and Eric Armstrong received $5.2 million from the settlement. Armstrong’s brother and sister, Dean A. Armstrong and June L. Hoffman, each received $250,000. And Armstrong’s six grandchildren got $24,000 each, according to court documents.
President Donald Trump recently pledged that the United States is committed to sending astronauts back to the moon in 2024 and eventually to Mars.
“For Americans, nothing is impossible,” Trump said in June 2019. “Exactly 50 years ago this month, the world watched in awe as Apollo 11 astronauts launched into space with a wake of fire and nerves of steel, and planted our great American flag on the face of the moon.”
Trump added: “I want you to know that we’re going to be back on the moon very soon, and, someday soon, we will plant the American flag on Mars.”
Meanwhile, the U.S. Air Force warned the 1.9 million people who signed up to “Storm Area 51” on September 20 to stay away. The Air Force said the military will “protect America and its assets” from anyone who tries to infiltrate the Nevada Air Force base.
The warning came as renewed speculation heats up among UFO conspiracy theorists that the government is covering up the existence of UFO remains and extraterrestrial life at Area 51.
“[Area 51] is an open training range for the U.S. Air Force, and we would discourage anyone from trying to come into the area where we train American armed forces,” an Air Force rep said in a statement.
Air Force warns UFO fans to stay away after 836,000 people sign up to Storm Area 51 | (C) breaching security at any US military base makes you a potential terrorist and subject to lethal force. Don't be stupid for curiosity sake. https://t.co/8rYiHU0BU5 via @BIZPACReview
— POTUS Press ✩ (@POTUSPress) July 14, 2019
Conspiracy theorists have long maintained that the US government has been covering up the existence of captured UFOs and alien remains at Area 51. While the government denies the rumors, the theories persist, aided by popular Hollywood alien invasion films and TV shows.
The perimeter of the Area 51 Air Force base is patrolled around-the-clock by armed security guards, fueling intense public interest.
In June 2018, President Donald Trump ordered the Pentagon to establish a national Space Force as the sixth branch of the Armed Forces.
“When it comes to defending America, it is not enough to merely have an American presence in space. We must have American dominance in space,” the president said.
While the mainstream media mocked Trump over his Space Force idea, other countries have since followed suit, including China and France.
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