The military widely uses large research and development facilities in order to create and test new technologies used by soldiers around the world. When testing new weapons, munitions, or other military technology, it is important to conduct these tests in realistic scenarios while keeping the surrounding population safe from harm. Sometimes, however, these tests go wrong, and outside parties can be seriously injured or killed as the result of an errant military experiment.
In 2006, the Angle family of Rockaway, New Jersey, learned just how close they were to suffering serious harm as a result of military equipment testing that went wrong. Scientists and engineers at nearby Picatinny Arsenal were testing munitions when a detonated M107 high-explosive shell sent shrapnel flying toward the Angle family’s home more than a mile away. The shrapnel hit the house, pierced the roof, and landed on a child’s bed. Luckily, no people were injured in the incident. Unfortunately, however, the family’s cat was hit by the flying piece of metal and had to be euthanized.
As a result of the nearly catastrophic event, the Angle family sued the United States government, alleging negligence. The family claimed that although no people were injured, they were extremely close to suffering severe injures as a direct result of the government’s carelessness. Although the case went on for several years, it was settled in 2013. Court documents have recently been released and show that the family received $100,000 as part of the settlement agreement.
The Angle family’s case demonstrates that accidents resulting in serious injury can occur in an unimaginable number of ways. The case further shows that even if no physical injuries are sustained, a near-victim can still recover in certain instances. If you have suffered a traumatic event in which you were nearly killed or injured, you may have the right to recover for the terror and stress you have suffered. In these instances, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you better understand your rights and assist you in successfully pursuing a legal remedy.