The New York Daily News reported that Laura Paultre, the mother of slain New Yorker Sean Bell's would-be fiancé, believes the wrongful death settlement with the city was "fair." Sean Bell was killed in a hail of 50 bullets fired by New York City police officers, although he was unarmed.
He was slain by officers outside the Club Kalua strip club in Queens on what would have been his wedding day.
After a four-year legal battle against the city for the unfortunate incident, New York personal injury lawyers for Sean Bell's former fiancé Nicole Paultre-Bell and injured friends Joseph Guzman and Trent Benefield were able to secure individual settlements.
Nicole Paultre-Bell will receive $3.25 million, mainly for the couple's children. Joseph Guzman, who was shot 11 times, will receive $3 million and Trent Benefield, hit three times, will get $900,000.
Nicole Paultre told the Daily News that she was mostly concerned with the financial well-being of her grandchildren:
"I believe it's fair. The children will be okay, and that's the main thing."
In total, the city of New York is paying $7 million in relation to the tragic shooting on November 25, 2006. The three undercover officers involved in the shooting, meanwhile, were acquitted in 2008 of manslaughter and reckless endangerment.
The Rev. Al Sharpton said that while this does not "diminish the outrage in the community," the settlement at least will help the victims and their families:
"They must all provide for their families, but this in no way mitigates or repairs the permanent damage done to them and the pain it has caused them forever."
Civil wrongful death lawsuits may be brought against parties believed to be responsible for a family member's death, as explained by FindLaw. Talk to a New York personal injury lawyer if you have additional questions.