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Trayvon Martin's family reportedly settles wrongful-death claim

April 05, 2013|By Michael Mello
  • Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, left, the parents of Trayvon Martin, speak at a protest on the anniversary of their son Trayvon's death in Union Square Park in New York.
Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, left, the parents of Trayvon Martin, speak… (PETER FOLEY / EPA )

The family of Trayvon Martin, the teen who was shot dead by a Neighborhood Watch volunteer last year in an Orlando, Fla., suburb, appears to have settled a civil suit claiming wrongful death against the subdivision's homeowners association.

Citing Seminole County court records, the Orlando Sentinel reported on Friday that the settlement could total $1 million or more. A few pages of the document were made available to the public, but the amount of the settlement was blacked out. The agreement stipulated that those involved would keep the dollar amount private.

As part of the settlement, the homeowners association acknowledged no wrongdoing.

According to the Sentinel, the association took out a $1-million insurance policy a few weeks after the shooting. A receptionist at the office of homeowners association attorney Thomas R. Slaten Jr. said he would not answer questions.

On Feb. 26 last year, George Zimmerman shot Martin at the Retreat at Twin Lakes town homes complex in Sanford, Fla. Zimmerman was the head of the local Neighborhood Watch at the time.

Before the fatal confrontation, Zimmerman had spotted Martin walking in the neighborhood and had called police, reporting the teen as looking suspicious. After being confronted by Martin, Zimmerman told police he fired in self-defense when the teen attacked him. Martin was unarmed.

The issue made headlines nationwide, in part because of accusations that Zimmerman acted on racist assumptions about Martin, who was black. Zimmerman’s attorney has denied those allegations.

Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder and is scheduled to go to trial in June.

Benjamin Crump, attorney for the Martin family, was not available for comment on the reported settlement of the family's civil case. When asked by the Sentinel about the amount, he told a reporter: "I have no comment on that subject.… I know you did not get that from me."

Crump has said he plans to file suit against Zimmerman at some point.

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