After A Successful Monetary Recovery, The Firm Continues Its Efforts To Obtain Justice For The Botell Family
The United States settled the Botell family’s lawsuit earlier this year for $3.5 million, but when the Park Service failed to take action against park employees, including Superintendent Darlene Koontz, Steve Campora and Catia Saraiva wrote to congressional legislators seeking an investigation and Congresswoman Jackie Speier responded. An investigation into negligent and criminal conduct is now underway. In the Botells’ civil case, in response to motions filed by Campora and Saraiva, Magistrate Judge Gregory Hollows stated, “The court can only conclude that defendant’s conduct in spoliating evidence pertaining to the retaining walls was willful and material.” As a sanction, Judge Hollows also recommended that the United States, for all purposes, be found negligent in causing the death of Tommy Botell. In his order, the judge also found that it was “inconceivable” that handwritten notes regarding the accident did not exist, and he recommended a hearing as to what happened to those notes. He also recommended a hearing into whether Park Superintendent Koontz committed perjury when she stated, in a sworn declaration, that she was unaware of any statute, regulation or policy that prescribed how or when the park’s rock walls should have been maintained and inspected. The investigation is now underway.