Insurance companies settled sweat lodge lawsuits for $3M

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Insurance providers for James Arthur Ray, the self-help author convicted of negligent homicide in the 2009 deaths of three people during a sweat-lodge ceremony in Arizona, have agreed to pay the victims’ families more than $3 million.

The Associated Press writes

James Arthur Ray began serving a two-year sentence last month on a trio of negligent homicide convictions. The terms of the settlements reached last year recently were disclosed in court documents filed as exhibits in Ray’s criminal case and released Friday at the request of The Associated Press.

The families of Kirby Brown, James Shore and Liz Neuman, sued Ray after the October 2009 ceremony near Sedona. The lawsuits accused Ray and his company of negligence, fraud and wrongful death. Others who were injured in the ceremony also were party to the lawsuit. […]

Other cases against Ray are pending.

The Daily Mail says

Autopsy reports showed that 38-year-old Kirby Brown and 40-year-old James Shore died of heat stroke and were pronounced dead when they arrived at the hospital.

Liz Neuman’s organs shut down due to hypothermia and prolonged sweat lodge exposure.

The forty-nine year old never regained consciousness and died a week later.

In money provided not by Ray himself but his insurers, Mr Brown’s parents received nearly $860,000 in their settlement.

$1.38 million went to Mr Shore’s family.

Ms Neuman’s family got more than $1 million to settle the claims.

Meanwhile the Los Angeles Times reports

The Beverly Hills-area home of self-help guru James Arthur Ray has sold for $3.015 million. […]

Ray had purchased the more than 7,000-square-foot house [in 2009] for $4 million.

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This post was last updated: Dec. 3, 2011