Settlement reached in Hunt son’s death

Seven years after the death of his infant son, state Delegate Mark Hunt settled a wrongful-death lawsuit in Kanawha Circuit Court on Tuesday for $370,000.

In 1999, 10-month-old Andrew Marshall Hunt died following heart surgery at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown. Hunt and his wife, Tracy, sued West Virginia University Hospitals Inc. and WVU’s Board of Trustees. Dr. Robert Gustafson was also named in the suit.

Judge Jim Stucky closed Tuesday’s settlement hearing but did not seal the case file. Court records indicate that the Hunts received $229,000 of the settlement, with the remainder going to their attorney’s firm for fees and expenses.

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After the hearing, Hunt said he was pleased with the outcome. He declined to comment on specific details of the agreement.

Charles Bailey, who represented the WVU Board of Trustees and Gustafson, said his clients were satisfied with the result.

“It was a long case with a lot of issues,” Bailey said. “Certainly we were glad to resolve the matter and move forward.”

Bailey said that although the details of the payment were not specified, the university would respond to requests for the exact dollar amount of its contribution because it involves the use of public funds.

Mark Hunt ran unsuccessfully for Congress this year, and has been mentioned as a possible candidate for Charleston mayor. His term as a delegate ends in January.

After Andrew’s death, the Hunts made international news when they hired Dr. Brigitte Boisselier — who belonged to a religious sect that believes life on Earth is the product of genetic experimentation by aliens — to explore the possibility of cloning their son. After six months in a lab in Nitro, the Hunts abandoned the project.

At the time, Hunt said the experience helped him deal with his son’s death.

“The learning, the talking — they were helpful for me,” Hunt told the Sunday Gazette-Mail in 2001. “I was involved in something, and Andrew’s loss wasn’t always there in my face. The emotional pain of losing a child is almost physical.”


(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
Andrew Clevenger, The Charleston Gazette, Nov. 22, 2006,

Religion News Blog posted this on Saturday November 25, 2006.
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