Family of former SEAL killed at Benghazi looks for justice from the government
The family of Glen Doherty, a former SEAL who was working as a CIA contractor in Benghazi on September 11, 2012 has filed wrongful death claims against two federal agencies. If not resolved in 6 months, the family may take the government to court.
In a separate suit filed in a California court, the family suiing an insurance company that provided a worthless death benefit to Doherty.
The family of a CIA contractor killed in Benghazi, Libya, has filed claims seeking $2 million in damages from the CIA and State Department, alleging there was inadequate security at the U.S. diplomatic post and CIA compound when it came under attack by militants in 2012.
The family of Glen Doherty, led by his mother, Barbara Doherty, filed a claim with the two government agencies last week seeking $1 million for wrongful death. Doherty's friend and executor of his estate, Sean Lake, filed a separate claim seeking a little over $1 million.
Separately, Doherty's family and Lake filed a lawsuit in state court in California last week over a death benefit on a policy Doherty was required to take out as a CIA contractor who performed security work overseas in hazardous areas. The lawsuit seeking unspecified damages claims that the broker was negligent because its staff failed to tell Doherty that the policy was essentially worthless to him: It would only pay a death benefit if he had a dependent such as a wife or child, but Doherty was divorced with no children.
Dean Boyd, a spokesman for the CIA, said the agency would have no comment. The State Department also declined to comment.
Michael Mortenson, a California attorney representing the Doherty family and Lake, said that under federal law, the claims for damages are required before a lawsuit against the government can be filed. Mortenson said that if the claims are denied, they may file a lawsuit within six months.
Doherty's family argues that both locations that came under attack in Libya lacked adequate security resources and personnel despite repeated requests for more. Doherty was killed by mortar rounds that hit the roof of the CIA annex.
Mortenson said Doherty's family has reached out to the U.S. government over the last two years "to try to reach a resolution," but no agreement has been reached. In July, five Congress members sent a letter to CIA Director John Brennan urging him to do everything he can to "provide the appropriate assistance to the Doherty family."
"We must ensure that Mr. Doherty's service to his country is honored appropriately, and that his family's sacrifice is recognized," read the letter, signed by the two U.S. senators from Massachusetts, Edward Markey and Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark of Massachusetts and U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier of California, where Doherty had been living.
In a statement, Doherty's mother said the family is "reluctantly ... now proceeding to pursue those legal avenues open to us."
We saw this same approach with the victims of the Fort Hood shooting. The adminisration and the military refused to grant the families death benefits in a combat zone, preferring to call the murders by Major Hassan "workplace violence."
The Doherty family's case may be given a boost in the Benghazi hearings now being held by the select committee. They are surely going to scrutinze the negligent attitude by the state department that led to inadequate security at the embassy compound.
It's just inexplicable why the government is dragging its feet on this matter. The Doherty's deserve everything they are asking for - and more.