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$5.5 million settlement reached in murder/suicide lawsuit.

Newark, NY: (May-29-08) The family of Sohayla Massachi brought charges against the city of Newark, after the Seton Hall student was killed by her ex-boyfriend because 9-1-1 personnel botched a call reporting the woman's abduction. The suit stated that the city was negligent when an operator gave the wrong make and model of the car Sohayla was pulled into, and that a dispatcher then failed to issue an alert for the vehicle. Records of the incident show that Massachi, 23, of Union, was abducted May 10, 2000, in South Orange in front of Seton Hall University by her ex-boyfriend Christopher Honrath, 24, of Westfield. He took her to his apartment, shot her in the head and killed himself.

As part of a settlement reached in the case, the city of Newark agreed to pay $4.1 million to the family, resolving the wrongful death allegations. A jury determined that Massachi's estate was due $5.5 million in damages. $3 million of that amount was for wrongful death, $2.5 million for pain and suffering, and $12,000 for funeral expenses. The jury found Newark was 75% responsible, which amounts to $4.1 million. Apart from the city, Seton Hall was found liable for 15% and the school's security firm, Argenbright Security Inc., was allocated 10% of the damages.

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Published on Jun-9-08


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