According to the Associated Press, the owners of an Arizona retreat where a self-help guru’s sweat lodge ceremony turned into a deadly tragedy have settled a wrongful death lawsuit with the victims’ families and participants. A judge is still to approve the confidential settlement agreement reached between the owners, victims’ families and seven sweat lodge participants. The lawsuit alleged that Michael and Amayra Hamilton’s conduct led to the deaths of three people and injuries of many who attended.
The personal injury lawyer representing the plaintiffs said that the clients are very happy to start putting the ordeal behind them and to start rebuilding their lives. The settlement includes no admission of liability by the Hamiltons but the confidentiality of it keeps the parties from discussing its terms.
The plaintiffs had sought unspecified damages and medical expenses and was among a flurry of lawsuits filed after the sweat lodge ceremony caused the death of three individuals and injured many of the participants. The lawsuit alleged negligence, wrongful death and fraud on the part of James Arthur Ray and the Hamiltons. Ray, the self-help guru and author of self-help books who orchestrated the sweat lodge retreat, is on trial for manslaughter stemming from the deaths of Kirby Brown, James Shore and Liz Neuman.