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HomeHome InsuranceFlorida Family Files Tort Action Against NASA After Space Debris Damaged Home

Florida Family Files Tort Action Against NASA After Space Debris Damaged Home

A family in Naples, Florida, has filed suit against NASA, contending that debris from the International Space Station damaged their home and mental well-being when it crashed through the roof in March.

The claim, filed under provisions of the Federal Tort Claims Act, seeks more than $80,000 for noninsured property losses, business interruption coverage, mental anguish and reimbursement for the cost of assistance, the family’s attorney said in a statement.

“My clients are seeking adequate compensation to account for the stress and impact that this event had on their lives,” attorney Mica Nguyen Worthy said. “If the debris had hit a few feet in another direction, there could have been serious injury or a fatality.”

The family of Alejandro Otero said the beer-can-sized object damaged the roof, ceiling and other areas of the Naples home, the Washington Post and Naples Daily News reported. NASA has six months to respond to the claim. The space agency has confirmed that the cylinder was part of a discarded pallet that was expected to burn up in the atmosphere, according to news reports.

Most damage from objects that fall from the sky are covered by standard homeowners policies, although exclusions may apply, according to the Insurance Information Institute. The family’s insurance company was not named in the articles.

The incident in March came two months before other space debris was discovered in North Carolina. Worthy, head of the Cranfill Sumner law firm’s aerospace practice group, said in her statement that the amount of debris in low-Earth orbit is at risk of becoming so dense, thanks to an increase in launches in recent years, which could lead to more incidents.

Photo: The recovered chunk of space junk, after being analyzed at the Kennedy Space Center. (NASA via AP)


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