WASHINGTON, Aug. 11 (UPI) -- A Washington legal expert says the government may have to pay millions of dollars in negligence claims due to the anthrax case against scientist Bruce Ivins.
Professor Jonathan Turley of George Washington University Law School says the U.S. Justice Department provided evidence that the Fort Detrick researcher was deeply disturbed when it named him as the man responsible for killing five people with anthrax in 2001, USA Today reported Monday.
At issue, Turley says, is whether the government knew or should have known that a person it employed was potentially dangerous.
"It's like saying that you didn't know that a physician was a perfect lunatic at a hospital," said Turley. "The expectation is that a hospital should have sufficient monitoring to detect lunacy."
Ivins, who committed suicide, was employed at a U.S. Army research facility in Maryland when the anthrax killings took place.
A suit filed by the family of one of the victims seeks $50 million.