Tuesday, January 04, 2000

Donít take it to the bank
Check to family of radiation experiment victim bounces

CINCINNATI (UPI) -- At least one of the checks mailed to families of the subjects of Cold War radiation experiments at Cincinnati's General Hospital bounced, but attorneys involved in the case said it was just a mix-up.

Catherine Hager told Monday's Cincinnati Enquirer she is furious the check, representing part of a $51,000 award to her and her siblings by U.S. District Judge Sandra Beckwith, failed to clear.

"We've been humiliated enough," Hager said. "We don't need more problems and more embarrassment."

Hager's father, Joseph Mitchell, was one of 90 cancer patients who received massive doses of radiation as part of a Pentagon experiment to determine how soldiers might be affected by radiation. A $4.6-million settlement was reached once details of the experiments surfaced in the 1990s.

Hager and her four siblings received checks drawn on the $51,000 deposited to an account opened for her father's estate. Two of the checks initially bounced. They were put through a second time and cleared.

Attorney Robert Newman said the situation was atypical.

The bank later apologized.