The sons of legendary astronaut Neil Armstrong reached a secret $6 million settlement with an Ohio hospital after their father’s death, alleging that incompetent post-surgical care cost him his life. Armstrong died in 2012 after complications from heart surgery, but the extent of the family’s concern was unknown until now. Documents obtained by The New York Times revealed that while Mercy Health – Fairfield Hospital in Ohio defended the care they provided to Armstrong, the hospital paid his family $6 million and insisted that the complaints and settlements remain secret. Armstrong’s family contended that the medical providers’ choice to bring Armstrong to a catheterization lab, rather than an operating room, after complications with the removal of a temporary pacemaker was a mistake that led to his death.
“Any linkage of this health provider to the death of Decedent could irreparably and unfairly forever taint the business enterprise,” Bertha G. Helmick, a lawyer representing Armstrong’s grandchildren, wrote in a court filing. “But for Decedent’s iconic stature in the history of mankind, it is unlikely that a wrongful death settlement in this amount, with disputed causation, would have been reached. No institution wants to be remotely associated with the death of one of America’s greatest heroes.” The news of the medical dispute and secret settlement comes just days after the 50th anniversary of Armstrong’s walk on the moon.