Saturday, February 27, 1999

Judge tells U.S. to pay widow more

Slain officer's wife awarded $3.2 million

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — A widow who won more than $2.7 million three years ago from the federal government now may get more. Barbara Palmer could be awarded an additional $464,917 because of a recalculation by U.S. Magistrate Judge Gregory Wehrman.

        The largest amount, $180,182, was for the lost earning power of her husband, Elsmere Police Sgt. Bobby Palmer. He and the Palmers' two children were killed by Ms. Palmer's ex-husband, John Bundy, on Labor Day 1990.

        Ms. Palmer won the $2.7 million in 1996 after U.S. District Judge William O. Bertelsman found that Veterans Affairs hospital officials wrongfully discharged Mr. Bundy from psychiatric care too early. He came to Mrs. Palmer's house in Elsmere, shot and killed her husband and their two young children. Mr. Bundy also died, shot by Sgt. Palmer.

        In the new calculation, an additional sum of $166,512 was added for the lost earnings of her two children, Robyn and Casey. The additional calculated interest of $118,223 was also added.

        The government had appealed the original decision, but agreed in 1997 to let Mrs. Palmer have the $2,728,524 plus interest, which started accruing in February 1996.

        “Three-point-two million has a better ring to it,” said Phil Taliaferro, one of the attorneys who represented Mrs. Palmer.

        Jesse Bundy, son of Mrs. Palmer and Mr. Bundy, said Friday that the extra money helps. But more important, he said, is that the ordeal is closer to ending.

        “It's a big relief to know that this is finally coming to an end,” he said. “It will be nice to know that it's over and we can get on with our lives.”

        The government can appeal.

        Mrs. Palmer continues to work at recovering from the incident. She is a doting grandmother now and has been able to help her parents renovate their house.


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