In May 2014 the Phonesavanh family was hit with a tragedy as the result of a botched police raid. Their 2-year-old son, Bounkham Phonesavanh, known affectionately as Baby Bou Bou, had a police stun grenade tossed into his crib while he was asleep in a no-knock warrant gone horribly wrong. The police were after a person who did not live at the address over a $50 meth sale. The resulting explosion left the child’s face severely scarred and a horrific gash in his chest. For months he was in critical condition at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta while he recovered. The perpetrators of the accident were officers of the Habersham County Sheriff’s Department in Georgia and the county admitted that it was at fault for the incident.
However, to the shock of the parents the county refused to pay for the medical bills or the trauma inflicted on Baby Bou Bou or his parents and siblings. Now after a public outcry for justice and medical bills that came close to $1 million, the county has settled with the family for $964,000. The amount of the structured settlement barely covers the cost of the lifelong medical treatment and rehabilitation this child will need. The settlement breaks down as follows:
– $538,000 to Baby Bou Bou’s parents, Alecia and Bounkham Phonesavanh, to cover medical expenses.
– $200,000 set aside “to provide for the schedule of future periodic payments” to the toddler.
– $137,000 paid to Baby Bou Bou for “personal injuries.”
– $62,000 to Alecia Phonesavanh for “having been subjected to emotional distress.”
– A total of $27,000 to be split evenly among the Phonesavanhs three other children.
“Over the last few months the Board of County Commissioners has sought a way to bring some measure of closure to this matter while doing what is right, both for the Phonesavanh family and the law enforcement officers involved, For that reason we have reached a limited settlement with the Phonesavanhs that allows for a payment to them in exchange for protection of the officers and the county,” said Andrea Harper, chairwoman of the Habersham County Board of Commissioners in a statement.
The settlement will prevent the family from suing the county or any of the officers involved in the incident. The case will continue to be litigated but now the family will have to seek legal remedy with other insurance policies that may be held by the county.
To learn more about this case and keep updated, go to www.justiceforbaby.