News International Offers Millions to Murder Victim's Family

Rupert Murdoch's lawyers have shown they're ready to settle out of court, and not for peanuts

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Milly Dowler had two turns through the headlines: Once as the victim of an abduction and murder in 2002, and again as the most infamous phone-hacking target of reporters for the now-defunct News of the World. The latter revelation led to widespread charges of voicemail tampering, and quickly to the paper's closing. She's now back in the news one more time as The Guardian reported on Monday that her family had been offered at least a £2 million ($3.14 million) settlement from Rupert Murdoch's News International, News of the World's owner. News International has settled with other phone hacking victims for far lower sums, but the extraordinary trauma of the Dowler case bumped the total well above any other amount paid out. As The Guardian pointed out, Dowler's phone was hacked after her death, misleading her family members. "Voicemails were accessed on behalf of the News of the World, and messages left for her were deleted to make room for more recordings. This gave the family false hope that she was still alive, because messages were disappearing."

With Murdoch and News International apparently willing to settle these kinds of cases out of court, many lawyers have been advising clients with claims against the company to take offers rather than pursue expensive court cases, The Guardian reports. But with previous settlements in the £20,000 to £100,000 range, this is by far the most expensive.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.