Family of CIA contractor slain in Benghazi may sue
FILE - In this Sept. 19, 2012 file photo, Barbara Doherty, mother of Glen Doherty, is escorted from the Church of St. Eulalia in Winchester, Mass. Glen Doherty died in an attack Sept. 12, 2012, on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Doherty's heirs, led by his mother, filed a claim in September 2014 seeking damages from two government agencies, alleging inadequate security at the U.S. diplomatic post and nearby CIA compound in Benghazi. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)
Kate Quigley, left, who says her brother Glen Doherty was among the Americans killed in an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya, is escorted away from microphones by her husband Mark Quigley, right, after speaking to reporters in Worburn, Mass., Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012. Four Americans were killed at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi on Tuesday along with U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 23: House of Representatives interns carry photographs of former Navy SEAL members Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty and U.S. Foreign Service IT specialist Sean Smith during a Special Operations Speaks (SOS) Political Action Committee news conference demanding a House Select Committee investigate the Benghazi terrorist attck outside the U.S. Capitol July 23, 2013 in Washington, DC. SOS rolled out a 60-foot-long petition with the names of more than 1,000 Special Service veterans who support a full investigation of the September 11, 2012, Benghazi attacks. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Kate Quigley, who says her brother Glen Doherty was among the Americans killed in an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya, faces reporters as her husband Mark Quigley, right, looks on in Worburn, Mass., Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012. Four Americans were killed at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi on Tuesday along with U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Kate Quigley, right, who says her brother Glen Doherty was among the Americans killed in an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya, speaks with Woburn, Mass. Police Chief Robert Ferullo, left, in Worburn, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012. Four Americans were killed at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi on Tuesday along with U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 11: Nick Kwiatkowski attends a 'Call to Action' rally held by various conservative organizations on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol, marking the one year anniversary of the attacks on the U.S. compound in Benghazi September 11, 2013 in Washington, DC. U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods were all killed during the attacks last year. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Chelsay Kurtz weeps with her daughter Chsaige, 3, while sitting by the name of her husband's friend, Cpl. Taylor Baune, who was killed in Afghanistan, during a Memorial Day ceremony at the Mount Soledad Veteran's Memorial in La Jolla, Calif., Monday, May 27, 2013. The ceremony honored Glen A. Doherty and Tyrone Woods, who were Navy Seals and were killed during the attacks on the U.S. Diplomatic Compound in Benghazi on Sept. 11 , 2011. (AP Photo/Sandy Huffaker)
Vice President Joe Biden greets relatives during the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) Memorial Plaque Ceremony at the State Department in Washington, Friday, May 3, 2013, honoring the dedication of colleagues in the Foreign Service. Biden and Kerry paid tribute on Friday to Benghazi victims Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty and Ty Woods as well as Anne Smedinghoff, the young foreign service officer killed in Afghanistan. Also honored was foreign service officer Ragaei Abdelfattah, who was killed in Afghanistan last year while working for the U.S. Agency for International Development. The names of those six, along with two diplomats killed during the Vietnam war, were added to memorial plaques at the State Department. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Dorothy Woods, center, widow of Tyrone Woods, and Kate Quigley, center left, sister of Glen Doherty, participate in a Memorial Day ceremony at the Mount Soledad Veteran's Memorial in La Jolla, Calif., Monday, May 27, 2013. The ceremony honored Glen A. Doherty and Tyrone Woods, who were Navy Seals and were killed during the attacks on the U.S. Diplomatic Compound in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Sandy Huffaker)
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By DENISE LAVOIE
BOSTON (AP) -- The family of a CIA contractor killed in Benghazi, Libya, has filed claims seeking $2 million in damages from the CIA and State Department, alleging there was inadequate security at the U.S. diplomatic post and CIA compound when it came under attack by militants in 2012.
The family of Glen Doherty, led by his mother, Barbara Doherty, filed a claim with the two government agencies last week seeking $1 million for wrongful death. Doherty's friend and executor of his estate, Sean Lake, filed a separate claim seeking a little over $1 million.
Doherty, a former Navy SEAL, grew up in Winchester, Massachusetts, and was 42 when he died. He was among four Americans killed in Benghazi, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, when militants stormed the diplomatic post on the night of Sept. 11, 2012, and later fired on a nearby CIA compound.
Separately, Doherty's family and Lake filed a lawsuit in state court in California last week over a death benefit on a policy Doherty was required to take out as a CIA contractor who performed security work overseas in hazardous areas. The lawsuit seeking unspecified damages claims that the broker was negligent because its staff failed to tell Doherty that the policy was essentially worthless to him: It would only pay a death benefit if he had a dependent such as a wife or child, but Doherty was divorced with no children.
Dean Boyd, a spokesman for the CIA, said the agency would have no comment. The State Department also declined to comment.
Michael Mortenson, a California attorney representing the Doherty family and Lake, said that under federal law, the claims for damages are required before a lawsuit against the government can be filed. Mortenson said that if the claims are denied, they may file a lawsuit within six months.
Doherty's family argues that both locations that came under attack in Libya lacked adequate security resources and personnel despite repeated requests for more. Doherty was killed by mortar rounds that hit the roof of the CIA annex.
Mortenson said Doherty's family has reached out to the U.S. government over the last two years "to try to reach a resolution," but no agreement has been reached. In July, five Congress members sent a letter to CIA Director John Brennan urging him to do everything he can to "provide the appropriate assistance to the Doherty family."
"We must ensure that Mr. Doherty's service to his country is honored appropriately, and that his family's sacrifice is recognized," read the letter, signed by the two U.S. senators from Massachusetts, Edward Markey and Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark of Massachusetts and U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier of California, where Doherty had been living.
In a statement, Doherty's mother said the family is "reluctantly ... now proceeding to pursue those legal avenues open to us."
"We know Glen would have done anything to support the United States and protect our freedom as Americans. Two years after the Benghazi attack, our family has not received the symbolic justice all families of such American heroes deserve," said Barbara Doherty, who lives in Woburn, near Boston.
The Benghazi attacks stirred fierce partisan debates in Washington. Some Republicans have said the military held back assets that could have saved lives and that President Barack Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton lied to the public about the nature of the attack. Democrats, Republican-led congressional investigations and military officers have said it's untrue that U.S. forces were ordered to "stand down" during the attack.