The Rogers &amen Jewelers, Inc. (RJJNJ) is poised to pay a $2.4 billion settlement to settle federal charges that it caused the death of Roger and Helen Rogers, a husband and wife who were killed when their home in California was destroyed by Hurricane Ivan.RJNJ will pay a total of $1.3 billion, including $750 million in civil money and $300 million in restitution, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.
The company’s attorney, David C. Pincus, said the agreement with the Justice Department requires RJNJ to pay more than $500 million in legal costs, a sum that includes $350 million in criminal fines and $100 million in punitive damages.
Pincus declined to say when the settlement was reached.
The Justice Department said it will pay more to settle pending civil and criminal litigation, but did not provide additional details.
Jensen Jewelers has long been a target of the U.S. Justice Department.
In April, the department filed a civil suit alleging that the company and its subsidiaries failed to prevent the Rogers’ deaths in 2008 and 2009.
The lawsuit alleged that the Rogers were victims of negligence, mismanagement, fraud, and willful misconduct, and the company failed to protect its investors, employees and customers.
The Justice Department has previously said it believes RJNJ’s failure to warn its investors and employees about the risks of the toxic chemical in the building’s basement caused the Rogers to suffer “a catastrophic death” in the months leading up to the storm.JJNIR’s owner, David Rogers, is scheduled to testify at a January Senate hearing on the toxic chemicals in the Rogers home, which had been a major source of revenue for the company.