July 24, 2024

A family in Naples, Florida, whose home was hit by debris that fell from outer space on Earth and punched a hole in the roof, is seeking $80,000 from Nasa in compensation for damages.

The law firm Cranfill Sumner has in a Press release that it filed a claim on behalf of plaintiff Alejandro Otero and his family.

A metal cylinder top of a cargo pallet released by the International Space Station in 2021, the Otero family’s home was hit on March 8, 2024 while their son Daniel was at home. No one was injured, although it created a hole in the roof and floor.

Other tell Wink News that the object almost hit his son, who was two rooms away.

The US space agency later confirmed the debris was from its flight support equipment. A portion of the debris remained intact rather than disintegrating after entering Earth’s atmosphere before falling to the surface.

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Nasa made this determination after the debris was collected at home and analyzed at the Kennedy Space Centre. The metal cylinder weighed 1.6 pounds and measured approximately 4 inches by 1.6 inches.

The Otero’s claim against Nasa mention damages for uninsured property, business interruption, emotional and mental anguish, and the cost of assistance from third-party agencies.

“My clients are seeking adequate compensation to account for the stress and impact this event has had on their lives,” the Otero family’s attorney, Mica Nguyen Worthy, said in a statement. “They are thankful that no one suffered physical injuries from this incident, but a ‘near miss’ situation like this could have been catastrophic. If the debris had hit a few feet in another direction, there could have been serious injuries or death.”

Worthy noted the case seeks to set precedent for space debris claims in the private and public sector.

Nasa will have six months to respond to the claim.

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