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Settlement Ends Sweat Lodge Lawsuit

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James Ray was arrested on Feb. 3, 2010 for the deaths at an Oct. 8, 2009 ceremony intended to be the highlight of his five-day "Spiritual Warrior" event. (credit: Yavapai County Sheriff's Office)

James Ray was arrested on Feb. 3, 2010 for the deaths at an Oct. 8, 2009 ceremony intended to be the highlight of his five-day “Spiritual Warrior” event. (credit: Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office)

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FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) – The owners of an Arizona retreat where a self-help author’s sweat lodge ceremony turned deadly have settled a lawsuit brought by the victims’ families and other participants.

An attorney for two of the plaintiffs, Ted Schmidt, tells The Associated Press that the parties reached the agreement last week. A judge has to sign off on it, but that’s considered a formality.

The lawsuit had alleged that Michael and Amayra Hamilton’s conduct led to the deaths of Kirby Brown, James Shore and Liz Neuman, and caused injury to others.

The settlement includes no admission of liability on the part of the Hamiltons.

The man who led the ceremony, James Arthur Ray, is on trial for manslaughter in the deaths. He has pleaded not guilty.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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