Oregon climber’s family settles case claiming delayed rescue

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The family of a 32-year-old climber who died after tumbling 600 feet (183 meters) down Mount Hood has settled a lawsuit with county officials.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports John Thornton Jenkins’ family settled the case for $25,000 after suing for $10 million, claiming the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office and 911 center were responsible for a series of missteps that contributed to a more than four-hour delay.

Jenkins, of Mukilteo, Washington, fell down the Oregon mountain in May 2017 and stopped breathing while being rescued.

The family said it sued to prompt changes to search and rescue operations. The settlement secures more training and refined communication procedures.

Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts said there’s an “inherent” death risk when climbing and the settlement is a “troubling precedent” for officials tasked with rescues.