Aasiya Hassan's two young children will receive money and shares of Bridges TV as part of legal settlements with the Town of Orchard Park and the digital cable and satellite network.
The town agreed to pay $20,000, and Bridges TV will pay $50,000 to settle separate lawsuits filed by Aasiya Hassan's estate, according to lawyers and court records.
Muzzammil S. Hassan, a former banker and cable television entrepreneur, was convicted by a jury last year of second-degree murder for stabbing and beheading his 37-year-old wife in 2009 at the Orchard Park television station they owned. He received the maximum sentence of 25 years to life in state prison.
"No settlement will compensate the children for the loss of their mother, but the combination of cash and stock has the potential to protect their future," Buffalo attorney Terrence M. Connors said Tuesday. Connors sued the town and the network on behalf of the estate.
The children -- Danyal and Rania, who were 8 and 6, respectively, at the time of their father's guilty verdict last Feb. 7 -- will receive a total of $58,511 after legal fees and other costs. Attorneys agreed to reduce their standard legal fees by more than one-half, which Connors described in court as "one of the laudable things about the settlement."
Muzzammil Hassan's shares in the network will be transferred to the children. The shares' value could rise or fall depending on the company's fortunes. The Muslim lifestyle network last year moved to Long Island City, just outside Manhattan, where it operates as part of SoundView Broadcasting.
Connors said in court Tuesday that insurance carriers for the town and network will make the payments.
The children also have received proceeds from their mother's $450,000 life insurance policy.
The wrongful-death lawsuit against Orchard Park cited the Police Department's duty to protect Aasiya Hassan, who had obtained a court order of protection against her husband about a week before she was killed.
"The Town of Orchard Park police assumed a special duty to protect Ms. Hassan, which it breached on Feb. 12, 2009, resulting in her wrongful death," the lawsuit said.
"The matter has been settled to the satisfaction of both parties," said Charles C. Swanekamp of Jaeckle Fleischmann & Mugel, who represented the town.
In court papers, Swanekamp said the Police Department had not been alerted to any violations of the order of protection before the fatal attack.
He also said the order of protection permitted Muzzammil Hassan to be near his wife at the couple's Bridges TV studio during regular business hours.
"While Mrs. Hassan's death is a tragedy, there is only one party responsible for what happened to her -- her estranged husband, Muzzammil Hassan," he told the court.
Connors said that State Supreme Court Justice Donna M. Siwek still must approve the Orchard Park settlement and that Erie County Surrogate Barbara Howe, in her role as acting State Supreme Court justice, must approve the Bridges TV settlement.