UNITED STATES — A former bank president who died in a crash last year has been awarded $5 billion in retirement benefits for his nearly 20 years at the company, a federal judge said Wednesday.
In his ruling, U.S. District Judge John M. Jones said David H. Brown Jr., a former president at Horizon Bank, died in September 2014, just before the company went public.
Brown died after a crash in the Delaware River in September 2015 that killed six people and injured five.
He had been a president at the Bank of America Corporation since 1993.
The bankruptcy was announced by the company in August 2015.
The bank is one of the largest U.N. financial institutions in the world.
The judge, who has the power to award the benefits, said the payments were needed to “ensure that the bank can continue to meet its financial obligations.”
Jones said the amount of the payments is based on Brown’s age and that the money should be paid in full within 30 years.
The bankruptcy court also said the company’s former chairman, Thomas M. Aiken, was entitled to $4.9 billion of the money.
Jones rejected the bid by Aiken to receive only $2.5 billion of that.
The judge did not rule on whether Aiken should be granted the full amount.
Brown’s wife, Susan, and their daughter, Hannah, received about $400,000 of the retirement money.
Brown died in July.
Aiken’s wife and his son were also named as beneficiaries.
The couple had $1.3 million each.
Hannah, who lives in Colorado, received $1 million and Brown’s sister, Amy, received more than $600,000.
Hancock County Attorney John F. Fritze said the payout was based on an agreement made by the Brown family in 2012 to keep the payments secret.
The court ordered Brown’s estate to pay $1,000 each to the three surviving members of the family.
It also ordered that the remaining members receive $1 for each surviving child, $100 for each grandchild, and $5 for each adult surviving a grandchild.