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Lawsuit Planned in Sweat Lodge Death of Minnesota Woman

The attorney for the family of Liz Neuman, a Minnesota woman who was the third person to die after an Arizona sweat lodge ceremony, says he plans to sue over her death.

Authorities say Neuman, 49, of Prior Lake died Saturday at a Flagstaff hospital, bringing the total number of deaths to three from the Oct. 8 ceremony at a resort near Sedona.

Louis Diesel, an attorney for Neuman's family, said Sunday it's clear that appropriate measures were not taken to prevent Neuman's death.

Diesel says Neuman was a divorced mother of three, extremely athletic and did not suffer from any medical problems.

She was among more than 50 people crowded inside the sweat lodge run by self-help expert James Arthur Ray.

Ray wrote on his Facebook page Sunday that he is deeply saddened by the news of Neuman's death.

SLIDESHOW: Sweat Lodge Homicide Investigation.

Twenty-one people were taken to area hospitals with illnesses ranging from dehydration to kidney failure following the sweat lodge ceremony. Kirby Brown, 38, of Westtown, N.Y., and James Shore, 40, of Milwaukee died upon arrival at a hospital.

Authorities were treating all three deaths as homicides, but no charges have been filed.

D'Evelyn did not provide a city of residence for Neuman, but public records showed an address in Prior Lake, about 25 miles southwest of Minneapolis.

No one else remains hospitalized.

Authorities haven't determined what caused the deaths. Autopsy results on Brown and Shore are pending further testing.

The Rev. Meredith Ann Murray of Bellingham, Wash., who has completed all of Ray's retreats, said Neuman was among Ray's earliest followers and had attended dozens of his events.

According to Ray's Web site, Neuman was the leader of the Minneapolis-area "Journey Expansion Team." The teams, developed by Ray's friends and followers around the country, meet to exchange ideas on his principles. The next Minneapolis-area meeting is scheduled for Oct. 23.

Ray had rented the Angel Valley Retreat Center for his five-day "Spiritual Warrior" event that culminated in the sweat lodge ceremony. Participants paid between $9,000 and $10,000 to attend the retreat.

Ray declined to be interviewed by the sheriff's office on the night of the incident and Arizona authorities said he had not spoken to them as of Thursday. In his first public appearance Tuesday in Los Angeles, Ray told a crowd of about 200 that he has hired his own investigative team to determine what went wrong.

His spokesman, Howard Bragman, has said that Ray's team and Ray's attorney are cooperating with the sheriff's investigators.

More than 100 people attended the funeral for Brown on Saturday at Holy Name of Jesus Church in Otisville, N.Y., according to The Times Herald-Record in Middletown, N.Y. The avid hiker and surfer who had a passion for art was remembered as a spiritual seeker.

Services for Shore were held late Saturday afternoon at the Hubbard Lodge in Milwaukee.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.