Lawsuit brought by man locked in underground vault settled

A Verizon worker in Massachusetts who was locked in an unventilated underground vault nearly four years ago has settled his lawsuit against the man convicted in the case.

The Telegram & Gazette ( ) reports that a lawyer for the plaintiffs says terms of the settlement reached May 10 are confidential.

Michael Hathaway and his wife sued Howard Cook Jr. in November 2014.

Authorities say the 74-year-old Cook sealed Hathaway in the vault in Westborough in August 2013 by pulling up the ladder, locking the hatch and placing large rocks on top. The ventilation system automatically shuts off when the door is closed. Hathaway called police on his cellphone.

Cook was reportedly angry that Hathaway had parked on his grass.

Cook pleaded guilty to kidnapping last year and was sentenced to a year of probation.


Information from: Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, Mass.),