Three families will receive $18.4 million to settle their lawsuits over a 2002 medical helicopter crash that killed three people aboard. Six companies that made and maintained the helicopter and its key components agreed to pay the families. As a part of the settlement, the three lawsuits filed by the families were dismissed. The helicopter’s French manufacturer, Eurocopter S.A., also promised to require more frequent inspections of the part that was believed to have caused the crash. The LifeNet of the Heartland helicopter had just left a hospital on June 21, 2002, when the pilot reported trouble. The helicopter crashed at the Norfolk airport and the pilot, a nurse and a paramedic were killed.
The National Transportation Safety Board ruled in 2004 that a faulty tail rotor and an inexperienced pilot were the likely causes of the crash. Other factors included the binding of a mechanism controlling the tail rotor, gusty winds and the pilot’s lack of experience with that type of helicopter, according to the agency. Eurocopter pledged to change the maintenance requirements for the tail rotor load compensator within 90 days. That mechanism, which helps control the tail rotor, will be inspected after every 100 hours of flight under the new requirements instead of after every 500 hours. Eurocopter also plans to redesign the tail units of all helicopters similar to the Eurocopter AS350B2 involved in the Norfolk crash to remove tail rotor load compensators.
The six companies involved in the settlement were American Eurocopter, Eurocopter S.A, Duncan Aviation of Lincoln, CIT Leasing Corp., Societe D’ Applications Des Machines Motrices and Dunlop Limited. Gary Robb of Kansas City, Mo. And Vince Powers, a Lincoln, Nebraska lawyer, represented the families and did a very good job.
Source: Associated Press
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.