Multi-million dollar recovery for the family of a young executive killed in a helicopter crash. This lawsuit involved both the company operating the aircraft and the company who manufactured the helicopter. As with most aviation cases, this one involved a great deal of investigation and the work of many different experts including aviation consultants, engineers, metallurgists, and pilots. Putting together an effective investigation team is something we typically do in all aviation cases, and it can be critical to the success of the case. In this particular case, our exhaustive investigation eventually led to a conclusion that the accident happened primarily as a result of pilot error and not a manufacturing defect. Among other things, it appears that the pilot failed to avoid bad weather in the area of the crash and also flew at too low of an altitude and struck the ground with the tail section of the chopper.
The NTSB had also investigated the accident and came to a similar conclusion. However, while certain parts of the NTSB investigation can be used in private litigation, the ultimate conclusion reached by the NTSB as to the cause of the accident is not permitted to be used in a lawsuit. Therefore, we have to hire our own team of experts to thoroughly investigate the case and prove the cause of the accident.
The young woman who died in the crash was employed by a large company in the Pittsburgh region. She was survived by her parents. Therefore, the claim for damages involved economic loss as well as the parents' loss of their relationship with the daughter.