A helicopter crash that left three people dead, including a former sheriff's deputy, a nurse and a paramedic, came to a resolution in a Kentucky courtroom as a jury awarded almost $22 million to the grieving family members of the three victims following a wrongful death lawsuit.
At the time of the crash of the medical helicopter, investigators thought that the pilot had gone through a fog and had become disoriented, thus losing control of the aircraft and crashing. However, the attorney for the families successfully argued to the jury that, in fact, the helicopter fell apart in mid-air. He placed the blame squarely on the shoulders of the helicopter's manufacturer, suggesting the company had known about the defect in its rotor blades but had covered the issue up. The jury apparently agreed with the families' legal counsel.
For its part, the manufacturer indicated it would appeal the jury's decision and suggested that there were issues with the outcome of the trial. The company maintained that the accident was an unfortunate tragedy but that it was not responsible for paying for it.
The attorney for the victims' families said that the families would also be pushing for the Federal Aviation Administration to investigate the company.
Although the underlying facts are tragic, it is good to know that three Kentucky families got at least some financial relief following the sudden loss of their loved ones. If anything, this case illustrates how defective products can be fatal in many different cases and how manufacturers of such products can be held accountable.
Source: Lexington Herald Leader, "Jury awards $21.7 million to survivors of three killed in medical helicopter crash," Bill Estep, Sept. 29, 2017.