Failure to fly airplane in proper direction caused airplane to stall and plunge in Airplane Crash

The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of an injury case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury lawsuit and its proceedings.)

Summary of Facts:

Brad Erwin took an inner-island ferry to Decatur Island in October 2001 to perform a job laying carpet. On his return trip, Erwin made arrangements to fly on a XYZ Air Inc.’s inner-island commuter airplane, a Cessna 172, which flew out of the Decatur Island Airport.

After take-off, the plane reportedly stalled and plunged into a steep forested area; Erwin was killed. He was 38 years old. The other two occupants – an unidentified second passenger and the pilot, Mark Lemming – also died in the crash.

Shannon Erwin – individually as the decedent’s wife and as personal representative of his estate and the couple’s two minor children – brought a lawsuit against XYZ Air and Lemming’s estate for negligence. Specifically, the plaintiff alleged the airport had a posted rule that planes should take off to the south of the airport. The pilot disregarded this rule and flew the plane north from the airport, Erwin said, causing her husband’s death.

Furthermore, the plane weighed 60 pounds more than the maximum certified allowable weight of 2300 pounds, the plaintiff said. These negligent acts caused the plane to stall and plunge into the forest, killing all three occupants. The Erwin family alleged they suffered pecuniary loss of support, loss of love and affection of the decedent, loss of his future earnings and other monetary damages. The plaintiffs requested general and special damages, among other relief.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

XYZ Air and Lemming’s estate admitted Bret Erwin was a passenger in the airplane owned and operated by the defendants, and that Erwin died as a result of the aircraft accident, but the defendants denied all other allegations contained in the complaint. They argued that any judgment against them should be reduced by the amounts they previously paid to the Erwin family.

The case was submitted to a Pierce County jury in October 2004. The jury found in favor of the plaintiffs and against XYZ Air. The jury awarded the plaintiffs $2.5 million, which consisted of an $180,000 award for Bret Erwin’s damages, a $1.5 million award for Suzan Erwin’ damages, and a $410,000 award to each of the decedent’s two minor children, A.E. and T.E.
Verdict: Plaintiffs, $2,500,000.00
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

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