Passengers caught in ‘copter plunge sue aircraft manufacturer

By Carol Ostrow | Jul 22, 2015

Two men filed a lawsuit against a Mexican aircraft operator alleging negligence in 2012.

Out-of-state plaintiffs Luis Ledesma and David Paul Gonzales filed a complaint against Airbus Helicopters Inc. (American Eurocopter Corp.) in the Galveston Division of the Southern District of Texas on July 13, claiming severe personal injuries in a terrifying July 2012 plunge into a large body of water offshore.

According to the suit, the defendant, registered in Mexico, provided a helicopter to Transportes Aereos Pegaso, an air taxi company. The craft allegedly was transporting the plaintiffs on or about July 13, 2012 from a drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico when it suddenly went into free fall toward the water.

The plaintiffs charge the defendant with negligent design and/or manufacture, failure to train navigators, product liability, and gross negligence. The suit states that the manufacturer should have known that the helicopter’s deficiencies would cause an operational failure and warned users of the risks.

Alleging mental anguish, lost earnings and earning capacity, impairment, disfigurement, medical expenses, and pain and suffering, the plaintiffs seek up to $100,000 in compensation for punitive damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, attorney’s fees, expenses, and costs. 

They are represented by Francis Spagnoletti and Jerry von Sternberg of Spagnoletti & Co. in Houston.

Galveston Division of the Southern District of Texas case number 3:15-cv-00177

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