Widow sues employer over wrongful death when ‘copter pilot crashes

By Carol Ostrow | Aug 13, 2015

A Utah family is suing a California-based private aircraft corporation doing business in Jefferson County, alleging wrongful death pursuant to the Texas Survival Act in a 2013 accident that claimed the life of their husband and father.

Lara Fitts of Washington County, UT, filed a lawsuit individually, as estate representative for Joshua Fitts, and as next friend of their minor childrebn Teague Joshua Fitts and Reece Star Fitts, against Rogers Helicopters Inc. in Jefferson County District Court on July 27, claiming liability in her husband’s October 2013 death.

According to the complaint, Joshua Fitts was employed by the defendant as a pilot. The suit states that the helicopter Fitts was operating on Oct. 6, 2013 crashed into an electrical power line and pulley assembly, but that nothing the decedent did caused the incident. 

The suit states that the sole direct, producing and proximate cause of Fitts’ demise was the defendant’s gross negligence.

Lara Fitts charges the defendant with failure to develop and enforce reasonable policies and practices to implement safety measures, monitor and supervise its practices, train personnel, hire experienced and competent employees, supply protective equipment and safe machinery, and provide a safe workplace.

The plaintiff seeks more than $1 million in compensation for exemplary damages, penalties, pre-judgment interest, attorney’s fees, expenses, and costs. 

The plaintiff is represented by Channy Wood and Leslie Lowe of Wood Law Firm in Amarillo, TX and John Zelbst of Zelbst Holmes & Butler of Lawton, OK.

Jefferson County District Court Case E-197381

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