GALVESTON – The family of a man who perished in a helicopter crash in Louisiana earlier this year has pursued legal action against his former employer and the company that built the aircraft.

In a lawsuit filed against Westwind Helicopters, Inc. and Bell Helicopter on Oct. 27 in the Galveston County Court at Law No. 1, California residents Sammy and Barbara Kawamura assert that each company contributed to the death of their son, Matthew, last Feb. 27.

Joining the younger Kawamura’s estate as a co-plaintiff is Ashley Fletcher, also of California, the mother of his young son.

Court documents explain that Matthew Kawamura piloted a Bell 407 helicopter which “dropped out of the sky and crashed” near Houma, Louisiana. According to the complaint, the flight in question originated from the Gulf of Mexico oil platform South Timbalier and was to return to Houma for repair of an engine cowl fastener.

A component of the aircraft killed Matthew Kawamura, the suit says.

Westwind, which employed the decedent at the time of his passing, purportedly maintained, repaired, and inspected the helicopter prior to the aforementioned flight. Bell is faulted for not properly designing and assembling the aircraft.

A jury trial is requested.

Attorney Jason A. Itkin of the law firm Arnold & Itkin LLP in Houston serves as the plaintiffs’ lead counsel.

Galveston County Court at Law No. 1 Case No. CV-79882

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