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Wrongful Death Suit Could be Pending in Maryland Medevac Crash

A wrongful death lawsuit is set to be filed on behalf of Tanya Mallard, one of four people who perished in a helicopter crash in late 2008. National Transportation Safety board members concluded that the crash was a result of bad weather, poor visibility and a pilot with little experience in landing by instrument panel only.

The Medevac chopper was in the process of evacuating Ashley Younger and Jordan Wells from the site of a serious car accident.

Prior to the crash, an air traffic controller communicating with the pilot, 59-year-old Stephen Bunker, and gave out-of-date weather information, claiming the skies to be clearer than they actually were. When things got bad, Bunker attempted to land using instrument readings only. The attempt was unsuccessful.

While four of the five occupants died in the crash, Jordan Wells was left alive and alone at the site of the crash for hours. Since the accident, she has undergone a large number of surgeries and continues to suffer pain to this day. She also lost a leg in the accident.

A personal injury claim, filed on Wells' behalf, was rebuked last month by lawyers for the Federal Aviation Administration, who took no responsibility for the accident. This even though National Transportation Safety board members had acknowledged that incorrect information from the air traffic controller had helped cause the crash.

That is not the end of the matter, though. A wrongful death lawsuit is planned on behalf of Tanya Mallard and should be filed later this year. There has been no word yet on next steps for Jordan Wells, whose insurer is estimated to have paid more than a million dollars in treatment thus far.

Related Resource

  • FAA Denies Liability for Medevac Crash Injuries (BusinessWeek)

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