Latest News 2009 March Wrongful Death Lawsuits Filed Against Helicopter Manufacturer

Wrongful Death Lawsuits Filed Against Helicopter Manufacturer

The mother of a firefighter who was killed in a helicopter crash has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against two Oregon helicopter companies.

Verna Wilson filed a lawsuit in Multnomah County Circuit Court, claiming negligence and seeking $8 million in damages. The lawsuit names Columbia Helicopters, Carson Helicopters, and Carson Helicopter Services, a subsidiary Carson Helicopters.  Other companies named in the lawsuit include Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., United Technologies Corp., and General Electric.

Wilson's son, Shawn Blazer, was killed August 5, 2008 when the helicopter he was in crashed just moments after taking off.  Blazer was fighting a fire in the Trinity National Forest in Northern California.  Nine other men were killed in the crash, including seven firefighters with the Grayback Forestry of Merlin, Ore.

The crash, which is still being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board, is considered the deadliest air tragedy of working firefighters in U.S. history.

The families of two of the other firefighters killed in the crash also filed wrongful death lawsuits, as well as negligence and product liability lawsuits against the same defendants. The suits seek $10 million for each victim plus funeral costs.

Tonya Van Walleghem, attorney for Columbia Helicopters, has said the company is not making any comments at this time.

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