Three Dead After Fatal Medical Helicopter Crash
You’ve probably heard of medical malpractice lawsuits. Well, this isn’t one of those. However, the distinction between medical malpractice and other personal injury lawsuits in the State of Florida is very important. The state places several limitations on how to file medical malpractice lawsuits and the requirements necessary to move forward with a lawsuit. Simple negligence lawsuits have no such restrictions.
This causes an absurd scenario where doctors and hospitals are arguing in favor of a lawsuit being considered a medical malpractice lawsuit, while attorneys for an injured plaintiff argue why it should not be considered medical malpractice. In this case, it should be a no-brainer. The case is not medical malpractice.
A medical helicopter crashed in snowy weather killing everyone onboard. Now, their families have filed a lawsuit against the medical ambulance company that operated the helicopter. The suit blames the medical ambulance companies Survival Flight and Viking Aviation for recklessly accepting a request from an emergency care facility in deteriorating weather conditions.
Among the deceased were two company employees who died in the crash and a patient from London.
The Nation Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is responsible for investigating these sorts of crashes. The allegations are not good. The NTSB blamed the crash on a “lax safety culture,” but specifically, the pilot failed to perform a pre-flight evaluation of the conditions prior to accepting and then attempting the flight. Both companies expressed remorse and sadness over the deaths. Survival Flight said that it has learned from the incident and has employed changes recommended by the NTSB.
We can skip past the part of the article where we determine the merits of the suit. Having a government agency call out a defendant prior to the settlement for safety failure is like a straight flush when it comes to the law. It’s a nearly unbeatable hand. So the only question left to resolve is damages.
The estate of each deceased party and their family members will be able to file lawsuits against the companies that negligently decided to accept the flight. Their families will be able to recover money for their emotional grief and loss of companionship. Any dependants or spouses are entitled to recover the prorated amount of their estimated earnings to retirement age. The families will also be able to recover expenses related to burial.
The last element of this case to discuss is whether or not the companies will be held liable for punitive damages. In cases where there is an extended history of major safety lapses, punitive damages based on allegations of gross negligence are appropriate. Essentially, these companies put their employees in a position where such a preventable death was inevitable.
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