Family of man dead in copter crash sues gov't for $15M
The widow of a flight paramedic killed in a 2008 crash of a Maryland State Police helicopter has sued the federal government for $15 million claiming air traffic controllers' errors and inattention contributed to the death.
Paramedic Mickey C. Lippy, 34, was among four people killed in the crash of a medevac in gathering fog and darkness as it attempted to deliver two teenage patients from a car accident in Waldorf in southern Maryland to Prince George's Hospital Center.
The accident occurred during the deadliest year in the history of the medical helicopter industry.
Federal accident investigators have determined the probable cause of the crash was the pilot’s descending too quickly in an attempt to get out of deteriorating weather.
The federal investigators said contributing to the crash were controller failures -- including relaying hours-old weather information to the pilot and inadequately handling the flight before it crashed in District Heights.
The controllers were negligent, contends the lawsuit filed March 12 in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt by Christina P. Lippy of Westminster. The suit was also filed on behalf of her 2-year-old daughter, Madison.
The suit does not name the state of Maryland or state police, for whom Lippy worked. Maryland is unsual in offering a statewide, taxpayer funded medevac program.
The federal government has about two months to respond to the filing.
One patient onboard survived with severe injuries.
The pilot, second patient, a local county emergency medical technician and Lippy were killed.
This item has been updated since it was first published.
-- Mary Pat Flaherty
Washington Post Editors
April 28, 2010; 2:54 PM ET
Categories: From the Courthouse , Mary Pat Flaherty , Pr. George's
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