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FAA: Not liable in Medevac crash

The Federal Aviation Administration has denied liability for injuries to a Waldorf teenager who survived the 2008 crash of a Maryland State Police medical helicopter during a flight in which federal controllers provided hours-old weather reports and “inadequate” handling of the flight.

The controller errors contributed to the crash that was caused by pilot mistakes, the National Transportation Safety Board had previously determined. The pilot and three others died in the crash.

An attorney for sole survivor Jordan Wells, 18 at the time of accident, had sought damages from the FAA, which on June 16 replied that “our review has not disclosed facts upon which a finding of liability on the part of this agency could be based.”

Wells and another teenager were being flown from the site of a car accident to a hospital and were accompanied by a flight paramedic and a local emergency medical technician.

Wells’ attorney, Gregory Winton of Frederick, declined to say the size of the claim he had filed on behalf of Wells who has had 25 surgeries so far, including a leg amputation. In response to a question, Winton said he had sought more than $10 million but less then $100 million.

The denial clears the way procedurally for Winton to file a lawsuit in the case, which he said he intends to do. “The denial means I can either walk away or file suit.”

-- Mary Pat Flaherty

(This post has been updated from the original.)

By Washington Post Editors  |  July 7, 2010; 6:30 PM ET
Categories:  Emergencies & Rescues , Mary Pat Flaherty , Pr. George's , Updates  
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