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Posted at 11:39 AM ET, 12/14/2010

Survivor of Medevac crash files $50M suit

By Washington Post editors

The lone survivor of a 2008 Maryland State Police helicopter crash in District Heights has filed a $50 million lawsuit against the Federal Aviation Administration, alleging negligence on the part of air traffic controllers, the Gazette reports.

Jordan Wells, 20, of Waldorf filed the suit Dec. 7 in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland in Greenbelt.

The suit alleges that prior to the Sept. 27, 2008, crash, the FAA traffic controllers who were based at Joint Base Andrews gave Maryland State Police pilot Stephen J. Bunker dated information on weather conditions, failed to guide him in the Trooper 2 helicopter to a safe landing as navigation equipment began to falter and did not alert paramedics to the scene of the crash.

Wells's lawsuit is the third related to the crash. Kenneth Mallard, husband of Tonya Mallard, filed a $7 million suit against the FAA on July 21 in federal court that also claims the FAA did not ensure Trooper 2's safe landing. Mickey Lippy's widow, Christina P. Lippy of Westminster, sued the FAA in March in federal court for $15 million on behalf of her husband.

Read more about the lawsuit in the Gazette.

By Washington Post editors  | December 14, 2010; 11:39 AM ET
Categories:  Crime and Public Safety, Maryland, Traffic and Transportation  
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Comments

Looking for a jackpot. Does the pilot have any responsibilty? It was his helo, he shares responsibility.

Posted by: jckdoors | December 14, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Ridiculous Get Rich Quick scheme. The whole incident started with a teenage driver not knowing how to drive in inclement weather. Maybe the families of those who died should sue HER.

Posted by: Nghbrhdwatch | December 14, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

And here we go. Jordan GOD knows went through a tremendous amount of pain and suffering. Nevertheless, let us not forget that three other people died that night attempting to save her life. Her friend also died that tragic night.
Of course, the lawsuits are flying and the lawyers are counting their cut.
I am sure that each victim’s families are feeling the pain, but $50 million, $15 million and $7 million dollars (I am sure that that fourth one is still hanging out there) is outrageous. That is the problem with this country; people want more money that they ever would have been worth alive or would have made in their entire life. I realize that this sounds harsh and cold, but that is not the intent. Greed is what caused the economic turmoil that we are now in, and that these lawsuit amounts are despicable.

Posted by: kb06509 | December 14, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

I find this interesting, because no one commenting has ever been in, nor probably has crewed an aircraft. Well, I have, and yes, I have in the DC area. I can say that on occasion, the ATC service is lacking, in DC. But, safety overall is a responsibility of the crew. If one member has an even remote feeling of danger, they speak up and the entire crew is to listen, period. The crash, although horrible, could have been diverted by someone speaking up.

Now, I can't say that the crew member in this case is not entitled to some sort of compensation for the crash. The FAA, certainly should have known about the weather, and should have certainly known about the bridge conditions. There should have been an altitude adjustment to pass through that bridge area safely. Sure the money is alot, but do you think Maryland State is going to willingly compensate him for the crash? Do you think they ever willingly compensate any police officer for the dangers they face daily?

Posted by: duckie86 | December 14, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

I find this interesting, because no one commenting has ever been in, nor probably has crewed an aircraft. Well, I have, and yes, I have in the DC area. I can say that on occasion, the ATC service is lacking, in DC. But, safety overall is a responsibility of the crew. If one member has an even remote feeling of danger, they speak up and the entire crew is to listen, period. The crash, although horrible, could have been diverted by someone speaking up.

Now, I can't say that the crew member in this case is not entitled to some sort of compensation for the crash. The FAA, certainly should have known about the weather, and should have certainly known about the bridge conditions. There should have been an altitude adjustment to pass through that bridge area safely. Sure the money is alot, but do you think Maryland State is going to willingly compensate him for the crash? Do you think they ever willingly compensate any police officer for the dangers they face daily?

Posted by: duckie86 | December 14, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

duckie86: I spent eight years of my life hopping in and out of Navy helos and fixed-wing aircraft('74-'82). I'm well aware of crew responsibilty and skill. Why was this pilot not instrument landing qualified? Also, if the weather was not what he was told, why didn't he adjust his flight plan? Just asking.

Posted by: jckdoors | December 14, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

duckie86: I spent eight years of my life hopping in and out of Navy helos and fixed-wing aircraft('74-'82). I'm well aware of crew responsibilty and skill. Why was this pilot not instrument landing qualified? Also, if the weather was not what he was told, why didn't he adjust his flight plan? Just asking.

Posted by: jckdoors | December 14, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

__________________

Good questions... better question is why does the State of Maryland have unqualified pilots flying medevac helos? The amount of money is pretty high, but it takes alot of moey to get people's attention. If they sued for $50K, noone would have even noticed. Punitive damages are there for cases where egregiously negligent or malicious intent is present. Having an unqualified medevac pilot flying in bad conditions with lacking direction for the ATC, would seem to meet this qualification.

Posted by: keirreva | December 14, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Shame on her, she was driving in the rain and caused the accident that caused the accident. Did anyone ever think that maybe the helicopter shouldn't have been out in the bad weather anyhow? She shouldn't be suing, how can she live with herself to ask for money from something she caused. Unbelievable. What are we teaching our children? So sad for the loved ones that are gone, and she walks.

Posted by: drobinson52 | December 14, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Which ever way these lawsuits turn out, a few things have been learned here. Refuse to ride in a helicopter if necessary. A parent was on site and if she had learned prior knowledge of her ability to refuse her daughters transport via helicopter, she probably would have. The injuries were not serious enough to warrant life flight.

Second, money talks! I am sure many changes have been made to keep a accident like this from happening again. From the pilots, air crew, controllers, FAA, etc., everyone is making changes because this is costing a lot of money in settling lawsuits. I do not disagree with the amount of these suits as long as changes are made for the better. Any one of us might need this service in the future, especially if we drive or ride in a vehicle!

Posted by: Ross65 | December 14, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Maybe they should have NEVER tried to save you....who's fault would that be?
The widow asked less than you did. You are a greedy greedy person that should be ashamed of yourself. Asking for med bills and lost work is one thing. YOU ARE THE PROBLEM!

Posted by: timpick65 | December 14, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Why doesn't everyone SUE THE "AT FAULT" DRIVER?
I hope next time one of your loved ones needs an air transport the pilots have second thoughts due to ______, whatever reason they want.
People like you should be ashamed to breathe, they were trying to help in a situation they did not create.

Posted by: timpick65 | December 14, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Why doesn't everyone SUE THE "AT FAULT" DRIVER?
I hope next time one of your loved ones needs an air transport the pilots have second thoughts due to ______, whatever reason they want.
People like you should be ashamed to breathe, they were trying to help in a situation they did not create.
What in YOUR lifetime will you do to be valued at 50M? (other than frivolous lawsuits)

Posted by: timpick65 | December 14, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Why doesn't everyone SUE THE "AT FAULT" DRIVER?
I hope next time one of your loved ones needs an air transport the pilots have second thoughts due to ______, whatever reason they want.
People like you should be ashamed to breathe, they were trying to help in a situation they did not create.
What in YOUR lifetime will you do to be valued at 50M? (other than frivolous

Posted by: timpick65 | December 14, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

I might as well file a 50 million dollar suit as well and I wasn't even there. I totally agree with duckie86. I am a student pilot and the they teach you it is the responsibility of the pilot in command to understand the weather data and make the go/no go decision.

It also says that some of the data maybe out dated because some systems are old as fart.

Both pilots underestimated the weather and it cost them their lives.But who knows maybe they win and the cost of flying goes up as ATC has to upgrade systems and add even more procedures to a already complicated system

Posted by: Concerned113 | December 14, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

OMG! Some damned nerve! She caused the accident to begin with. How many people remember her flying through Deerwoods neighborhood? I remember seeing this girl constantly racing up and down Smallwood Drive. Maybe if she didn't cause the accident others would not have died. I seriously hope she loses this case. The pilot did what he thought was the right thing to do in trying to get these teenage girls to the hospital. Did the driver of the car that Jordan hit twice sue her? I hope so. Drop the case and be thankful you are still alive! What will you gain from this? It's a shame she is trying to gain out of the death of her friend and others that was trying to help. Maybe Jordan's parents should've had her in driving school a little longer.

Posted by: HeavenSent1 | December 14, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

sorry to all! for some reason program was posting as I was typing, so 3 similar posts.

Posted by: timpick65 | December 14, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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