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Judge rules air traffic controllers caused 2003 helicopter crash

Our client, a 22 year old Marine and Iraq war veteran was on a pilot-training exercise at Torrance Municipal Airport when his Robinson helicopter collided in midair with another helicopter. Our client was in the middle of a landing pattern, while the other Robinson helicopter was taking off. The two people aboard the other aircraft perished, and our client fell over 300 feet in his helicopter. He survived but suffered catastrophic injuries.
We filed suit against the United States Government, claiming that the FAA’s air traffic controllers instructions to the pilots of the helicopters placed them on a collision course for the eventual mid-air that occurred directly in front of the Tower. The Government represented by the U.S. Justice Department argued that our client deviated from his clearance and flew over the other aircraft’s runway. Their position was bolstered by the NTSB’s and FAA’s findings blaming our client for the crash.
We tried the case in Federal District Court before the Hon. Florence Marie Cooper and obtained a Plaintiff’s verdict, vindicating our pilot and obtaining an eventual award of $4.5 Million. In order to do so, we retained some of the foremost aviation experts in the country in the areas of radar, accident reconstruction, air traffic control, and helicopter operation.
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