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Helicopter Crash Product Liability Lawsuit Results in $9.5 Million Settlement-Candidate for Lawsuit Funding?

A $9.5 Million settlement has been reached, in Hawaii, between a vacationing, New Hampshire couple and Boeing (manufacturer) and Aluminum Precision Products (parts maker).

The crash occured when the couple, celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary, was taking a helicopter tour of the island of Kauai. As a result of the crash, Judy Barton, 52, was paralyzed from the waist down, and her 62-year-old husband, Douglas, suffered back injuries that prevent him from working. Another passenger suffered fatal injuries in the crash.

Apparently, near the end of the tour, the helicopter lost its tail rotor and entered into a tight spin, crashing into a YMCA camp. The Barton’s attorney, Rick Fried, who, obviously, did a terrific job for the couple, indicated that the crash occurred due to a manufacturing defect in the rotor which rendered the helicopter inoperable. The copter was built in 1987 and there have been at least 16 similar helicopter crashes in the last ten years caused by tail rotor failures.

We don’t hear much about helicopter crash litigation, but, similar to airplane crash litigation, crashes almost always result in severe injuries. It is a form of defective product or product liability litigation. In this case, the accident litigation was resolved in a year, and Mr. Fried indicated that the companies were “unusually good to deal with”. This is the exception not the rule (note Fried’s use of the word “unusually” in the cited quote); most serious injury litigation is vigorously contested and often take years to resolve.

Lawsuit FInancial provides legal funding to seriously injured victims of negligence, whether injuries result from a defective product, as they did here, or from an Automobile Accident, Slip & Fall, Medical Mistake, or other act of negligence by another.

In this case, the Bartons’ medical bills were over $750,000;. I presume that they had medical insurance; Judy is paralized from the waist down and Douglas has disabling back injuries from the crash. Assuming there was no medical insurance, the totally disabled couple was faced with ordinary bills and expenses (food, clothing shelter) and extraordinary ($750,000) medical expenses. If they have medical insurance, they were still facing an inability, pre-settlement, to pay ordinary bills and expenses.

Had the couple approached Lawsuit Financial for lawsuit funding, we would have provided them with a non-recourse cash advance, collateralized only by their pending lawsuit. If the lawsuit is successful (and in this case, it was) we are repaid our case invested principal and risk adjusted profit out of case proceeds. If the case fails, we lose our money. If the case resolves at significantly less than predicted case value, we provide an appropriate compromise. The goal of lawsuit financing is to get people like the Bartons through the litigation, without having pressing bills and expenses effect the value of their case. Someone desperate for money will, almost always, settle his/her case for less than appropriate value. Strategic lawsuit financing will often prevent this from happening and will, in this scenario, pay for itself with increased case proceeds.

If you have a pending personal injury case and require lawsuit funding visit our website at or call us, toll free, at 1-877-377-SUIT (7848) for a free analysis of your case funding situation. The call and the advice are absolutley free.

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