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Jury Reaches $177 Million Verdict in 2008 Helicopter Accident; Appeal Anticipated

An Oregon jury ruled that an engine problem caused a 2008 helicopter accident that killed nine firefighters during a wildfire in Northern California. The chopper was airborne less than a minute when it clipped a tree and fell from the sky, bursting into flames.

The jury reached its verdict after a pilot who survived the accident and a widow who lost her husband filed a $177 million suit against General Electric. The lawsuits alleged that GE knew for at least six years that there was a problem with a fuel control valve on the engine. GE argued that the helicopter crashed because it was carrying too much weight after picking up the firefighters. Although the National Transportation Safety Board concluded in 2010 that too much weight and a lack of oversight caused the crash, the jury placed 57% of the blame on GE, but also found the helicopter’s owner and its manufacturer partially at fault. GE plans to appeal.

Because helicopter accident lawsuits are extremely complex and can take years before compensation is paid, a plaintiff may secure a legal advance against their case. Had these victims approached Lawsuit Financial for lawsuit funding, we would have provided them with a non-recourse cash advance; the only collateral is the 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 help victims through the litigation process, 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 are involved in a helicopter crash lawsuit and considering a settlement that is much lower than the value of your case, contact Lawsuit Financial. We work with plaintiffs that are not in a financial position to wait for a fair settlement offer. Visit us online or call us, toll free, at 1-877-377-SUIT (7848) for a free analysis of your case funding situation. The call and advice are free.