Saturday, June 2, 2007

Hospital sues over 2005 helicopter crash

VALPARAISO, Ind. -- Porter hospital's insurer is suing the pilot and owner of a helicopter that crashed onto the hospital's rooftop helipad in 2005 during a failed takeoff.

A company that allegedly performed major maintenance on the helicopter before the July 2005 crash is also among the defendants named in the lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court.
No one was hurt when the helicopter crashed onto the helipad shortly after takeoff while attempting to transport an intensive-care patient from Porter's Valparaiso campus to the University of Chicago Hospital.
The lawsuit maintains that the helicopter was carelessly inspected before the crash and that the helicopter's tail rotor drive shaft was improperly installed during mechanical work.
That shaft failed shortly after takeoff due to mechanical error, the lawsuit alleges.
According to court documents, the crash caused $469,258 in damages.
The suit names the helicopter's owners, Pennsylvania-based C.J. Systems Aviation Group Inc.; its parent company, Corporate Jets Inc.; Wisconsin-based Helicopter Specialities Inc., which performed the renovations prior to the crash; and the pilot, Edward D. Ban of Naperville, Ill.

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