When it comes to plane crashes, they almost always make the news, no matter the size of the plane. Fatality rates for small plane crashes are kept by both the National Transportation Safety Bureau and the Federal Aviation Administration. According to a 2010 NTSB report, the fatality rate stands at about 1 death for every 100,000 hours. The accident rate for personal flights have increased by 20 percent over the last decade and the fatality rate by 25% over the same time period. When a family member happens to be in one of these fatal crashes, families sometimes utilize civil litigation for compensation. The Courtroom View Network reports on such a case.
28-year-old Heidi McCorkle was one of five people killed in a 2013 plane crash that occurred when the plane she was riding with coworkers in crashed into a utility pole at Thompson-McDuffie Regional Airport.
According to the lawsuit filed by McCorkle’s family members, Atlanta-based Milliken & Company is to blame for the crash. Attorneys for the family members state that Milliken & Company granted permission to Georgia Power to install a utility pole on easement land that had been granted to the airport.
Attorney’s argued that Milliken & Company asked Georgia Power to install the pole, which stood 72-feet above ground to grant additional utility to the company. They further argued that Milliken & Company and Georgia Power both failed to ensure that the placement of the utility pole complied with the easement.
Georgia Power was initially one of the defendants in the case named in the lawsuit. However, Milliken & Company is the only defendant remaining to go to the trial phase of litigation.
Attorneys for Milliken & Company argued that the utility pole’s location was notated on flight charts and that the pilot was well aware of the existence of the pole. They place the blame for the accident on the pilot, rather than the location of the pole.
The trail began on August 9th and is expected to last two weeks.