On the morning of Sunday, May 20, 2018, a helicopter crash in a marsh in St. Charles Parish claimed the life of one crew member and injured two others. None of the victims resided in Louisiana. One passenger died from his injuries in the crash and was pronounced dead at the scene. Another crewman suffered severe injuries possibly a fractured spine, but the pilot sustained less severe injuries. The pilot and crewmen worked for a company that Entergy subcontracted with to conduct routine inspections on transmission lines. According to the investigation, the helicopter’s landing gear caught on one of the power lines and caused the crash.
Three friends preparing for a cookout heard the crash and jumped into action to rescue any survivors. Due to the marshy terrain, the three men jumped into an amphibious vehicle to get to the crash site. Upon approaching the crash site, the men described a “frightening” scene with smoke billowing and the marsh grass ablaze around the downed helicopter. The rescuers took the crew’s helmets and started scooping marsh water onto the flames. One of the men took the pilot to a nearby road in order to direct first responders to the crash site. First responders were able to access the crash site via airboat and rescue the two survivors.
After an unfortunate crash like this one, Louisiana Law provides remedies for victims to recover for their injuries. Since the crash occurred during the course and scope of the passengers’ employment, the injured victims may seek worker’s compensation. Moreover, the family of the deceased crewmen may bring a wrongful death action pursuant to Louisiana Civil Code article 2315.2. The family members have one year from the date of this crash to bring the action to recover.
Aside from the employment and wrongful death issues, the victims may have a cause of action against the pilot, the carrier, or sounding in products liability against the helicopter manufacturer for their sustained injuries. If the investigation shows that the helicopter malfunctioned in some way or that the helicopter itself was defectively designed, the victims may potentially recover. Likewise, the victims may be able to pursue a cause of action against the owner of the power lines. If it is found that the power lines in this area of marsh did not meet existing safety standards or were lacking safety devices intended to prevent this type of accident, such as visibility markers on the power line, the victims and their families may be able to recover.
Broussard, David & Moroux is a Lafayette based law firm consisting of attorneys which have the experience and expertise necessary to handle cases of this nature. The attorneys at Broussard, David & Moroux will fight to obtain fair compensation for any damages or injuries you or a loved one has suffered as a result of the negligence of another. Contact the attorneys at Broussard, David & Moroux to discuss your legal rights at (337) 233-2323(local) or (888) 337-2323 (toll-free).