Denver, Colo. (Feb. 9, 2018) — A record-breaking $100 million settlement will be paid by Airbus Helicopters and Colorado-based operator Air Methods to resolve a lawsuit filed by the critically injured survivor of a fiery Flight for Life helicopter crash in 2015. The settlement, which was reached nearly a month before a trial was set to begin in Colorado, was announced on February 1 and has already sparked national interest in the aviation community.
Colorado workers’ compensation attorney R. Mack Babcock was hired by the personal injury attorneys who handled the case against Airbus Helicopters and Air Methods to oversee the plaintiff’s workers’ compensation claim against his employer, Flight for Life. Babcock also helped resolved workers’ compensation subrogation issues, securing the amount the workers’ compensation insurance carrier was to be paid from the lawsuit.
The plaintiff, flight nurse Dave Repsher, suffered severe burns on over 90 percent of his body, received a kidney transplant, and was in a coma for more than half a year after the deadly Frisco helicopter crash.
On July 3, 2015, the helicopter carrying Repsher and pilot Pat Mahany crashed to the ground after being airborne for 32 seconds. Both passengers survived the impact, but within seconds fuel began pouring out of the helicopter and a massive fire erupted. The flames ultimately contributed to the death of Mahany, and critically wounded Repsher.
Upon investigation, it was revealed that the helicopter carrying Repsher and Mahany, an Airbus AS-350, had a fuel tank that some critics suggested more closely resembled a big plastic milk jug than a sturdy fuel tank. Through a loophole in the law – one that members of the Colorado Congressional delegation have since tried to close – manufacturers have been allowed to build thousands of new helicopters with these antiquated fuel systems.
In addition to paying eight-figure medical bills, the Repshers intend to use the settlement money to raise awareness of helicopter safety on a national level.
“Dave Repsher’s harrowing survival story is not one I’ll soon forget,” said Babcock. “It was my honor to fight to ensure that he and his family received the just compensation they deserved. We wish him the very best recovery.”
R. Mack Babcock founded his own law firm in 2007 to serve the communities of Denver, Littleton, Aurora and the state of Colorado. Along with his team of expert trial attorneys, Mack Babcock and The Babcock Law Firm help injured individuals in all kinds of legal matters, from work-related injuries and insurance disputes to car accidents and other personal injury cases.
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