Wrongful Death Defense

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Justice Delayed, But Won

HYLER v. Roberts Aircraft Co., et al., Colorado

Rose Walker defended Roberts Aircraft in this wrongful death case involving seismic helicopter operations in Bolivia. Our client had suffered through nine years of litigation before finally getting its day in court — and what a “day” it was.

The Colorado-based helicopter operator was accused of supplying a defective tail rotor gearbox that allegedly failed, causing a fatal crash. But we believed that pilot error caused the tragedy. At trial, the plaintiff’s accident-reconstruction expert was excluded on Daubert grounds. The Daubert standard is a rule of evidence regarding the admissibility of expert witness testimony during federal court proceedings. After the plaintiff presented its evidence, the court granted a directed verdict for the defendants. The plaintiff appealed the ruling to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld the trial court’s granting of a directed verdict.