Family of Jacksonville Transplant Technician Files Suit Over Fatal Helicopter Crash

Posted on February 2, 2012

He died doing what he loved. A heart transplant technician, who worked for the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, joined a cardiologist and a helicopter pilot on the morning of December 26 to set off to Gainesville to procure a heart that became available for transplant. Shortly after the takeoff of the Bell 206B helicopter, it crashed, killing everyone onboard. The heart recipient never received the heart. The technician’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the helicopter company for operating the helicopter in a negligent manner. A lawsuit will allow for discovery so the family and their lawyer can determine when the helicopter was last serviced. Other questions remain, such as what were the weather conditions? What about the health of the pilot? Who made the final decision to fly under foggy conditions?

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reports that the Bell helicopter dropped and hit a 50-foot tree before it crashed in a remote wooded area. The family of the pilot says he was a decorated pilot in Vietnam and flew about 200 missions of this type a year.

Our condolences go out to everyone involved here. There are no winners in this tragedy – Mayo Clinic loses a cardiac surgeon, the pilot is lost to his family, and also the heart transplant technician to his family. Let’s not forget about the person who was waiting for a viable heart to gain a chance for a healthier life.

A Jacksonville wrongful death lawyer at Farah & Farah is available to consult with you or a family member who has lost someone due to the negligence of others. The law gives the victim a right to pursue civil litigation against the wrongdoer. Ultimately, it will be up to a jury to decide if it was a reasonable decision to fly that morning and if a reasonable person would have made the same choice under the same circumstances. Farah & Farah can help you understand the reasonable standard in a complimentary consultation on your case. Call us at 1(800) 533-3555 to start the conversation.


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