August 8, 2011 could have been like any other day at Fort Benning. The
busy United States Army post was in full swing in the hot summer sun.
However, August 8, 2011 was not like any other busy, hot summer day at
Fort Benning; it was a tragic day that many people will never forget.
It is the day that has led to the recent filing of a
wrongful death suit in connection with a brave army helicopter pilot.
According to CBSAtlanta, 37-year-old Chief Warrant Officer Steven B. Redd
was operating a helicopter on that day, for the purposes of a training
exercise. 30-year-old Captain John D. Hortman was also participating in
the exercise, and was flying with Chief Warrant Officer Redd. Tragically,
the training exercise ended in the death of both men when the helicopter
crashed within the borders of Fort Benning.
Military.com reports that the family of Chief Warrant Officer Redd has now filed suit
against several parties for his untimely death. The wrongful death suit
was filed in United States District Court, and, among other things, alleges
that the helicopter that Chief Warrant Officer Redd was piloting was unsafe.
The Defendants named in the suit include the Goodrich Corporation, who
designed, manufactured, tested, sold and supplied a critical component
of the helicopter, Boeing Company, Goodrich Pump and Engine Control Systems
and Rolls-Royce North America. The suit was filed in Connecticut, rather
than in Georgia, because the defendants named in the suit are authorized
to do business there. The suit alleges that a failure in the helicopter’s
computer resulted in a fuel failure, which caused the engine to lose power,
control and performance of the helicopter.
When someone dies due to the negligence of another person, medical malpractice
or an unsafe act of another person, he or she obviously cannot bring suit
on their own behalf. For these reasons, Georgia law establishes specific
provisions for the people that may bring suit to recover damages for the
death of a loved one. These people are called the “survivors”
and the action of bringing such a suit is called a wrongful death suit.
In Chief Warrant Officer Redd’s case, such survivors are his wife
and three children.
Georgia Code 51-4-2 establishes that the survivors that may bring a wrongful death action
are the decedent’s surviving spouse, and, if he or she did not have
a spouse, his or her children. If both a spouse and children survive the
decedent, then the spouse may bring the wrongful death claim, but must
share the proceeds of the action with the surviving children. In the case
that a decedent did not have a spouse or any children, his or her “next
of kin” may bring a wrongful death suit.
If you have lost a loved one due to the wrongful or negligent conduct of
another person, you may be entitled to file a wrongful death suit. In
order to determine whether you may be able to receive compensation, you
should immediately contact an experienced wrongful death attorney. An
experienced wrongful death attorney can review your case and help you
understand your options. A wrongful death suit may help bring you and
your loved one the justice and peace of mind.