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Husband of Woman Killed in Medical Copter Crash Files Suit
By Brad Cooper
The Kansas City Star
9/02/2011

The husband of a patient killed in last week's medical helicopter crash is going to court, claiming the operator took unnecessary risks by running with low fuel.

Terry Tacoronte's husband, Victor, filed a lawsuit Thursday in Clay County Circuit Court against Air Methods Corp. of Englewood, Colo., LifeNet Air Medical Services and Heartland Regional Medical Center.

The lawsuit contends that Air Methods didn't put enough fuel in the Eurocopter AS350 to transport Tacoronte from a hospital in Bethany, Mo., to Liberty Hospital.

"Terry Tacoronte was killed as a direct result of the careless, improper, negligent reckless actions of the defendants," the suit says.

Officials from Air Methods and the hospital declined to comment Thursday afternoon.

The lawsuit alleges that Air Methods didn't have a policy in place for transporting patients with adequate fuel reserves.

"This was more than negligence. It was an inexcusable accident based on a flawed operating policy," said Kansas City attorney Gary C. Robb.

Robb said medical helicopters rarely run on a full fuel tank because of weight issues associated with the aircraft and the onboard equipment.

The National Transportation Safety Board has been looking at the aircraft's fuel level in its investigation of last Friday night's crash in Clay County that killed all four aboard.

Federal aviation officials said the pilot indicated he wanted to stop for fuel at the Midwest National Air Center near Excelsior Springs.

A preliminary report on the crash is due within the next week, but the full investigation probably won't be complete for about a year or so.

Robb said all indications point to the aircraft running out of fuel. Robb said the pilot couldn't be blamed in this case because he was only follwoing corporate policy.

Air Methods bills itself as the world's largest air ambulance operator, with a fleet of about 300 helicopters and about 2,700 full-time employees. The company had total revenues of $562 million in 2010.




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Personal injury is an area of law that pertains to the injury of an individual. Both physical and emotional injuries fall into this branch of tort law. A personal injury lawyer is generally involved in cases where an injury has occurred due to the negligence of another party.

Examples of cases that a personal injury lawyer in Kansas City, Missouri can assist with include workplace accidents, falling or other accidents in the home, premises liability, defective and hazardous product cases, and dental and medical malpractice cases. If negligence on behalf of another party can be proved in court, compensation may be awarded.

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