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CBS Denver - July 31, 2015

Lawsuits Filed Over Medical Helicopter Crash In Frisco

CBS Denver

FRISCO, Colo. (AP) – An attorney for two people who were injured in a fiery helicopter crash in Frisco that killed the pilot filed lawsuits Friday, saying a rotor malfunctioned, sending the aircraft spinning out of control.

The helicopter hit three vehicles before it crashed.

The lawsuits name Air Methods Corp., the helicopter operator, and the manufacturer, Airbus Helicopters.

Airbus would not comment Friday on the lawsuit but said it was cooperating with the investigation.

The crash happened July 3 next to Frisco’s St. Anthony Summit Medical Center. The crash killed pilot Patrick Mahany and injured paramedic Dave Repsher and flight nurse Matt Bowe.

“This was a preventable crash,” said Gary Robb, a Kansas City lawyer representing the families. “Witnesses at the scene reported that the helicopter was spinning immediately upon takeoff, which would be consistent with tail rotor failure.”

The lawsuits claim the helicopter was not safe and improperly designed because the fuel tank ruptured and burst into flames upon impact.

Repsher remains in critical condition at University of Colorado Hospital with burns over 90 percent of his body. Bowe suffered severe internal injuries.

The lawsuits seek unspecified damages.

Federal investigators have not determined the cause of the crash.

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