Tracy Stewart vs. Learjet
The civil trial where Tracy Stewart widow of late PGA golfer Payne Stewart where she is suing Learjet has started closing arguments today. The jury is expected to get the case by Wednesday.
My heart goes out to Mrs. Stewart and her children. Their lives were changed forever by Payne's death. That said, Mrs. Stewart is suing the wrong people. The aviation company that owned the aircraft not Learjet that manufactured it is liable for the crash. Sunjet aviation had incomplete work orders for the plane that needed work when they instead sent the plane into the air in October 1999. The company has since gone out of business.
Mrs. Stewart has the right to be angry. Sunjet's negligence killed her husband, and then they screwed her again by going out of business. But suing Learjet is wrong, the company was not at fault. What it sounds to me is a greedy Personal injury/wrongful death attorney is at work here. I've known more than a few widows from malignant melanoma victims who came into money usually life insurance settlements after their spouses died. To them it was like blood money, and I think Mrs. Stewart would realize this too if she really searched her soul. Nothing will bring back her husband, and she has been terribly wronged but recouping money from Learjet is also wrong.
The following article I excerpted came from Orlandosentinel.com
By Anthony Colarossi
Sentinel Staff Writer Posted June 7, 2005, 1:27 PM EDT
Attorneys representing the Payne Stewart family began closing arguments this morning in their month-long civil trial against corporate jet manufacturer Learjet.
Echoing a theory that has been repeated throughout the trial, attorney Daniel Barks blamed a faulty outflow valve adapter for the failure and "rapid depressurization" of the plane carrying Stewart, his agent Robert Fraley and four others on Oct. 25, 1999.
Because of the valve adapter's failure, Barks said a three-inch hole released all the breathable air inside the aircraft. The depressurization killed all aboard hours before the plane crashed into a field near Aberdeen, South Dakota.
"There was a hole somewhere in that aircraft that shouldn't have been there," Barks said.Barks went on to attack Learjet, saying the company has claimed, "It's anyone's fault but ours."But he added that the defense has done little to dispute his theory of what caused the plane's demise.
The Fraley and Stewart families have sued Learjet, blaming the company for the part's alleged failure. The attorneys for Stewart will ultimately ask jurors for $200 million in lost wages and pain and suffering.