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May 18, 2009 - Wrongful Death Suit Over Medical Helicopter Crash

The family of a flight nurse killed with two other people when a medical helicopter crashed in Indiana last summer has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the woman's two children.

The lawsuit, which seeks compensation for the death of Sandra Pearson, 38, maintains that the helicopter's main rotor blade either contacted unmarked power lines or "spontaneously separated without contact," causing the deadly crash.

Pearson died Aug. 31 along with pilot Roger Warren, 43, andparamedic and base manager Wade Weston, 38, when the rotor came off their Bell 206 Longranger before it crashed in a field outside Burney, about 40 miles southeast of Indianapolis.

Attorneys hired by National Bank of Indianapolis filed the lawsuit in Marion Superior Court last week on behalf of Pearson's two children, Gabrielle, 8, and Garrett, 10.

"These helicopter crashes have real human life consequences," said a Kansas City, Mo., attorney representing the plaintiffs. "I'm going to make sure these children do not have any kind of financial hardship over the death of their mother."

The lawsuit names as defendants Rolls-Royce, the helicopter's engine maker; Decatur County REMC, the utility responsible for maintaining power lines in the area; Rush Memorial Hospital, which dispatched the helicopter; and Bell Helicopter Textron, the rotor manufacturer.

The National Traffic Safety Board is still investigating what caused the rotor blades to break in the crash.

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