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Date: 02-08-2022

Case Style:

Jolyn L. Specter, et al. v. Rainbow King Lodge, Inc., et al. v. John Furnia, Jr., et al.

Case Number: 3:17-cv-00194

Judge: Timothy M. Burgess

Court: United States District Court for the District of Alaska (Anchorage Borough)

Plaintiff's Attorney:

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Defendant's Attorney: Marc Gerhard Wilhelm and Robert L. Richmond for Rainbow King Londge, Inc.

Thomas B. Thoraness and Chester DeMontt Gilmore for Texas Turbine Conversions, Inc.

Gary Z. Aipkin, Robert James Fenn and Kristin E. Crabb for Recon Air Corporation

Hans Nicholas Huggler and Brewster H. Jamieson for Stolairus Aviation, Inc.

David Karl Gross and Mara Elizabether Michaletz for John Furnia, Jr.

Description: Anchorage, Alaska personal injury lawyers represented Plaintiffs, who sued Defendants on wrongful death negligence theories claiming to have suffered more than $75,000 in damages and/or injuries as a direct result of the failure on the part of the Defendants to exercise due case in the maintenance and operation of an airplane that crashed killing James E. Specter, M.D.

Doctor Specter was apparently killed in an airplane crash involving the crash of a DeHav illand DHC-3 "Otter" No. N928RK on East Wind Lake.

The NTSB investigated the crash involving DeHavilland DHC-3 "Otter" No. N928RK (the "aircraft" or "plane").8 As part of its investigation, the NTSB collected witness statements, took photos and analyzed the crash site, conducted a weight and balance analysis, and reviewed the flight conditions on East Wind Lake, among other things.9 It issued multiple reports in connection with the crash, including a Probable Cause Report, Final Report, and Data Summary (the "Reports").10 In the Reports, the NTSB relied on facts collected through its investigation and
reached conclusions about the chain of events leading to the crash and the probable cause of the crash.11 The NTSB concluded that the probable cause of the accident was the

pilot's decision to depart in dark night . . . which resulted in his subsequent spatial disorientation and loss of airplane control. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's failure to determine the airplane's actual preflight weight and balance and center of gravity (CG), which led to the airplane being loaded and operated outside of the weight and CG limits and to a subsequent aerodynamic stall.

The NTSB determined that the aircraft exceeded its maximum weight by about 508.6 pounds and that the center of gravity was 4.08 inches aft of the aft center of gravity limit.

The NTSB determined that the aircraft exceeded its maximum weight by about 508.6 pounds and that the center of gravity was 4.08 inches aft of the aft center of gravity limit.

        Plaintiffs ask the Court to preclude the parties from referencing the Reports, including any legal conclusions, opinions, or probable cause determinations made by NTSB.14 Plaintiffs assert that federal law precludes admission, legal conclusions are inadmissible, and the balance of the Reports should be excluded as untrustworthy under Federal Rule of Evidence ("FRE") 803(8).15

        Separately, Plaintiffs ask the Court to preclude Defendants' expert Mark E. Madden from using videos and documents from the Federal Aviation Administration ("FAA") as part of his testimony in front of the jury.16 Plaintiffs list four videos relating to spatial disorientation and "Max-Vis" systems17 that, Plaintiffs say, should be excluded because they are inadmissible hearsay, irrelevant, and unfairly prejudicial.

Outcome: Judgment in favor of one or more of the Defendants. On appeal.

Plaintiff's Experts:

Defendant's Experts:


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