Iowa helicopter crash victims recover $11.6 million

Legal news for Iowa wrongful death attorneys.

Polk County jury returns $11.6 million in total wrongful death and injury verdicts.

Des Moines, IA—A combined $11.6 million verdict was awarded in a wrongful death and personal injury lawsuit to a cameraman’s widow and a film producer who were involved in a June 2006 helicopter crash. The helicopter crashed into power lines during a production shoot for an eastern Iowa baseball movie, as reported by the Des Moines Register.

The five-week civil trail, which combined four lawsuits, ranked among the highest awarded cases in Iowa’s history. The Polk County jury awarded $7.2 million to the widow of cameraman Roland Schlotzhauer. A Dallas Center movie producer, Tony Wilson, was also awarded $4.2 million for his near-fatal injuries, which cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills. The personal injury and wrongful death lawsuit revolved around an aerial shot for movie flick, “Final Season”. The film was based on the Norway High School baseball team’s 1991 championship before the school merged with another school district. The pilot, Richard Green, of Hudson, was reportedly flying between 30 and 50 feet from the ground at around 55 mph when the chopper got tangled up on some power lines along U.S. Highway 151. Green also suffered serious injuries in the horrific helicopter crash. The Polk County jury found Green 75 percent at fault for Schlotzhauer’s death, and is ordered to pay three-fourths of the awarded 7.2 million payout. The owners of the movie “The Final Season” are required to pay the remaining 25 percent. Green was also found completely at fault in Wilson’s lawsuit, and was ordered to pay Wilson the $4.2 million for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost earnings and other legal damages. Green’s company, Rital Copter Service, was also named in the two wrongful death and personal injury litigations.

News Contributor: Nicole Howley-Legal news for wrongful death and personal injury attorneys

About the Author Justice Seeker

Heather L. Ryan, R.N., C.L.N.C- Heather Ryan is a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant with 15 years of experience in the health care industry. Her expertise in reviewing medical records and assisting lawyers with the determination as to whether legal action should be taken provides an invaluable asset to the newsroom. Medical-malpractice, products liability, personal injury and workers’ compensation are some of the recent areas of litigation Ms. Ryan has focused her efforts on. A member of the Florida Justice Association, Heather maintains a long list of certifications and credentials to support her areas of expertise and stays up-to-date with her clinical knowledge working as an emergency room/trauma nurse, at a Level 1, Adult/Pediatric trauma and teaching institution in South Florida.