NEW ORLEANS — A St. James Parish man is suing multiple companies, alleging their negligence caused his helicopter to fall into the Gulf of Mexico.
Matthew Holeton filed a lawsuit June 23 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana against Island Operating Company, Inc. Walter Oil & Gas Corp. and ABC Cleaning Company, alleging negligence and breach of duty in failing to ensure a helideck was reasonably safe for operations.
According to the complaint, on June 28, 2015, Holeton he was working for Rotorcraft as a captain and pilot of a Bell 407 helicopter on the South Timbalier oil platform. The suit says Holeton initiated preflight procedures and engine start-up.
As the rotors began turning, the lawsuit states, the helicopter slid off of the improperly cleaned helideck and fell 80 feet into the Gulf of Mexico, causing severe and debilitating injuries to the plaintiff's back and spine, which were broken after impact with the water. As a direct result, he has sustained loss wages and earning capacity, medical expenses, pain and suffering, mental anguish and disability.
The plaintiff alleges the defendants failed to remove glycol from the various surfaces and decks of the platform, failed to warn Holeton of any latent dangers, of which the operator and/or subcontractor, owner/operator, and/or the cleaning company should have been aware.
Holeton seeks a trial by jury, damages, all legal costs plus all general and equitable relief. He is represented by attorneys Hugh P. Lambert, Cayce C. Peterson, Jacki Smith and Morgan Embleton of The Lambert Firm PLC in New Orleans.
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana Case number 2:16-cv-11469
Original article can be found here: http://louisianarecord.com
NTSB Identification: CEN15LA288
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Sunday, June 28, 2015 in South Timbalier 127, GM
Aircraft: BELL 407 - NO SERIES, registration: N311RL
Injuries: 1 Serious.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On June 28, 2015, about 1000 central daylight time, a Bell 407 helicopter, N311RL, was substantially damaged when strong winds blew it over the side of the helideck during engine start on the South Timbalier 127 oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico. The pilot received serious injuries. The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the fuselage. The aircraft was registered to GM Leasing Company LLC, and operated by Rotorcraft Leasing Company LLC, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 as a passenger flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not on a flight plan. The flight was originating at the time of the accident for an unconfirmed destination.