$55 million in Marine helicopter crash

Curt Cutting at California Punitive Damages takes note of a jury’s very large verdict against San Diego Gas and Electric last month, including $40 million in punitive damages, after a helicopter fatally collided with a 130-foot utility tower located on the base at Camp Pendleton. “The plaintiffs claimed that SDG&E was negligent for not installing safety lights on the tower. SDG&E says the tower had been on the base for 25 years and they would have installed lights if the Marine Corps had asked. They contend the crash was the result of errors by the crew and they plan to appeal.” (Sept. 3; Tony Perry, “$55.6 million awarded in fatal Marine helicopter crash”, Los Angeles Times, Sept. 4). Bruce Nye at Cal Biz Lit calls the verdict a “stunner” (Sept. 8).

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