Family of Marine killed in 2022 Osprey crash sues Boeing and other manufacturers for negligence

Family of Marine killed in 2022 Osprey crash sues Boeing and other manufacturers for negligence

From the United States Marine Corps

Ground-level wreckage photo from U.S. Marine Corps investigation report


The families of four U.S. Marines who died in an Osprey crash in 2022 are suing Boeing, Bell Textron and Rolls-Royce for failing to address known problems with the aircraft that caused the crashes.

The lawsuit filed Thursday focuses on the June 2022 crash of an MV-22B Osprey that killed five Marines stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton, California, during a training mission. A Marine Corps investigation last July concluded that the accident was caused by mechanical failure and that “the pilot and crew were not negligent and there was nothing they could have done to predict or prevent this accident.”

“They were conducting normal flight operations in accordance with applicable regulations when this catastrophic and unexpected mechanical failure occurred,” the Marines said in 2023.

The five Marines killed were Captains Nicholas Losapio and John Sachs, Corporals Nathan Carlson, Seth Rasmuson, and Corporal Evan Strickland.

The lawsuit filed by the families of Sachs, Carlson, Strickland and Rasmuson alleges negligence, fraudulent misrepresentation and failure to warn against Boeing, Bell Textron, Rolls-Royce Corporation and Rolls-Royce North America.

Tim Loranger, an attorney representing the families in the lawsuit, told CNN on Thursday that ultimately the lawsuit alleges that the plane the Marines were flying on was known to have been defective but “insufficient steps were taken to correct it.”

“We allege they had information that they were not releasing,” Loranger said, “and that’s why we’re here today.”

From the United States Marine Corps

Aerial wreckage photo from a US Marine Corps investigation report

The mechanical failure in June 2023 involved the engagement of a dual hard clutch, which the Marine Corps said “caused a single-engine and interconnected drive system (single-engine/IDS) failure.” The failure ultimately “caused an irrecoverable deviation from controlled flight, leading to the tragic crash.”

“The Defendants named herein, through their defective products, breach of contract, breach of warranty, tort and negligence, caused the accident and tragic deaths of five outstanding young United States Marines, all of whom are descendants of Plaintiffs,” the complaint states.

Boeing, Bell Textron and Rolls-Royce have not yet responded to CNN’s requests for comment. The lawsuit comes as Boeing is under scrutiny after a Boeing 737 Max jet blew a hole in the side of the plane during flight in January and is expected to announce a plan as soon as next week to fix quality issues on its assembly lines.

The lawsuit was filed months after another V-22 Osprey crash off the coast of Japan, which killed eight U.S. special operations airmen, prompted the U.S. military to ground the entire V-22 Osprey fleet in December. The grounding was lifted in March of this year, but officials said at the time that an investigation had determined the cause of the crash was a “material failure.”

Capt. Brian Taylor, program manager for the Naval Air Systems Command’s V-22 Joint Program Office, told reporters in March that the crash was caused by an “unprecedented” component failure, but declined to say which part or how it failed.

The fatal crash off the coast of Japan was the latest in a series of Osprey accidents. In August 2023, an MV-22B Osprey crashed during a military exercise in Australia, killing three U.S. Marines. And in March 2022, just months before five U.S. Marines were killed in California, an MV-22 crashed during a NATO exercise, killing four U.S. service members.

Loranger told CNN that while it’s unclear if there are commonalities between the June 2023 crash and other recent accidents, the point for the families in the lawsuit is to “find the truth of what happened, why this aircraft crashed, why other Ospreys have crashed, and what is being done to prevent something like this from happening again.”

“It’s so that when a family sends a Marine or an airman off on a mission, they don’t get a knock on their door because something has broken on the aircraft,” he said.

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