Family of Marine killed in 2022 Osprey crash files wrongful death lawsuit

Family of Marine killed in 2022 Osprey crash files wrongful death lawsuit

The families of five Marines killed when an Osprey crashed in Southern California in June 2022 have filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit, holding the Osprey’s manufacturer responsible for the tragedy.

According to a military report investigating the accident, a clutch problem caused the right engine to fail during a training flight, causing the aircraft to lose control over Glamis, California, killing all five Marines on board.

An investigation found that the accident was due to an “unpreventable” mechanical failure and not due to negligence by the pilot, crew or maintenance personnel.

The Marines killed were:

– Captain John J. Sachs, 33, of Placer, California; – Captain Nicholas P. Losapio, 31, of Rockingham, New Hampshire; – Corporal Nathan E. Carlson, 21, of Winnebago, Illinois; – Corporal Seth D. Rasmusson, 21, of Johnson, Wyoming; – Corporal Evan A. Strickland, 19, of Valencia, New Mexico.

“Through his life and death, John taught me to be brave, and what happened to him, Nick, Nathan, Seth and Evan on June 8, 2022 should never have happened,” Amber Sacks, wife of Capt. John Sacks, said in a statement. “Our service members deserve equipment and aircraft that are free from malfunctions, especially those that result in the loss of life.”

The families of four of the five Marines who died are being represented by the law firm Windsor Baum.

“The lawsuit, filed on behalf of the families of Sachs, Carlson, Rasmuson and Strickland, accuses the companies of negligence, negligent misrepresentation and fraudulent misrepresentation for failing to ‘truthfully represent to the government and military personnel regarding the design, operation and safety of the V-22 Osprey,'” the law firms said in a press release Thursday.

The 2022 disaster is just one of several fatal Osprey crashes in recent years: In August 2023, an Osprey crashed during a training exercise off the north coast of Australia, killing three Marines. In November of the same year, another crash occurred in Japan, killing eight airmen.

After the November crash, the military grounded all Ospreys as a precautionary measure to allow time to investigate potential issues and issue safety recommendations, and the military will lift the ban in early 2024 after putting in place some new rules and restrictions.

“I am confident that the procedures we have in place will prevent such a catastrophe from happening again in the future,” Lt. Gen. Tony Bauerfeind, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command, said in March.

“Despite assurances from companies like Bell Boeing about the safety of these aircraft and their systems, the facts continue to raise concerns and reveal a very different reality,” Timothy Loranger, an attorney for Windsor Baum, said in a statement to ABC News.

A Boeing representative told ABC News on Friday that the company “cannot comment on pending litigation.” A Rolls-Royce representative said the company “cannot comment at this time.” Bell Textron did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

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