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Saturday, May 25, 2024 | Back issues
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Pilot’s Wife Can’t Sue Mitsubishi Over Crash

MANHATTAN (CN) - Mitsubishi cannot be held liable for the fatal crash of 30-year-old plane near San Juan, Puerto Rico, a federal judge ruled.

Svend Ovesen died when his plane crashed while flying in a holding pattern over Puerto Rico on April 15, 2002.

His wife, Alfreda Smith Ovesen, sued Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of American and other manufacturers of the MU-2B-35 model twin engine propeller aircraft about two years later.

But U.S. District Judge John G. Koeltl closed the case on Wednesday after nearly eight years of discovery.

Oveson cannot bring the case to trial because the General Aviation Revitalization Act protects airline manufacturers from civil lawsuits involving much older models.

Signed by President Bill Clinton in 1994, the law provides that "no civil action for damages for death or injury to persons or damage to property arising out of an accident involving a general aviation aircraft may be brought against the manufacturer of the aircraft" more than 18 years after the date of delivery of the aircraft to its first purchaser.

The Federal Aviation Administration certified the airplane in question in 1972.

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