Lawsuit Filed in Fatal Michigan Helicopter Crash

March 30, 2012

The estate and family of a man who died in a northern lower Michigan helicopter crash in September claims in a lawsuit that negligence contributed to the accident that killed him and another Detroit-area man.

A lawsuit was filed in January in Macomb County Circuit Court by relatives of 33-year-old Mark May, of Sterling Heights, The Macomb Daily reported this week. He was the passenger in the helicopter piloted by 46-year-old Dan Logghe, who also died in the Sept. 23 crash.

The lawsuit by May’s mother, Marilyn, representing his estate, and three other family members accuses Logghe of negligence and claims that Logghe Stamping Co. in Fraser, an auto industry and military supplier, failed to properly maintain the helicopter. It also claims the Dan Logghe, a company vice president from Macomb County’s Richmond Township, wasn’t adequately trained.

“Logghe Stamping Co. is vicariously liable for any and all actions of Dan Logghe has to his negligent and careless piloting, pre-flight inspection and operation of the subject helicopter,” the complaint states.

The Associated Press sent an email seeking comment Wednesday to an attorney for the defendants.

Last month, in a court filing, the defendants argued that May assumed the risk by going on the trip and that the crash may have been caused by “an Act of God.”

The helicopter crashed in Alcona County’s Caledonia Township, about 85 miles north of Bay City. The men were headed to a hunting cabin near Alpena, about 15 miles from the crash site.

After crashing upside down, the helicopter burst into flames, according to a preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board, which hasn’t yet determined a cause. Based on the report, it appears the flight may have been hampered by clouds. Logghe appeared to fly by sight, not instruments.

The lawsuit seeks damages including funeral expenses, loss of companionship, loss of May’s future earnings and for support, grief and sorrow.

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