February 5, 2016 :: A Ramsey County jury returned a verdict of $27.7 million dollars in favor of Mark Kedrowski in his products liability claim against airplane parts manufacturer Lycoming Engine.
CBS News link:
In 2010, the private plane Mr. Kedrowski was piloting lost engine power due to a defective fuel pump, forcing him into an unpowered crash landing in a farm field near Lake Elmo, Minnesota. His plane was destroyed in the landing. He survived, but with life changing injuries.
After years of contentious litigation and a four-week trial in front of Judge John Guthmann, a Ramsey County jury reached the verdict for Mr. Kedrowski. He was represented by lead counsel Cortney LeNeave, co-counsel, Steve Watters along with the invaluable assistance of Thomas Fuller from Hunegs, LeNeave & Kvas, P.A.
Mr. Kedrowski is grateful to the jury for their attention to the details and complexities of the case throughout the long trial.
The Defendant, Lycoming Engines, denied any responsibility for the plane crash, claiming Mr. Kedrowski negligently lost control of the airplane, causing it to crash. The jury disagreed. They found the evidence showed the crash was caused by a defective fuel pump which was designed, tested, inspected and manufactured by the defendant. They found no contributory negligence by Mr. Kedrowski, placing the fault squarely on the shoulders of the airplane fuel pump owners, manufacturers and assemblers.
The damages awarded to Mr. Kedrowski will enable him to obtain the necessary lifetime medical treatment and services to live as independently as possible, with appropriate levels of supervision to make his life safe while preserving his human dignity. We are so proud of our client as he overcame so many obstacles to even survive the crash, let alone persevere through all that he has endured to present the truth of his case to the jury.
His life and story are miraculous. He survived the plane crash in part because of his incredible physical fitness leading up to the crash. He was an active kite board participant and was active in triathlons, paddle boarding, biking, skiing, and other physically demanding activities and had qualified for the Olympic trials in windsurfing. The airplane crash caused crushing injuries to his face, head and legs. He survived the crash and after 50 surgeries was left with a left leg below the knee amputation, a fused right ankle (after four surgical attempts), severe brain injury which left him hemiparesis on the left side, and massive facial fractures involving virtually every bone in face. He will benefit from the lifetime supervision and lifetime medical needs met by the jury verdict.
Hunegs, LeNeave & Kvas, PA as well as the Stephen Watters law firm have been highly successful in air disaster cases over the years, including cases involving TWA, The Galaxy Reno Air disaster, and a recent Cirrus airplane crash and now this case.