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Wigwe : Ogunbanjo Family Sues US Company Over Fatal Helicopter Crash

Ogunbanjo’s Family sues Us company over helicopter crash
Late Dr Herbert wigwe and Abimbola Ogunbanjo Credit: Google

The family of the late former Chairman of the Nigerian Exchange Group, Abimbola Ogunbanjo, who tragically lost his life in a Southern California helicopter crash in February, has taken legal action against the US helicopter company involved in the incident.

The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday, alleges negligence on the part of the charter company, Orbic Air, and seeks accountability for the untimely deaths of Ogunbanjo, as well as prominent Nigerian businessman Dr. Herbert Wigwe, his wife, and son, who were also onboard the ill-fated helicopter.

According to the Press Enterprise reports, the Ogunbanjo family contends that the flight should have been grounded due to treacherous weather conditions prevailing in the Mojave Desert area where the crash occurred on February 9. The lawsuit claims that Orbic Air improperly flew the helicopter despite the presence of a “wintry mix” of snowy and rainy weather, which posed significant risks to aviation safety. Andrew C. Robb, one of the attorneys representing the Ogunbanjo family, emphasized the need for answers and accountability regarding the circumstances leading to the fatal crash.

“Helicopters do not do very well in snow and ice,” Robb told The Associated Press, highlighting the inherent dangers associated with flying in adverse weather conditions. The lawsuit alleges that the decision to proceed with the flight was entirely preventable, and the Ogunbanjo family is seeking justice for their loss.

In addition to the Ogunbanjo family’s lawsuit, Wigwe’s wife and two children have also filed a separate lawsuit in San Bernardino County Superior Court against Orbic Air and its CEO, Brady Bowers. The legal action includes allegations of wrongful death and negligence against the charter company and seeks to hold responsible the unidentified successors of individuals associated with the flight. However, Orbic Air has not issued any comment on the matter.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is currently conducting an investigation into the crash to determine the exact circumstances and factors contributing to the accident. A preliminary investigation report released by the agency in February provided initial insights into the helicopter’s flight path and the condition of the wreckage. Witnesses reported witnessing a “fireball” during the rainy and snowy conditions prevailing at the time of the crash.

The lawsuit filed by the Ogunbanjo family seeks a jury trial to address various damages, including burial and funeral expenses, as well as other compensatory damages resulting from the tragic incident. It is worth noting that Robb & Robb, the law firm representing the Ogunbanjo family, has previously handled high-profile cases, including representing Vanessa Bryant in her lawsuit following Kobe Bryant’s fatal helicopter crash in 2020.

The legal proceedings surrounding the helicopter crash highlight the complexities and legal implications associated with aviation accidents, especially when fatalities are involved. As the investigation continues, stakeholders await further developments to shed light on the circumstances leading to the tragic loss of lives and to ensure accountability and justice for the victims and their families.


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