Late Abimbola Ogunbanjo’s Family Sues US Chopper Service Company For Avoidable Death

“The flight was entirely preventable, and we don’t know why they took off,” the family said.

The family of the late Abimbola Ogunbanjo who died along with the former Chief Executive of Access Bank, his wife and son, has sued the company that provided helicopter service for the deceased, seeking a jury trial and payment for Ogunbanjo’s burial and funeral expenses, as well as other damages.

According to Washington Post, the family of Ogunbanjo filed a lawsuit on Wednesday claiming the flight should have been grounded because of treacherous weather.

Relatives of Abimbola Ogunbanjo, former Chair of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, alleged in the court filing that the charter company, Orbic Air LLC, improperly flew the helicopter despite a “wintry mix” of snowy and rainy conditions in the Mojave Desert where the crash occurred on Feb. 9.

Ogunbanjo, 61, was killed along with Herbert Wigwe, former Chief Executive of Nigeria’s Access Bank, Wigwe’s wife and 29-year-old son. Ogunbanjo was on his way to Las Vegas for the Super Bowl.

Both pilots — Benjamin Pettingill, 25, and Blake Hansen, 22 — also died. They were licensed as commercial helicopter pilots as well as flight instructors.

Washington Post reported that Andrew C. Robb, one of the attorneys who filed the lawsuit, said Ogunbanjo’s family was seeking “answers and accountability.”

“Helicopters do not do very well in snow and ice,” Robb told The Associated Press. “This flight was entirely preventable, and we don’t know why they took off.”

Ogunbanjo’s wife and two children filed the suit in San Bernardino County Superior Court on Wednesday against Orbic Air and its CEO, Brady Bowers, alleging wrongful death and negligence.

The National Transportation Safety Board is still investigating the cause of the crash. In February, the agency released a preliminary investigation report that outlined the helicopter’s flight path and provided details about wreckage that was strewn across 100 yards (91 meters) of desert scrub.

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