Families, GE Await Verdict in Oregon Helicopter Suit

March 21, 2012

A Multnomah County jury is deliberating whether a problem with an engine was responsible for the 2008 crash of a helicopter that killed nine firefighters on a wildfire in Northern California.

A pilot who survived and the widow of one who didn’t sued General Electric for $177 million. The plaintiffs argue the company knew the engines it made for the Sikorsky S-61N helicopter had a design flaw making them unsafe.

GE countered that the helicopter crashed because it was carrying too much weight when it took off after picking up a crew near Weaverville, Calif.

The jury in Portland has been deliberating since Thursday.

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