When an EMS helicopter goes down, our legal system treats the family members of the passengers lost in the accident quite a bit differently from the families of the crew. For example, while the family members of the passenger may perhaps get their day in court, the claims of the crew members’ families are usually precluded by workers’ compensation law.
We’ve talked about that before here. Christine Negroni, writing about a recent EMS helicopter crash in Kansas City, points out a case where that scenario seems to be playing out now. The crash killed 58-year old Terry Tacoronte, who was a patient, along with the pilot, the flight paramedic, and the flight nurse. Due to workers’ compensaton laws, it’s likely that only Taraconte’s widower will be permitted to press a lawsuit.
The law seems unfair to crew members. But as Negroni writes, perhaps by pressing his case, the passenger’s widower will make the industry safer for crew members going forward.