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Iowa Jury Awards $11.4 Million to Victims of Deadly Helicopter Crash

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Two victims of a 2006 helicopter crash received just compensation after a Polk County, Iowa jury awarded $7.2 million to a cameraman’s widow and $4.2 million to the film producer of an eastern Iowa baseball movie entitled “The Final Season”.

During the June 2006 shooting of the film, filmmakers were attempting to capture an aerial shot from a helicopter. Richard Green was flying the helicopter between 30 and 50 feet off of the ground at about 55 mph, when the chopper blades snagged on powerlines and brought the plane crashing into a cornfield. Roland Schlotzhauer, the cameraman, was killed and Tony Wilson, the Dallas Center movie producer, sustained near-fatal injuries. Six of the seven jurors found Green 75% at fault for Schlotzhauer’s wrongful death suit and completely at fault for Wilson’s suit after just two days of deliberation.

Green is required to pay 75% of the $7.2 million settlement for Schlotzhauer’s wrongful death suit, and the corporate owners of “The Final Season” will pay the remaining 25%. However, Green will pay the entire settlement amount for Wilson’s suit to cover medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost earnings and other legal damages. The settlement amount for Schlotzhauer’s suit represents one of the highest cash awards for a wrongful death lawsuit in Iowa.

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  1. Steve Lombardi says:
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    Dave: Great blog. I was about to get to this one, but first wanted to talk with one of the attorneys involved. His client received $4 million of the verdict and was not found to be at fault. The good news for Iowans is that juries seem to have gotten over their uncaring attitudes towards those injured and those killed.