CLARKSBURG - An Indiana aviation company and one of its pilots have sued a contracting company for the destruction of a helicopter and injuries to the pilot.

St. Louis Helicopter and James Robinson filed the suit Dec. 5 against Pullman Power LLC in federal court.

Pullman Power builds, maintains and upgrades smokestack facilities and chimneys, contracted St. Louis Helicopter to remove construction equipment from an operating smokestack near West Virginia.

The plaintiffs allege that after receiving assurance that all six loads complied with the FAA lifting plan, they successfully lifted five of the six equipment loads. The final lift failed to conform to its listed and represented weight. As a result, the Sikorsky helicopter's tail rotor failed, causing it to hit the ground and was destroyed. Robinson, the pilot, was injured.

The plaintiffs seek compensation for negligence, breach of contract and punitive damages in an amount sufficient to punish the Defendants and to deter such future conduct.

Attorney Charles Steele is representing both Robinson and St. Louis Helicopter.

U.S. District Court case number: 1:08-cv-00215-IMK

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