West Virginia Record

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Children file suit over parent's death in plane crash

By Kelly Holleran | Dec 7, 2009

ELKINS – Two grown children of a couple killed in a plane accident filed suit against the engine maintenance company responsible for repairs on the aircraft and against the plane's owner.

Alvey Gary Athey II and Krista S. Farrell claim their parents, Alvey Gary Athey and Carol Jean Athey, were passengers in an Aero Commander 560-F and were traveling from the Greater Cumberland Regional Airport in Wiley Ford, W.Va., to Atlantic City, N.J., on Oct. 14, 2007.

Shortly after takeoff, the plane crashed in Wiley Ford, W.Va., killing Alvey Gary Athey and Carol Jean Athey, according to the complaint filed Oct. 9 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia.

Before they died, the Atheys suffered severe mental anguish and physical pain, feared their impending death and suffered severe physical injuries that caused their death, the suit states.

Because of the Atheys' deaths, their children and other next-of-kin have lost their financial support, services, protection, care, assistance, prospective inheritance, counsel, society, companionship, comfort, guidance, kindly offices, advice, parental training and education, the complaint says. In addition, they claim they suffered sorrow, mental anguish and solace and incurred burial and funeral costs.

The plaintiffs blame defendant Magnum Engines for failing to adequately repair the right engine of the Aero Commander on June 29, 2007. Its negligence resulted in the crash, the complaint says.
Gold Diggers owed the Atheys assurance that the aircraft they owned was properly maintained and was airworthy, according to the complaint.

But Gold Diggers says the case against it should be dismissed as it contends it is not responsible for the crash.

"The injuries and damages alleged by the Plaintiff were the causal result of Plaintiffs' contributory and comparative negligence and/or the negligent acts or omissions of third persons other than Defendant, Gold Diggers, Inc., who is free from negligence or whose negligence, if any, does not equal or exceed the negligence of Plaintiffs and others," the suit states.

In the four-count suit, the Atheys are seeking an unspecified judgment.

In addition to its request that the court dismiss the case, Gold Diggers is asking the court to award the Atheys no money and that it be allowed to recover its costs, attorneys' fees and other relief the court deems just.

The plaintiffs will be represented by John W. Cooper of Cooper and Preston in Parsons and by Robert J. Spragg of Kreindler and Kreindler in New York.

Gold Diggers will be represented by Norm Daniels and Gene W. Bailey of Daniels Law Firm in Charleston.

U.S. District Court case number: 3:09-cv-69

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