CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago couple is suing the owner of a small cargo plane that crashed into their home, alleging the company failed to properly maintain the aircraft and that the crash caused them devastating emotional trauma.
Roberta and Raymond Rolinskas were asleep in their bedroom, just inches from where the plane struck on Nov. 18. The pilot, who had reported engine trouble moments before the impact, was killed.
The homeowners are both in their 80s and were unhurt. But their attorney says they suffered an emotional toll on top of the extensive damage to their property.
“Hearing, seeing and feeling an airplane crashing just inches away from them has caused severe emotional distress,” said Matthew Jenkins of the Corboy & Demetrio law firm.
The lawsuit filed Tuesday in Cook County Circuit Court alleges Central Airlines, Inc. was negligent. It accuses the company of failing to execute a proper takeoff and landing, maintain a sufficient altitude or adequately maintain, inspect and control the aircraft.
A representative of the company reached by phone in in Fairway, Kansas, said he was unaware of the lawsuit and hung up.
The plane had just taken off from Midway International Airport when the pilot reported engine trouble and asked to return. It crashed a quarter-mile short of the runway.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages. The couple’s attorneys also filed a motion for a protective order to ensure that the company and various federal and local agencies preserve evidence, including the aircraft wreckage, radar reports and voice recordings.
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