Abimbola Ogunbanjo’s Family Files Lawsuit Over The Wigwe’s Fatal Helicopter Crash In California

Ogunbanjo’s family is suing the helicopter company for funeral expenses and other unspecified damages.

The family of a prominent Nigerian business leader, Abimbola Ogunbanjo, who tragically lost his life in a helicopter crash in Southern California alongside five others in February, has taken legal action by filing a lawsuit on Wednesday.

The lawsuit contends that the flight should have been grounded due to hazardous weather conditions.

Abimbola Ogunbanjo, the former chair of the Nigerian stock exchange, was among those killed in the crash. The lawsuit, filed by Ogunbanjo’s relatives, alleges that the charter company, Orbic Air LLC, negligently flew the helicopter despite adverse weather conditions, including a “wintry mix” of snow and rain in the Mojave Desert where the crash occurred on Feb. 9.

The crash claimed the lives of Ogunbanjo, aged 61, along with Herbrt Wigwe, chief executive of Nigeria’s Access Bank, Wigwe’s wife, and their 29-year-old son.

Additionally, both pilots, Benjamin Pettingill, 25, and Blake Hansen, 22, lost their lives. They were licensed as commercial helicopter pilots and flight instructors.

Andrew C. Robb, one of the attorneys representing the family, emphasised that helicopters are ill-suited for operation in snow and ice, further saying, “This flight was entirely preventable, and we don’t know why they took off.”

Ogunbanjo’s wife and two children filed the suit in San Bernardino County Superior Court against Orbic Air and its CEO, Brady Bowers, alleging wrongful death and negligence. The suit also includes claims against the unidentified successors of Pettingill and Hansen.

This latest lawsuit has sparked conversations around the safety protocols and decision-making processes of charter flight operations, particularly under adverse weather conditions. The Ogunbanjo family’s pursuit of justice not only seeks to find closure for their own loss but also to potentially influence the broader aviation industry towards more stringent safety standards.

Orbic Air has not responded to requests for comment regarding the lawsuit.

Culled from AriseNews