The family of a U.S. Marine killed in a helicopter crash during a training mission in Hawaii last year has hired the Beasley Allen law firm of Montgomery, Ala., and Honolulu lawyer Melvin Y. Agena to represent them in a wrongful death lawsuit, alleging design defects in the V22 Osprey helicopter caused the deadly crash.
Lance Cpl. Matthew Determan died May 17, 2015, from crash injuries he sustained when the Boeing-made V22 Osprey helicopter he was training in attempted to land in dusty conditions. The family’s complaint, filed in federal court in Hawaii, alleges the air filtration system in the helicopter’s engine is flawed because it fails to filter out airborne particulates.
This defect causes significant dust intake and “turbine blade glassification,”an erosive condition that can lead to engine failure. The V22 Osprey helicopter crashed as it was descending to the landing zone at Bellows Air Force Base in Waimanalo, Oahu.
The crash also killed 24-year-old Cpl. Joshua Barron and injured several other Marines inside the aircraft. The helicopter had launched from the Navy assault ship USS Essex and had been engaging in landing, unloading, reloading, and turning to ship exercises when it went down.
“We have successfully handled cases involving the Osprey before and are very familiar with its history of crashes,” Mike Andrews of the Beasley Allen firm said. “Our clients’ son intended to be a career marine and was looking forward to a life of service. Instead he was killed as a result of a dangerous and defective aircraft which has killed many other young Marines.”
The Determans’ wrongful death complaint names Boeing, Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. and Eaton Aerospace LLC as defendants.