An American court has recently ruled that Airbus Helicopter SAS, the manufacturer of the helicopter in which Nigerian banker Herbert Wigwe was traveling before a fatal crash, must pay $75 million to the family of a victim in another helicopter crash.
The tragic incident occurred in Nipton, California, where Wigwe, the CEO of Access Bank, along with his wife, son, and Abimbola Ogunbanjoa, a former chair of the Nigerian Exchange Group, lost their lives.
The Eurocopter EC 130 chopper, manufactured by Airbus Helicopters SAS, has a history of accidents.
In December 2023, a similar model crashed in Mexico, killing three people on board.
Another crash in February 2018 claimed the lives of five Britons in the Grand Canyon.
The accidents were attributed to factors such as power cable collision during take-off and tailwinds causing loss of control.
In the case that led to the $75 million judgment, the lawsuit argued that the helicopter lacked a crash-resistant fuel system, which resulted in it bursting into flames after the crash.
The court held both Papillon Airways Inc., the company that owned the aircraft, and Airbus Helicopters SAS responsible for the accident.
Papillon Airways was ordered to pay $24.6 million to the victim’s parents, while Airbus Helicopters SAS was directed to pay $75 million.
The family of the deceased victim hopes that this judgment will raise awareness in the industry and prompt necessary safety improvements.
They believe that no one else should endure the same tragic fate due to preventable accidents.
This article was updated 2 weeks ago