NEW ORLEANS – An Oklahoma woman says faulty maintenance caused a catastrophic engine failure aboard a helicopter her husband was piloting, causing his death.

Colleen Ricks, individually and in her capacity as parent of her minor children, and as representative of the estate of Brandon Seth Ricks, filed a lawsuit Dec. 10 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana against Cadorath Aerospace LaFayette LLC, H&H Turbine Services LLC and Rotorcraft Leasing Co. LLC, citing negligence.

According to the complaint, Brandon Ricks, 40, helmed the Model 206 L-1 helicopter from Griffin Memorial Airport in Mississippi to assist in a controlled burn by the U.S. Forest Service on March 30. Around 2:35 p.m. near Saucier, Mississippi, the craft’s Rolls Royce turbine engine failed, resulting in a fatal crash for Ricks and another passenger. The lawsuit states that Cadorath and the other defendants negligently performed maintenance on the helicopter from 2009 to 2014, which led to engine failure.

Colleen Ricks seeks a jury trial and punitive and compensatory damages for loss of her husband and father to her children. She is represented by attorneys Paul M. Sterbcow and Beth E. Abramson of Lewis, Kullman, Sterbcow & Abramson in New Orleans.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District Case number 2:15-cv-06686

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