(Houston, TX) Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner Managing Partner Benny Agosto, Jr., associate attorneys Ben Agosto, III and Barney Dill filed a wrongful death lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, McAllen Division, against Bell Textron Incorporated on behalf of the surviving family of Mark Stoxreiter. While working as a commercial helicopter pilot abroad in South Africa, Mr. Stoxreiter was tragically killed when the helicopter he was piloting suffered a mechanical failure and crashed, killing him instantly.
Helicopter debris field*
It is believed that prior to the crash involving Mr. Stoxreiter, Bell Textron Incorporated had previous knowledge about the potential of mechanical failure in the main rotor components of the Bell Model 430 aircraft and failed to properly identify and warn operators of this danger. It is alleged that Bell failed to: 1) issue adequate inspection and maintenance recommendations related to the operation and main rotor components replacement, in particular for the main rotor pitch link clevis for the blades and the respective universal bearings; 2) issue adequate time margin recommendations for maintenance and replacement of the main rotor pitch link clevis and universal bearings; 3) issue adequate Non-Destructive Test (“NDT”) recommendations to be performed on the main rotor pitch link clevis and universal bearings; and 4) issue adequate safety recommendations that make possible the identification of eventual evidence of the main rotor pitch link clevis and universal bearing malfunctioning and respective tolerance margins.
Bell Textron Incorporated knew or should have known under the exercise of reasonable care that helicopters, like the one Mr. Stoxreiter piloted, could have a catastrophic failure of major components, despite maintenance being conducted in accordance with Bell’s manuals. Certain parts of the main rotor such as the pitch link clevis and universal bearings, which connect to the main rotor blade, potentially wear out before the aircraft manufacturers specified time before overhaul (“TBO”).
“This tragic event was totally preventable. Bell Helicopter failed to warn customers through an Alert Service Bulletin, only doing so after the January 2021 crash.” Said attorney Benny Agosto, Jr. The community is outraged, and, in this lawsuit, we are sending a message that this needs to stop. Mr. Stoxreiter’s death was avoidable. He was a dearly beloved father and husband, and his family will miss him deeply.
On Tuesday, August 31, 2021, a lawsuit was filed for $100,000,000.00 on behalf of Mrs. Stoxreiter the surviving spouse, and his heirs, for the wrongful death of Mr. Stoxreiter.
For questions regarding the lawsuit or interview requests, please contact Geoffrey Adkinson at [email protected] or 713-222-7211 or Benny Agosto, Jr. at [email protected].