Settlement reached in Valley AirCare case

A $14 million settlement has been reached in a lawsuit filed by the families of two men killed in last year's Valley AirCare crash.

Paramedic Mike Sanchez and flight nurse Raul Garcia, Jr. were two out of three men killed when the medical emergency helicopter went down over Laguna Madre on the night of Feb. 5, 2008.

The two Rio Grande Valley men TMs wives and families sued Metro Aviation and South Texas Emergency Care Foundation.

The families alleged that Metro Aviation failed to properly train its pilot Robert Lamar Goss on how to properly operate the rescue helicopter.

The wrongful death lawsuit alleges that the helicopter never should have been used for rescue in that night TMs adverse weather conditions where a cold front brought strong winds and heavy fog.

The case had been pending in the 357th state district in Cameron County until Friday morning when a both sides officially reached a $14 million dollar settlement.

Marc Rosenthal, attorney for both the Sanchez and Garcia, said in a telephone interview that it was a hard-fought legal battle for both sides of the case.

We TMre pleased with the settlement because it allows the families to have some closure and ratification of our beliefs that the primary defendant, Metro Aviation, was guilty of the wrong doing that caused this crash, Rosenthal told Action 4 News.

The Austin-based attorney said the settlement would be split between the two families.

Rosenthal said the settlement provide comfort and security to Sanchez TMs and Garcia TMs families and allow their children to attend college.

That TMs something both men wanted and were working to make happen, Rosenthal said.

According to Rosenthal, the lawsuit has also resulted in policy and procedural changes that will prevent future tragedies.

Click here to read a full PDF copy of the family TMs lawsuit