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Icon Aircraft Sued Over Lake Berryessa Accident

Family Of Engineer Cagri Sever Has Initiated Legal Action

The wife of Icon engineer Cagri Sever has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Icon aircraft over Sever's fatal injury while a passenger aboard an Icon A5 airplane.

Sever had recently been hired by the company, and was on a demonstration flight with chief pilot Jon Karkow. During the flight, Karkow flew into a box canyon on Lake Berryessa and impacted terrain. Both were fatally injured

The Aviation Law Monitor reports that the suit has been filed by attorney Mike Danko of Danko Meredith, APC, with the firm Nelson & Fraenkel acting as co-counsel. Danko writes that while families cannot generally sue an employer for a work-related death, the situation with the Icon accident is unusual in that it occurred over "navigable waters", which means the federal laws of admiralty apply. Those laws would make Icon responsible for the actions of its chief pilot, and supersedes state workers compensation law.

In the filing, the attorney states that "Seaplane navigation has consistently been held to to constitute a 'maritime function'." Under those rules, the airplane would be considered a "vessel", which has been defined to include "every description of watercraft or other artificial contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on water".
Sever's family claims Icon and Karkow were negligent in their conduct and/or negligent condition of the vessel, leading to Sever's death.
The family has also sued Karkow's estate, and Kurt Parker, the registered owner of the aircraft. The amount of damages sought was not specified.
(Image from file)

FMI: Aviation Law Monitor


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