Two wrongful death lawsuits have been filed against Chalk’s Ocean Airways in the wake of a fatal crash Dec. 19.
The first was filed on behalf of Kendrick Sherman of Bimini, whose wife and daughter were among the 20 people killed. Attorney John Ruiz says that it is a class action suit, “to insure that each of the victims’ families share in the $50 million insurance policy Chalk’s carries.” The second, asking for $100 million, was filed for the family of Capt. Michele Marks, pilot of the crashed Grumman G-73T TurboMallard.
Both suits allege that Chalk’s failed to maintain the amphibian properly. Ruiz alleges that the company did not “adequately” address a corrosion problem found in the 1990s. J. B. Harris, attorney for the Marks family, claims that “lax inspection, shoddy maintenance and suspect aircraft parts” are a “deadly malaise” in south Florida. Chalk’s owner James Confalone also has interests in “certain airline parts and maintenance suppliers” which, Harris said, “may have provided parts and maintenance to the doomed aircraft.”