New York City Accident Attorney on the Tragic Jenni Rivera Plane Crash

Bartly Mitchell, a partner at the leading New York personal injury law firm Carro, Carro & Mitchell, discusses the recent plane crash in Mexico that tragically ended the life of Jenni Rivera.

Jenni Rivera Latin singer, Jenni Rivera (born Dolores Janney Rivera on July 2nd, 1969), was killed in a plane crash in Mexico on December 9th, 2012 at the age of forty-three. Rivera was born in Long Beach California, to Mexican immigrant parents. She was the mother of five, having given birth to her first child at the age of fifteen. Rivera was married three times and filed for divorce shortly before the crash.


Rivera’s tenth studio album Jenni (2008) became her first number-one album on the Billboard Top Latin Albums chart. In addition to being a singer and songwriter, Rivera also appeared in and produced television shows such as Jenni Rivera Presents: Chiquis & Raq-C, I Love Jenni, and Chiquis ‘n Control. Her debut film, Filly Brown, is scheduled for release in 2013. Rivera was one of the biggest stars in the Latin community, and her career was groundbreaking. She was a  3-time Grammy nominee and was the first female Mexican artist to sell out the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The Tragedy of a Latin Sensation

Rivera’s fatal flight took off from Monterrey, but ten minutes into the flight the private jet carrying Rivera fell off the radar. Six others besides Rivera were killed in the crash, including two pilots. The plane was owned by Starwood Management. Starwood’s operations manager, a man named Christian Esquino speculated that the 78 year-old pilot suffered a heart attack and that the co-pilot was incapable of saving the plane. But Esquino is currently under investigation by the DEA and Esquino has previously been convicted of creating false log books for aircraft he was selling.

Rivera’s sudden death has been a shock to her many heart-broken fans. An investigation by Mexico’s Transportation Secretariat together with the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board is underway. It is estimated that it may take 9-12 months to complete the investigation.

It is likely that surviving family members will consult with attorneys to discuss suing on behalf of Jenni and her five surviving children. Jenni’s estate is entitled to sue on her behalf for the fear, known as pre-impact terror, she likely suffered before the out-of-control jet crashed. Her surviving children have claims for the loss of her guidance, love and financial support. Because of Jenni’s significant earnings, and the loss of potentially huge future earnings, that aspect of the case is possibly worth tens of millions of dollars.

How a New York Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

A New York City accident attorney can tell you that although almost all aviation accidents are the result of human error or ‘fault’ in either piloting or maintaining the plane, not all lawsuits arising from crashes are successful. Some accidents, particularly those due to severe weather conditions or events such as lightning strikes are considered to be an “act of God” and not compensable. It is important to note though, that it may be negligent to make the decision to takeoff when it is known that extreme dangerous weather conditions may threaten the flight.

A successful lawsuit may be based on proving pilot error. Two well-known examples of plane crashes believed to be caused by pilot error are those of John F. Kennedy Junior and former Yankee pitcher Cory Lidle. Although Lidle’s widow sued the plane’s manufacturer for an alleged steering problem, a jury determined that the crash was caused by the errors of Lidle himself in piloting the plane.

Improper aircraft maintenance and repair may also be the basis for a lawsuit after a plane crash. From 1994 – 2004, improper maintenance was responsible for between one-third and one-half of fatal airline accidents in the U.S.

The New York personal injury attorneys at Carro, Carro & Mitchell are experienced in airplane crash cases. For example, we successfully sued on behalf of the family of a man killed in the tragic crash of American Airlines flight 587 on November 12, 2001. That flight departed Kennedy Airport bound for the Dominican Republic, but crashed moments after take-off killing all 260 people on board and 5 people on the ground in Belle Harbor, Queens. Investigation revealed that when flight 587 flew into turbulence caused by, the wake of a larger jet, the first officer over-reacted and excessively used and stressed the jet’s rudder, causing it to fail and actually detach from the jet, leading to loss of control and the crash. Carro, Carro & Mitchell obtained a successful settlement of $3.1 million dollars.

Getting the Justice You Deserve

At Carro, Carro & Mitchell, we express our deepest sympathies to the family, friends, and fans of Jenni Rivera, and the family and friends of the six other victims. It is a truly terrible loss of a beloved star.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury through the fault of others, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact New York personal injury attorneys Carro, Carro and Mitchell for a FREE consultation today at (212)213-5005.

Experienced lawyers make a difference. Get a law firm with a former New York State Supreme Court judge on your side! No fee unless we win your case.

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