California's highest court last week
upheld a $9 million judgement against Bell Helicopter in the death
of a firefighter six years ago.
Floyd Hiser was fighting flames in San Bernadino County in 1997
when his helo's engine quit. Bell had argued that Hiser ran out of
fuel -- pilot error. But Hiser's widow argued that the fuel system
itself caused the problem.
Bell then argued on appeal that the aircraft was 18 years old,
therefore legally out of range for litigation. But Sharon Hiser's
lawyer argued that the fuel system and new warning instrumentation
installed later extended Bell's liability.
"The money is nice but that's not why she filed the suit,"
attorney Douglas Schroeder said. "She'd also like to see them fix