Sat, Jan 17, 2004
Jury Decides In Death Of Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan, Son,
A Jackson County (MO)
jury Friday awarded the family of Mel Carnahan $4 million, deciding
that vacuum pump maker Parker Hannifin was partly to blame for the
governor's death more than three years ago. This, in spite of an
NTSB report that shows the twin pumps aboard the aircraft were
apparently working at the time of the crash.
Carnahan was flying aboard a Cessna 335 piloted by
his son, Randy, on October 16, 2000, when they ran into rough
weather in southeastern Missouri. The pilot reported his primary
attitude indicator had failed. The aircraft went down near
Hillsboro (MO), killing all three people on board.
"Justice has been
served," said widow Jean Carnahan. Her attorney, Gary Robb and her
three surviving children were at her side after the verdict. "This
case was never about money. It was to hold Parker Hannifin
accountable for the deaths they've caused over the years."
Robb presented the jury with documents he claimed showed Parker
Hannifin pump malfunctions led to at least 20 fatal air
The company argued, however, that there was no evidence of a
vacuum pump failure aboard Carnahan's plane.
The jury was split in its decision, failing to award the
Carnahan survivors the $100 million they had sued for.
Only nine of the 12 jurors who heard the case signed off on the
verdict. No punitive damages were awarded.
"It's clear to us that this was a compromise verdict," said
Lorrie Paul Crum, vice president of corporate communications at
Parker Hannifin. "We came here not for money but to vindicate
Parker's good name, and we think we achieved that in this
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