NY Attorney Jonathan Reiter Speculates on Bell 206 Crash
A New York City attorney has placed an ad through an online PR
firm, exploiting the fatal October 4 helicopter crash of a Bell 206
in the East River to solicit clients for his liability practice.
The ad is an egregious example of how to use speculation to imply
blame before any facts are in.
New York City Accident Attorney Jonathan C. Reiter has prepared
the ad to mimic the look of a news story, in which he quotes or
credits himself eight times, in roles which vary between an
"aviation attorney" and an expert source who's narrowed down the
likely cause of the accident to two possibilities which
conveniently position the aircraft owner and the pilot as targets
for a negligence case.
Ads placed through PR firms are used by manufacturers without
their own internal media relations departments when they need to
distribute word of a product release, promotion or other news. The
PR forms distribute the releases to a wide list of media outlets,
which are generally staffed by people experienced enough to know
when they're being had. But every so often, a media outlet or
blogger not well-versed in aviation will mistake an ad like
Reiter's for a legitimate news story and circulate it more
The legal profession even has its own PR news release firm,
Justice News Flash, which gets paid to distribute ads. From the
firm's website, "With JusticeNewsFlash.com, lawyers, journalists,
and other professionals have the opportunity to provide breaking
news to their communities using an easy to access, convenient
medium...the company understands the increased need for effective
lawyer marketing & public relations and uses their expertise to
take promotions to the next level."
The NTSB has heard from witnessed that the helicopter had just
taken off from the 34th Street Heliport when it seemed to lose
power, began spinning and impacted the water. The pilot, Paul
Dudley, managed to pull himself to shore. Three passengers were
rescued from the water, but one was trapped in the wreckage for
about an hour under 50 feet of water, and died.
Dudley is also the manager of the Linden Airport (KLDJ) in New
Jersey. From Reiter's news release, "A mechanical failure occurring
immediately upon take-off is likely a sign of poor maintenance of
the helicopter, a poor pre-flight check by the pilot or both,
according to New York aviation attorney Jonathan C. Reiter. The
maintenance records for this helicopter will certainly be gone over
thoroughly by the NTSB."
The NTSB's actual finding of probable cause will not be
admissible in any civil liability suit, leaving Reiter's
speculation at trial to stand unchallenged by the outcome of the
The news release continues, in part, "Airline crashes and
private plane crashes are extremely traumatic, and often leave
family members confused, stunned and overwhelmed...If you or a
loved one have been involved in an aviation accident, New York City
aviation attorney Jonathan C. Reiter can help..."
If you or a loved one would like to find out more about one
probable cause of the bloated cost of your next airplane, click the
FMI link below.