Three years after the tragic plane crash that took the lives of Jenni Rivera and four members of her entourage, a Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge has ruled that the families are entitled to a $70 million settlement. The court ruling comes after Starwood Management LLC, the company responsible for the upkeep of the Learjet involved in the crash, abandoned their defense, leaving them subject to the default ruling. While no amount of money can fill the void that comes from the loss of a family member, the verdict means the families can now hold accountable those responsible.
“Now, the next chapter begins to recover the substantial damages caused by this loss,” said Paul R. Kiesel, the attorney who represented the families.
A photo posted by Jenni Rivera (@jennirivera) on
Credit: JenniRivera / Instagram
The case against Starwood Management LLC showed that the company had a pattern of neglect when it came to the maintenance of the Learjet 25 that crashed. Built in 1969, the jet had suffered numerous minor accidents over the years, some of which were alarming enough to ground the plane permanently. In addition, Christian E. Esquino Nuñez, an executive with Starwood, has been investigated for his role in falsifying the records of many of the company’s planes. The process of getting Starwood to hand over the $70 million payout now begins.
Rivera’s estate is currently involved in a negligence suit against the same company, and was not part of this settlement.