Helicopter maker settles claims over 2009 crash

October 27, 2011 - 3:55 PM

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The manufacturer of a helicopter that crashed in 2009 in Louisiana, killing eight people, has agreed to settlements with families of several crash victims who sued the company.

Plaintiffs' attorneys say Stratford, Conn.-based Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. reached agreements this week with relatives of at least five victims who died and with the crash's lone survivor. Paul Sterbcow, a lawyer for crash survivor Steven Yelton, said financial terms are confidential.

A federal trial in New Orleans was scheduled to start Nov. 7 for relatives' claims against Sikorsky, but Sterbcow said the trial won't be necessary if the company settles with remaining plaintiffs. Other relatives' claims against Sikorsky are pending in Alabama and Texas.

Investigators concluded a bird struck the helicopter before it crashed near Morgan City in January 2009.