May 24, 2022 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Family Of Santa Monica Plane Crash Victim File Wrongful Death Lawsuit:

The parents of a young woman killed in the crash of a small plane at Santa Monica Airport a year ago today are suing the heirs of the pilot of the aircraft, the aircraft’s manufacturer and three government entities.

Gary and Carole Winkler of Irvine, the father and mother of Lauren Winkler, filed the wrongful death suit Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court against the estate of Mark Benjamin, the cities of Santa Monica and Los Angeles, Los Angeles County and Cessna Aircraft Co, maker of the 525A Citation that crashed.

The suit seeks unspecified damages. Robert Given, the personal representative of the Benjamin estate, could not be immediately reached.

Killed in the crash that occurred about 6:20 p.m. Sept. 29, 2013, were Benjamin, 63, the president of a Santa Monica-based construction company; his son Lucas, 28; the 28-year-old Winkler, who was Lucas Benjamin’s girlfriend; and Kyla Dupont, 53.

According to the lawsuit, Benjamin negligently landed the aircraft in a “dangerous, unsafe and reckless manner” that caused it to veer right from the runway and hit a hangar. The suit also alleges Benjamin was “physically, mentally and emotionally unfit to operate” the plane.

The plane had possible problems, including its braking system, landing gears and thrust attenuators, all of which may have caused Benjamin to be unable to control the aircraft, the suit states.

The two cities and the county were jointly responsible for the runway being in a dangerous condition, which included the presence of rocks and other materials on the pavement, the suit states. There also was insufficient space for Benjamin to steer the aircraft until he regained control, the suit states.

The hangar struck by the plane was built too close to the runway to be safe, the complaint further alleges.

A report released last year by the National Transportation Safety Board found that all of the tires were inflated and there was no debris on the runway when the plane slammed into the hangar and burst into flames. The hangar collapsed onto the plane, which had taken off from Hailey, Idaho.

On Friday, the city of Santa Monica sued the Benjamin estate to recover more than $54,000 in cleanup costs associated with the crash. Last Nov. 4, three sons of Dupont also sued the Benjamin estate.

Charles Dupont, Elliot Dupont and Jackson Dupont allege Benjamin failed to maintain proper control over the plane, did not act “reasonably in the ownership of the plane,” did not undertake the necessary actions to accomplish a safe flight, did not act reasonably in landing the plane and failed to keep it in good repair.

in News
Related Posts

Santa Monica City Council Looks to Shorten Meetings

May 24, 2022

May 24, 2022

Council to consider changes at Tuesday meeting By Dolores Quintana Santa Monica lawmakers are considering taking steps to shorten City...

Landmark Theater Official Closes on Pico

May 24, 2022

May 24, 2022

Pico Boulevard location closes Sunday By Sam Catanzaro The Landmark Theater on Pico Boulevard in Westwood has officially closed.  The...

Road Closures Expected During Demolition Of Parking Structure Three: Santa Monica Beat – May 23rd, 2022

May 23, 2022

May 23, 2022

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes.* Free Donuts At Randy’s Donuts For National Doughnut Day* Road Closures Expected...

Los Angeles Metro Sees 15.9 Percent Increase in Median Rent

May 20, 2022

May 20, 2022

Median rent of $2,258, according to recent report By Dolores Quintana The ongoing pandemic has exacerbated the issues of housing...

New Renderings for Frank Gehry Hotel Development in Santa Monica

May 20, 2022

May 20, 2022

Project would include hotel, apartments, retail and a museum By Dolores Quintana Slowly but surely, plans for a  Frank Gehry-designed...

Shared Mobility Plummets in Santa Monica

May 20, 2022

May 20, 2022

Recent report also shows that nearly half of riders make over $100,000 By Sam Catanzaro Shared mobility use in Santa...

Christopher Dishlip Selected as Santa Monica’s New Assistant Director of Public Works

May 20, 2022

May 20, 2022

Public Works Director Rick Valte announced the selection of Christopher Dishlip as Santa Monica’s new Assistant Director of Public Works....

Letter to Editor: Response to Himmelrich’s “We Walk the Talk” Column

May 20, 2022

May 20, 2022

By Beau Marks As a Santa Monica resident, I am dismayed by Sue Himmelrich’s response (“We Walk the Talk,” Santa...

Motional And UberEats Launch Autonomous Deliveries In Santa Monica

May 18, 2022

May 18, 2022

There Are Plans For Expansion Into The Rest Of Los Angeles Motional, a global driverless technology leader, and Uber Technologies...

Winston Pies Opening Third Location In Santa Monica

May 18, 2022

May 18, 2022

The restaurant used to be known as ButterCrust Pies Winston Pies is staying in Santa Monica when opening their third...

Only 10 Vaquita Porpoises Survive, But The Species May Not Be Doomed

May 17, 2022

May 17, 2022

Hope remains for the porpoise species not only survive but thrive with human help. By Stuart Wolpert The vaquita porpoise,...

The American Cinematheque Brings “Bleak Week” To Santa Monica’s Aero Theatre And The Los Feliz Three Theatre

May 17, 2022

May 17, 2022

33 Films From 18 Countries In One Week. By Dolores Quintana Sometimes when things are tough and you’re feeling down,...

Man Who Murdered His Family Members Pleads Guilty To Five Other Killings

May 16, 2022

May 16, 2022

Escobar injured an additional seven other people as well.  By Dolores Quintana A man, Ramon Escobar, has pleaded guilty to...

The price of gasoline in Los Angeles County Has Experienced The Largest Increase Since February

May 16, 2022

May 16, 2022

Gasoline prices in Orange County Have Also Increased By Dolores Quintana Regular self-serve gasoline in the county of Los Angeles...

Santa Monica Travel Summit Of 2022 Returns To Take On Tomorrow

May 16, 2022

May 16, 2022

The Event Was Held At The Jonathan Club On Santa Monica Beach By Staff Writer The 2022 Santa Monica Tourism...