May 26, 2020 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Parents of young woman killed at Santa Monica Airport take legal action

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.

Related Posts

La Fiesta Ballona cancelled? Westside Beat – May, 21, 2020

May 21, 2020

May 21, 2020

All your local news, events and happenings in under 5 minutes. * La Fiesta Ballona cancelled? * Deadly rip current...

Culver City Businesses Face Impact of COVID-19 as Reopening Begins

May 21, 2020

May 21, 2020

Culver City has allowed many retailers to reopen but some local owners say being back in business is anything but...

Tito’s Tacos Reopening

May 20, 2020

May 20, 2020

Longtime Westside staple announces new, private delivery service By Kerry Slater Westside staple Tito’s Tacos is set to reopen and...

Reopening on Fourth of July?

May 19, 2020

May 19, 2020

County: 3/4 of unemployment claims are from those making less than $50,000 By Sam Catanzaro Los Angeles County officials are...

WWE Star Goes Missing Swimming in Marina Del Rey

May 18, 2020

May 18, 2020

Lifeguards continue search for swimmer who went missing Sunday afternoon By Sam Catanzaro A missing swimmer who lifeguards continue to...

Video: Westside MLB Brothers Give Back

May 18, 2020

May 18, 2020

Two Westside brothers, both professional baseball players, are giving back to local first responders COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more in this...

Nate ‘N Al’s Deli Re-opens! Westside Beat – May, 18, 2020

May 18, 2020

May 18, 2020

All your local news, events and happenings in under 5 minutes. * Nate N Al’s deli re-opens! * Man drowns...

Del Rey Hospital Expansion Approved by Planning Commission

May 18, 2020

May 18, 2020

By Toi Creel A Del Rey hospital is moving forward with a massive expansion. On Thursday, May 14 Los Angeles’s...

Interview: Mike Bonin Talks Homelessness, COVID-19 and More

May 14, 2020

May 14, 2020

Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin answers questions from the community covering Westside homeless encampments, affordable housing, COVID-19 and more.

Tallest Building West of 405 Under Construction

May 14, 2020

May 14, 2020

11750 Wilshire Boulevard future site for 34-story project By Toi Creel Less than two years after breaking ground, the beginning...

Westfield Mall JCPenny Store Closing? Westside Beat – May, 14, 2020

May 14, 2020

May 14, 2020

All your local news, events and happenings in under 5 minutes. * Westfield Mall JCPenny store closing? * Amber alert...

Father of Four Dies in LAX Construction Accident

May 11, 2020

May 11, 2020

Father of four passes away Saturday morning By Sam Catanzaro Work has begun again at Los Angeles World Airports (LAX)...

Phased Reopening of LA County Beaches

May 11, 2020

May 11, 2020

Los Angeles County’s four-phase reopening By Sam Catanzaro Los Angeles County has reopened beaches, but slowly with restrictions in place...

I Work in Assisted Living. Not Every Place is Doing it Wrong

May 10, 2020

May 10, 2020

By Sarah Ordover The continuous frightening reports on long term care facilities leads you to believe that every nursing facility...

Culver City Dog Park Opens

May 8, 2020

May 8, 2020

City of Culver City reopens Boneyard Dog Park By Chad Winthrop The City of Culver City has reopened their dog...

Comments
  • So they are suing for what? She gets on the plane, she assumes the risk, right?
    Private plane, high roller, at least the pilot didnt kill people on the ground, just the people onboard the plane. CLOSE THE SANTA MONCA AIRPORT!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *