The family of a woman killed with four others in a Sevier County helicopter crash last April has filed the first federal lawsuit following the crash.
Keith Morvant is the husband of Johna, who died in the helicopter crash with her two children. Together he and Johna's mother, Lynne Frederick, have filed a lawsuit in Florida against Bobby Riggs, who owns Smoky Mountain Helicopters.
The lawsuit claims negligence and gross negligence against Riggs, saying he had a duty to exercise "reasonable care" as owner of the helicopter. it goes on to say "the helicopter crash and subsequent death of Johna were the direct and proximate result of the negligent acts and omissions and conduct of Riggs," and his team.
Morvant is being represented by Attorney Frank Spagnoletti of Houston, who told 10News "Helicopters and airplanes aren't supposed to fall from the sky. In the absence of if there was an act of God, which wasn't at play here, it is the responsibility of the people who operate it to take that responsibility and to make right with those that they injured."
The suit comes after the crash last April. At that time, Parker, 18, and Peyton, 18, Rasmussen were in Tennessee to visit their mother, Johna and her husband Keith. On April 4, the three family members decided to take a helicopter sightseeing tour of the Smoky Mountains. They boarded the helicopter with pilot Jason Dahl, 38, and Texas passenger Michael Mastalez, 21.
At 4:10 p.m. the helicopter suddenly crashed into the ground, bursting into flames, killing all 5 people on board. According to the lawsuit, witnesses heard screams for help coming from the wreckage, but were unable to do anything.