‘Justice’ for helicopter death
Judge’s ruling of breach of duty puts grieving family in line for payout
THE family of an investment banker who was killed in a helicopter crash in the Andes during a work trip is in line for a multi-million pound damages payout from his employers.
Devoted father-of-two, Tomas Dusek, 37, from Gerrards Cross, was among a dozen executives who died when their chartered helicopter crashed into the Mama Rosa mountain in Peru in 2012.
Mr Dusek’s wife, Angela, and his children, aged five and eight, launched a claim for damages against his London-based employer, StormHarbour Securities LLP, insisting it had failed to ensure the flight was safe.
A top judge at London’s High Court has now ruled in the family’s favour, finding that Mr Dusek would still have been alive
ACCOLADE: Owner of Kiddleydivey, Sally Murphy, is delighted with her achievement in competition Care Home Idol if StormHarbour had made a proper safety inquiry before the fatal flight.
Mr Justice Hamblen said StormHarbour was “in breach of its duty of care” – paving the way for a massive payout to Mr Dusek’s devastated relatives.
The judge said Mr Dusek, who was earning over £100,000, died alongside 11 other executives as they flew to remote foothills in the Andes to observe a billion-dollar hydro-power project on June 6, 2012.
StormHarbour was introducing a consortium of potential investors, headed by Samsung, to the project, with HeliCusco chartered to fly them to the site, which was only accessible by air or via a jungle route on the ground.
But during a leg of the trip between Mazuco and Cusco, the Peruvian operator’s Sikorsky S58ET helicopter got into difficulties at 16,000ft and crashed into Mama Rosa, before catching fire. All 12 passengers and two crew died.
Mr Justice Hamblen said the accident was caused by a “lack of knowledge or disregard of aircraft limitations” and the “extremely demanding and unforgiving environment of high mountainous terrain”.
Paying tribute to Mr Dusek, colleague Paul Kozary, said: “Tomas was the most intelligent person I have ever encountered in my life.
“Tomas was one of these rare people imbued with incredible intellectual intelligence and common sense.”
The size of the Dusek family’s compensation package will now be determined either by agreement or at a further hearing.
Speaking after the hearing, Mrs Dusek said: “We miss him every hour of every day... today’s verdict will finally give our family peace that justice has been met for Tom.”