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November 9, 2011 Press Releases

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (November 9, 2011) – Marking the second lawsuit filed in the aftermath of the deadly crash at the Reno Air Show last September, the San Diego-based law offices of Casey Gerry and the Law Office of Mathew Sharp in Reno have filed suit in the Second Judicial District Court of the State of Nevada on behalf of a Ukiah, Calif.  man who was seriously injured in the accident.

The lawsuit is believed to be the first filed by a California resident and stems from the catastrophic Sept. 16 crash of a World War 11-era P-51D Mustang fighter plane – known as “The Galloping Ghost” — during air races at Reno/Stead Airport in Reno, Nev. The highly modified and experimental airplane spiraled out of control and plunged nose-first into a crowd of hundreds of spectators, killing 11 and injuring more than 50.

According to lead attorney David S. Casey Jr., the suit was filed on behalf of plaintiff Gerry De Treville – who suffered severe injuries, including the loss of an eye  — against entities including: the estate of the deceased pilot Jimmy Leeward; Leeward Racing, Inc.; the Reno Air Racing Association which hosted the event; Richard Shanholtzer Jr., a Texas mechanic who worked on the plane, and Aeroacoustics and Aero-Trans corporation, which raced, maintained and made modifications to the vintage fighter plane involved in the accident.

“This accident was a disaster waiting to happen on many levels,” said Casey. “These are fast, loud and dangerous races, and event organizers allowed spectators in an area where they were in grave danger of being hit by an aircraft or aircraft parts,” he said. “This experimental and untested plane should never have been allowed to participate in this race. Because of the modifications, it reached higher speeds than it was designed for and had greater instability. Additionally, the 74-year-old pilot was carelessly flying an untested and experimental 1944 aircraft which had been dangerously modified to reach unnaturally high speeds.”

The fateful flight was captured on photos and video by hundreds of spectators, and investigators found a piece that apparently fell off the tail of as it went out of control.

About Casey Gerry
Celebrating more than 60 years in San Diego, Casey Gerry was established in 1947, and is the oldest plaintiffs’ law firm in San Diego. The firm’s 12 attorneys practice in numerous areas, including asbestos, serious personal injury, product liability and pharmaceutical litigation. Located in the Banker’s Hill neighborhood of San Diego, the firm also has a satellite office in Carlsbad, Calif. For more information, call (619) 238-1811 or visit