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Lawsuit Filed on Behalf of Four Miramar-based Marines Killed in Helicopter Crash Near U.S./Mexican Border Two Years Ago

April 9, 2020 Press Releases

PHILADELPHIA (April 9, 2020) – Attorneys representing the families of four Miramar-based U.S. Marines who died following a fiery helicopter crash outside of San Diego two years ago have filed a lawsuit – alleging faulty aircraft components – in Pennsylvania State Court.

According to the San Diego-based attorney David S. Casey Jr., who represents two of the families, the lawsuit was filed against Kampi Components Co., Inc. and Diamond Rubber Products Co., and alleges that the companies were responsible for manufacturing and supplying a defective valve button that triggered the fatal crash of the CH-53E Super Stallion heavy-lift helicopter. The lawsuit includes counts of strict liability, negligence and breach of warranty – with the four families seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

The April 3, 2018, crash killed four young Marines — Capt. Samuel Schultz, 28; Lt. Capt. Samuel Phillips, 27; Gunnery Sgt. Derik Holley, 33; and Lance Cpl. Taylor Conrad, 24 — as they tried to land the massive helicopter during a training exercise near El Centro, Calif., by the U.S.-Mexico border. The four Marines were assigned to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 465, Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.

Casey Jr. of CaseyGerry is representing the families of Holley and Conrad. The Law of Office Richard E. Genter is representing the family of Schultz and Bradley Stoll of Katzman, Lampert & Stoll is representing the family of Phillips.

According to Casey Jr., investigators discovered that a bypass valve button manufactured by Alabama-based Diamond Rubber Products Co. and supplied by Pennsylvania-headquartered Kampi Components Co., Inc., utilized rubber that decomposes when exposed to hydraulic fluid. “Disintegrating rubber in the valve button caused a dangerous blockage in the helicopter’s hydraulic system – making the flight control system uncontrollable and inoperable,” said Casey Jr., who has considerable experience in all aspects of aviation litigation. “There was nothing the pilots could have done to prevent this deadly accident.”

About CaseyGerry

Headquartered at 110 Laurel St. in the Banker’s Hill neighborhood of San Diego, CaseyGerry was established in 1947 and is the oldest plaintiffs’ law firm in San Diego. The firm’s attorneys practice in numerous areas, including serious personal injury, maritime, aviation, product liability, class action, mass torts and pharmaceutical litigation. For more information, visit

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Sydnie Moore 619-823-8448