LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — Relatives of four people killed in a plane crash with Jenni Rivera in Mexico last month are suing the singer’s company, alleging negligence in hiring a faulty plane.
The families of publicist Arturo Rivera, make-up artist Jacob Yebale, attorney Mario Pacheco and hair dresser Gorge Vasquez are also suing several agencies they say contributed to the Dec. 9 plane crash.
They’re seeking punitive damages against Starwood management and Rodatz financial group, the current owners of the Learjet 25.
Previous owner McOco incorporated is also named in the lawsuit.
According to federal aviation records, the jet was built more than 43 years ago. It suffered damage back in 2005.
“The left wing sustained serious damage and we’re getting all the maintenance history on that plane,” Paul Kiesel said at a news conference on Thursday.
Attorneys also raised concerns about the two pilots involved, including a 78-year-old.
“In the U.S., to fly you must be no older than 65 years old,” Kiesel remarked.
The other pilot, a 20-year-old, may not have had the credentials to fly the jet in the first place, according to the attorneys.
“He wasn’t certified. Sure he had experience — a lot for a 20-year-old — but he didn’t have certification to fly that plane,” Kiesel said.
Rivera’s family is not listed as plaintiffs in the lawsuit. However, a company that she owned, Jenni Rivera Enterprises, is named as a defendant.
Attorneys say they’re not seeking punitive damages against Rivera’s company.
It may take months for this lawsuit to go to court. One of the first steps is awaiting the NTSB’s final report on the cause of the cause of the crash, which killed Rivera and six others.