The family of a Pacific Southwest Airlines pilot who died with 42 other people when his jetliner crashed in Central California was awarded nearly $4 million in a wrongful-death lawsuit.
Jurors deliberated nearly four days before reaching their verdict Thursday in the action brought against USAir by the relatives of pilot Gregg N. Lindamood, 43, who at the time of the 1987 crash lived in eastern San Diego County with his family.
Authorities blamed the crash near Paso Robles on a fired USAir employee, David Burke, 35, of Long Beach. Burke allegedly had retained his identification badge after being fired and was able to get past security guards and board the aircraft with a .44-caliber handgun.
USAir was named as defendant in the lawsuit because it was in the process of acquiring San Diego-based PSA when Burke allegedly opened fire at a former supervisor who was aboard the flight from Los Angeles to San Francisco. All 43 people aboard the aircraft died.
The jury, which returned its verdict to Superior Court Judge S. Charles Wickersham, awarded Diane Lindamood and her three sons--Bryant, 15; Jeffrey, 11, and Eric, 9--nearly $2.62 million for economic loss and $1.25 million for emotional loss.
Liability was not an issue in the trial because it had been agreed that only the matter of damages would be tried. USAir had agreed to compensate the Lindamoods for their loss, but the trial resulted from the inability of the airline and attorneys for the family to agree on the amount of compensation.
The Lindamood case was the last of the lawsuits stemming from the crash remaining to be tried. USAir and now-defunct PSA paid out an estimated $37 million to settle the previous lawsuits.