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$28M Punitive Damage Award in Plane Crash Suit Reinstated

An appeals court in Missouri has reinstated a $28 million punitive damage award in a lawsuit involving a plane crash that killed six people.

The lawsuit was filed by the families of a pilot and four skydivers who were killed in a 2006 crash caused by a defective component part of the plane's engine.

The trial judge struck down the $28 million punitive damage award from a jury verdict of $48 million because no evidence was presented at trial that Doncasters Inc., a manufacturer of airplane parts, had knowledge that the engine part responsible for the crash was defective.

A three-member panel of the appeals court affirmed the trial judge's ruling in early 2013.

The full court of appeals reinstated the award of punitive damages in a 9-3 vote on Tuesday and denied Doncasters' motion for a new trial.

The family of a fifth skydiver killed in the crash did not join in the lawsuit.