Apr. 8, 2019 – Las Vegas, Nevada – The law firm of Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman has filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the parents of Instagram model, Mariah Sunshine Coogan, against the owners of a private plane that crashed on April 9, 2018. Six people were killed in the crash, including Mariah Coogan.
Aviation accident attorneys Ronald L. M. Goldman and Clay Robbins III filed the lawsuit in the District Court of Clark County, Nevada, on April 4, 2019 on behalf of Stacey and Christopher Coogan against the Estate of Erik Valente and the plane’s owners Blake Brooksby, the Estate of James Pedroza and N9456P, LLC. The case number is A-19-792392-C Department 1.
Piper Comanche Crashes on Scottsdale Golf Course
On April 9, 2018, the Piper PA-24 Comanche airplane, en route to Las Vegas, Nevada, from Scottsdale, Arizona, crashed on a golf course shortly after takeoff, killing all six people on board, including Mariah Coogan. The plane was being flown by transport airline pilot and flight instructor Erik Valente, and a student pilot, James Pedroza, amid a lesson.
Video footage from surveillance cameras on the runway in Scottsdale show that the plane’s wings were rocking during and after takeoff. A traffic camera a half mile from the runway showed the plane banking to the left. As the turn progressed, the angle increased and the plane began to descend, the wings becoming nearly vertical. Moments later, the camera showed a fireball when the plane impacted.
Suit Alleges Pilot Negligence
According to the complaint, the plane crashed as a result of misconduct and negligence on the part of the pilot, the student pilot, and N9456P, LLC. The suit alleges that the pilot, Valente, and the student pilot, Pedroza, operated the Piper aircraft in a “careless and reckless manner,” causing the plane to crash. According to the Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s office, Pedroza had cocaine in his system at the time of the fatal accident.
“We believe the reckless behavior of the pilots and negligence on the part of the owner led directly to the death of the people on board this plane,” said attorney Clay Robbins III. “We hope to demonstrate that this is, in fact, the case.”
About Mariah Coogan
The plaintiffs’ daughter, Mariah Sunshine Coogan, was 23 at the time of the crash. The oldest of five siblings, she was a trained equestrian with a life-long love of horses. She also had a large Instagram following, with over 30,000 followers. According to her family, Mariah had recently moved to West Hollywood. At the time of the accident, she had been in Phoenix to see a concert, and was returning to Las Vegas for work.
“It’s been very hard,” Stacey Coogan said. “We miss our daughter so much.”
About Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman
The national law firm of Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman handles aviation accidents in the United States and around the world in cases involving aircraft or parts manufacturers. Our firm has successfully represented clients in thousands of personal injury and wrongful death cases, including several aviation accident lawsuits. Across all areas of practice, Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman has secured over $1.9 billion in verdicts and settlements.