Back on Sept. 19, 2008 Barker and DJ AM (whose real name is Adam Goldstein) were set to fly on a private Learjet to Los Angeles after performing at a music festival in South Carolina. The plane never even left Columbia Metropolitan Airport in Columbia, S.C. The plane skidded on the runway during take-off, overshot the runway and crashed, bursting into flames.
Barker and DJ AM were the jet’s only survivors. Both pilots (Sarah Lemmon and James Bland) were killed in the crash in addition to Barker’s assistant (Chris Baker) and the drummer’s bodyguard (Charles Monroe Stills Jr.).
The terms of Barker’s settlement are confidential, according to William L. Robinson, an attorney representing some of the companies sued by the drummer, including Learjet, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and the plane’s owners and contractors. Barker’s attorney, Walter Lack, confirmed the settlement.
Barker filed his lawsuit along with the mother of his bodyguard. According to court filings, Charles Monroe Still Jr.’s mother has also settled her case.
E! Online reported that Barker first filed suit against the companies Nov. 22, 2008, and was seeking a minimum of $25,000 in damages. He claimed the companies improperly operated and maintained the Learjet. The suit pointed a finger at the failure of one or more tires on the runway, as well as the pilot’s “negligent attempt to abort the takeoff.”
The National Transportation Safety Board investigated the crash and found the thrust reversers (which the Associated Press describes as “devices on the back of jet engines that divert their thrust forward, helping to slow a plane or force it backward”) were not in the right position to help slow down the plane.
As one of its six recommendations, the NTSB advised changing the design of the Learjet 60’s thrust reversing system to make its operations more intuitive and help prevent future crashes.
DJ AM died on Aug. 28 of an overdose of a lethal combination of prescription drugs and cocaine. Five months before his death, he also filed a lawsuit against Learjet and several other companies. He was seeking $10 million for medical expenses, lost earnings, profits and economic damages, and another $10 million for non-economic losses, such as mental and physical pain.
A meditation conference regarding the lawsuit is scheduled for Thursday. DJ AM’s mother now controls his estate.
Click here for the AP article.
Click here for the E! Online story.