Families Attempting To Settle Jenni Rivera Lawsuit

Attorneys for singer Jenni Rivera’s company and relatives of some of those killed alongside her in a plane crash told a judge on Tuesday that they are trying to settle a lawsuit against the late Mexican-American superstar’s company.

Attorneys for families of Rivera’s lawyer, hairstylist, makeup artist, publicist and one of the pilots killed in the December 2012 crash reported the settlement discussions during a hearing Tuesday. Attorneys Steven Archer and Thomas Dempsey said the talks were with lawyers for Jenni Rivera Enterprises Inc. and a company that performed maintenance on the Learjet 25 that crashed in northern Mexico after plunging more than 28,000 feet.

Superior Court Judge Holly E. Kendig scheduled a Dec. 10 hearing for an update on settlement talks, or to schedule a trial in the case.

Anthony Lopez, an attorney for Rivera’s company, confirmed settlement discussions are ongoing. Attorneys declined to provide further details on the settlement talks.

Rivera, 43, was known as the “Diva de la Banda” and died as her career was peaking. She was perhaps the most successful female singer in grupero, a male-dominated Mexico regional style, and had moved into acting and reality television.

Rivera had sold more than 15 million records over her career.

The owner of the Learjet, Starwood Management Inc., has not responded to court filings in the past seven months and no longer has an attorney handling the case. Kendig instructed plaintiffs’ attorneys to seek a default judgment against Starwood, which is incorporated in Nevada.

Photo: Reed Saxon, file/AP
Mexican-American singer and reality TV star Jenni Rivera poses during an interview in Los Angeles (file photo).

Rivera’s widower, former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Esteban Loaiza, also has sued Starwood for wrongful death and will be seeking a default judgment since the company hasn’t responded to its case. Loiaza’s suit contends the pilots flying Rivera and her entourage were not properly licensed for the flight and that the plane’s airframe was damaged in a 2005 accident.