Husband of Lafayette sports reporter killed in plane crash sues aircraft owners
May 19, 2020
LAFAYETTE — Five months after Carly McCord was killed in a plane crash that claimed the lives of four other individuals on board, her husband, Steven Ensminger Jr., is filing a lawsuit against the aircraft’s owners, insurers, and the pilot’s estate.
On December 28, McCord, a sports reporter and LSU graduate, went to Lafayette Regional Airport and boarded a small plane that was headed to the Peach Bowl in Atlanta.
But shortly after taking off, the plane crashed into a post office and burned in a debris field.
According to AJC News, McCord’s husband, who is the son of LSU’s offensive coordinator, sued the defendants in Lafayette Parish court this month, seeking unspecified damages for his wife’s death.
The suit alleges the owners of the plane, Global Data Systems Inc., Cheyenne Partners LLC., Eagle Air LLC. and Southern Lifestyle Development Company LLC., failed to properly inspect and maintain the aircraft, and were negligent in letting the pilot, Ian Biggs, fly in non-ideal conditions without proper training, news outlets reported, citing the lawsuit. Biggs died in the crash.
Chuck Vincent of Eagle Air declined to comment, as did Southern Lifestyle. Global Data Systems, owned by a man whose wife and son died in the crash, along with a company vice president, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The suit also names two insurance companies and Biggs’ estate.
The families of two other victims, as well as the sole survivor — Global Data Vice President Stephen Wade Berzas — and Kristie Danielle Britt, whose vehicle was hit by the plane, filed lawsuits naming the same defendants, The Advocate reported. Details on those lawsuits were not available, the newspaper said.
The National Transportation and Safety Board has not released its final report about the fatal crash but said visibility was low at the time. The agency was set to assess weather conditions as well as the pilot’s training and the aircraft’s maintenance history, among other factors, during its investigation.