Google co-founder Sergey Brin has filed a lawsuit over a plane crash that killed two pilots last year

Google co-founder Sergey Brin faces a wrongful death lawsuit from the widow of one of the two pilots who died in a plane crash off the coast of California in May 2023. He blames a poorly installed modification for the crash and claims his representatives intentionally slowed the plane. Recovery efforts to destroy evidence, as previously reported Bloomberg And luck.

An updated complaint filed Feb. 13 in California's Santa Clara County Superior Court says Lance McLean and co-pilot Dean Rachfeldt were contracted to bring the Brain seaplane from California to Fiji for island hopping with friends. Moving the $8 million twin-engine Viking Air Twin Otter Series 400 vessel required an auxiliary fuel system, which the complaint alleges the mechanic did “from memory” without consulting a checklist or filing it with the FAA.

While flying the first leg of the flight to Hawaii, the fuel system malfunctioned, and the plane crashed into the ocean while trying to return to California. The Coast Guard arrived within 15 minutes but was unable to extract either pilot from the overturned, partially submerged plane.

Aside from Brin, the lawsuit names Google and Brin's family investment company, Bayshore Management, as co-owners of the plane, along with those responsible for preparing the flight and maintaining the plane.

After their deaths, the lawsuit says, Breen said he would help with the recovery. But then, Breen representatives allegedly told McClain's widow, Maria Magdalena Olarte, that NOAA was preventing them from recovering bodies — an allegation NOAA denied, according to the complaint.

Olarte is seeking damages on five complaints, including wrongful death and negligent survival, and is requesting a jury trial.

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