Banker’s Widow Sues StormHarbour Over Andes Helicopter Crash

The widow of an investment banker sued his employer StormHarbour Securities LLP for allowing him to board a helicopter that crashed into a Peruvian mountainside in 2012, killing 14 on board.

Tomas Dusek, who had worked for JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Deutsche Bank AG in a career that started in 1998, died because he was allowed on a helicopter which his employer “should never have permitted him to be on,” Michael McParland, lawyer for Dusek’s wife Angela, said in court documents.

The securities firm denies any responsibility for Dusek’s death. The 37-year-old father of two young children was flying with Peruvian clients of StormHarbour. They were on a site survey in pursuit of a joint $1.62 billion project to install five water turbine generators on the Inambari River in the southeastern state of Puno.

Also on board were senior employees of Samsung C&T Corp. and Korea Engineering Consultants Corp., according to court documents and media at the time.

The helicopter was “flying an inherently dangerous route,” in bad weather “by a pilot who had previously killed two other people in a crash” in the mountain range, McParland said in the documents. StormHarbour is liable for the Peruvian client’s negligence because the London-based firm had “negligently delegated” responsibility for Dusek’s safety to them, lawyers said.

“Your husband was a remarkable man,” Richard Lynagh, StormHarbour’s lawyer said, beginning cross-examination of Angela Dusek today. He described her husband as a physically strong and active man who was an experienced mountaineer.

“The crash was caused by mistakes by pilots employed by a company who has no link with StormHarbour and for whom StormHarbour are not vicariously responsible,” Lynagh said in the documents.

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