Mexican businessman Christian E. Esquino Nunez has been linked to the company whose jet was involved in an aviation accident near Monterrey, Mexico, killing star singer Jenni Rivera and six other people, ABC News reports. Court records show that Nunez had been previously convicted of falsifying aircraft records, counterfeiting government inspection stamps and on drug trafficking charges. The report states that Nunez also owes millions in state and federal taxes.
The Associated Press reports that the Learjet 25 Rivera was traveling in crashed and disintegrated on impact on December 9, 2012, in rugged terrain in Nuevo Leon state in northern Mexico. Mexican aviation officials say it would take at least 10 days to have a preliminary report about what happened to the aircraft. The United States is also sending investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to investigate the cause of the crash.
My heartfelt condolences go out to everyone who knew and loved Jenni Rivera. I sincerely hope investigators are able to find answers to the several unanswered questions that remain at this point.
Mexican officials identified the aircraft as belonging to Starwood Management, a Nevada-based company. In 2005, a federal grand jury convicted Nunez and his partner of creating false and fictitious logbooks for six aircraft that Nunez bought from the Mexican government and sold to buyers in the United States. Court records show that Nunez obtained information including aircraft tail numbers, airport codes, pilot licenses and counterfeit inspection stamps with the intention of forging the logbooks. Nunez was deported to Mexico after pleading guilty to the charges and serving time in prison.
Potential Causes and Liability Issues
Aviation crashes often end in fatalities. If negligence or wrongdoing was a factor in an aviation accident, families of deceased victims can file wrongful death claims seeking compensation for damages including medical and funeral costs, lost future income and benefits, and the loss of love and companionship.
There are several questions that must be answered in such cases. What caused the crash? Who owned the aircraft? Was the aircraft properly maintained? Was the crash caused by some type of defective product or malfunction? Was the pilot’s error or negligence a factor? These and many other questions must be answered in order to determine precisely what occurred and why. Aviation accident investigations typically take several months. It is important that victims’ families retain the services of a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer in order to protect their rights and best interests.