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Family files notice of claim after video of mountain rescue went viral

Posted at 11:03 PM, Nov 26, 2019

PHOENIX — A 74-year-old woman has filed a notice of claim against the City of Phoenix after an incident on Piestewa Peak where she was spun uncontrollably in a basket during a helicopter rescue.

Video that has since gone viral shows the woman being placed into a basket in preparation for flying her off the mountain. During the June 4th rescue, the basket began to spin uncontrollably.

The basket and woman first swayed before starting to rotate. The rate of rotation accelerated as the crew on the helicopter brought the basket closer to the rotors.

"Sometimes when we bring the helicopter up from the ground, [the basket] will start to spin," Paul Apolinar, chief pilot of the police department's aviation unit, said at the time. "We have a line attached to the basket that's supposed to prevent that. Today it didn't."

ABC15 obtained a copy of the notice of claim, showing the victim and her husband are offering to settle claims against the City of Phoenix for the sum of $2,000,000 in monetary damages.

“The City of Phoenix…was grossly negligent and breached its duty to properly assess the condition of the patient, the accessibility of the location, the terrain of the trail, and the time of day and environmental conditions prior to choosing a high risk helicopter transport rather than a ground-level transport,” the notice of claim says. It notes that the victim suffered “additional significant and permanent injuries and damages” due to the city's negligence.