KOKOMO, Ind. — The estate of a Florida plastic surgeon who died in 2019 when his small plane crashed in a central Indiana farm field shortly after takeoff has settled its lawsuit with the city of Kokomo.
The estate of Daniel Greenwald will get a $700,000 payment — the maximum allowed under Indiana’s tort claim laws — through the city’s insurer, the Kokomo Tribune reported, citing court documents.
A Howard County judge approved the settlement on Tuesday.
Greenwald, 59, died in the October 2019 crash after an employee at the Kokomo Municipal Airport put the wrong fuel in the Tampa man’s twin-engine Piper Aerostar 603P, according to the lawsuit filed in April 2020 by his widow, Julie Greenwald, and Greenwald’s estate.
The plane, of which Greenwald was the sole occupant, should have been filled up with Avgas, but the complaint alleges the employee put in Jet A fuel instead.
In its formal response to the lawsuit, the city denied any wrongdoing.
A preliminary investigation report by the National Transportation Safety Board focused on the type of fuel the plane received before it took off from the airport, but it did not list a cause of the crash.
According to the report, several of the plane’s engine spark plugs sustained damage “consistent with detonation,” and it added that a clear liquid “consistent in color and order with that of Jet A fuel” was found in the fuel lines and manifolds of both of the plane’s engines.
The suit says employee John Yount was not properly trained for the job, a result of negligence on the part of the city and its airport, when he put the fuel in the plane. Yount was employed at the time as “a ramp attendant and/or fuel services attendant,” according to the complaint.
Kokomo Mayor Tyler Moore called the incident “devastating” for the Greenwald family.
“Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the Greenwald family,” he said in an email.