Marlin Air Sues UM over Contract Dispute

 - January 17, 2008, 10:17 AM

Charter operator Marlin Air of Belleville, Mich., filed a lawsuit seeking $1 million from the University of Michigan (UM) after the college terminated its contract following the crash of a Cessna Citation II last June that killed two Marlin pilots and four UM organ transplant team members. Marlin was under contract with UM to provide fixed-wing aeromedical transport services. According to the NTSB, the twinjet crashed into Lake Michigan on June 4 shortly after experiencing a runaway trim while on takeoff from Milwaukee Airport. Marlin’s attorney, Scott Erskine, said the university did not properly terminate the contract, since the NTSB investigation thus far has revealed no wrongdoing on the part of Marlin Air. According to court documents, the contract had more than two years left and more than $1 million remaining, which Marlin is attempting to recover via the lawsuit. The University of Michigan released a statement saying that to “provide the best care possible to our patients and their families, the University of Michigan Health System had to obtain service from other fixed-wing providers.” The NTSB investigation is still ongoing.