Tower Company Drops Suit Naming Pilot's Widow

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As AVweb told you recently, the widow of a pilot who crashed into a telecommunications tower in Quebec was sued by SpectraSite, a U.S. company that operated the tower. Now, SpectraSite has withdrawn that suit and issued a statement to clarify its position. "SpectraSite's suit was filed due to a misunderstanding that led us to believe the suit was the only means of preserving our ability to protect the interests of our shareholders," CEO Stephen Clark said in a news release last week. "In accordance with applicable Canadian law, SpectraSite has taken action to dismiss the estate of Mr. Gilbert Paquette [the pilot who died] from its suit" but to seek its share from the pilot's liability insurance. Clark said, "SpectraSite's sole intent has always been to seek its pro rata share of the liability insurance proceeds resulting from the multiple claimants related to this unfortunate event. The insurance proceeds the Company is seeking were not and will not be available to the estate of Mr. Gilbert Paquette. Our deepest sympathy remains with the family of Mr. Paquette." Paquette's single-engine airplane crashed into a 1,000-foot-high tower at Notre-Dame-de-Carmel in Quebec, Canada, on April 22, 2001.