Lawsuit filed in New York plane crash that killed 2 Cleveland men

Published: May. 26, 2023 at 11:26 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A major step has been taken to gather evidence and get answers after a deadly plane crash that killed two Cleveland men.

A lawsuit on Friday was filed against the company that rented out the plane that crashed.

It was Jan. 19, when the single-engine Beechcraft A36 plane crashed shortly after take-off from J.F.K International Airport in New York.

The plane was headed home to the Cuyahoga County Airport in Richmond Heights.

The pilot alerted air traffic controllers of engine trouble just minutes after the aircraft went airborne and attempted to land at the nearest airport in Westchester County, New York, three minutes before the fatal crash.

Passenger Binyamin Chafetz, a husband and father of 6 children died on impact, as well as the pilot, Boruch Taub, described as a family man who worked hard and loved his community.

Jamie Lebovitz, a Senior Partner at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller, and McCarthy tells 19 News his firm filed a discovery petition in Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas for the family of Binyamin Chafetz, against the owner of the rented plane, T & G Flying Club, as well as Winner Aviation and others.

“This by all accounts appears to be an airplane that failed the pilot and not a pilot that failed himself,” Lebovitz said. “Based on the preliminary report that was issued by the NTSB, there clearly was some malfunction with the engine. So, we want to gather as much data and information as possible, so that we can understand more of the history of the airplane, the maintenance history, and the history surrounding the engine which we believe was overhauled in 2019. We also want to identify possible other parties or entities that may have been responsible for what led to this crash.”

Lebovitz also told 19 News T & G Flying Club has had a “number of mishaps” in the past.

Those accidents include a deadly crash of a Cessna that killed 4 fraternity brothers from Case Western Reserve University in 2014.

Lebovitz said in this case, the search for answers and some form of justice is all a Cleveland area widow and her six children have to hold on to.

“We’re doing the best that we can to get them answers and to try and get them financial security so that they can go on with their lives as best they can.”

The National Transportation Safety Board continues its investigation into the deadly crash.

19 News reached out to T & G Flying Club for comment.

This is a developing story. Return to 19 News for updates.