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Two years after Jenni Rivera's death, estate sues airplane companies over fatal crash

Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera in a March 8, 2012, file photo.

Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera in a March 8, 2012, file photo.  (ap)

The estate of Mexican-American superstar Jenni Rivera on Monday sued the owners of a Learjet that crashed two years ago, killing the singer and several members of her entourage.

The lawsuit is a negligence case against Starwood Management Inc., which owned the Learjet 25 that crashed in northern Mexico in December 2012 after plunging more than 28,000 feet. Also named in the suit the companies that serviced the aircraft, Bombardier Inc. and Learjet Inc.

Rivera's company has been sued along with Starwood by relatives of others killed in the crash, including Rivera's attorney, hairstylist, publicist and makeup artist and one of the plane's pilots. Attorneys are scheduled to update a judge Wednesday on the progress of settlement talks between her company and the relatives.

A representative for Starwood could not be found for comment. An attorney representing the company left the case earlier this year and has not been replaced.

An after-hours message left for the Quebec-based Bombardier was not immediately returned.

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Rivera, 43, was known as the "Diva de la Banda" and died at the height of her career. She was perhaps the most successful female singer in grupero, a male-dominated Mexican regional music style, and had moved into acting and reality television.

Rivera sold more than 15 million records over her career.

Her parents and five of her children, two of whom are still minors, are plaintiffs in the case. The suit seeks unspecified damages on their behalf.

Rivera's widower, former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Esteban Loaiza, also had sued Starwood for wrongful death. A request by his attorneys to dismiss the case was granted in late October, court records show. Loiaza's suit contended the pilots flying Rivera and her entourage were not properly licensed and that the plane's airframe was damaged in a 2005 accident.

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