A California judge has ruled that the families of four members of Mexican singer Jenni Rivera’s entourage who died during a 2012 plane crash are entitled to $70 million.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Holly Kendig entered a default judgment on Tuesday against Starwood Management Inc., the owners of a Learjet that crashed in northern Mexico in December 2012, killing Rivera and six others. The judgment was entered because Starwood, the plane's owner, abandoned its defense in the case and no longer has an attorney representing the firm.
The judgment was entered on behalf of Rivera's publicist, makeup artist, hairstylist and attorney. Their attorney, Paul R. Kiesel, said the next step will be getting Starwood to pay the judgment. Rivera’s family was not part of the suit.
“It provides an element of closure for the families that Starwood has been held responsible for this tragedy,” Kiesel told the Los Angeles Times. “Now, the next chapter begins to recover the substantial damages caused by this loss.”
It provides an element of closure for the families that Starwood has been held responsible for this tragedy...Now, the next chapter begins to recover the substantial damages caused by this loss.
- Paul R. Kiesel, the attorney who represented the families
Rivera, 43, who was known as the "Diva de la Banda," died as her career was peaking. She was perhaps the most successful female singer in grupero, a male-dominated Mexican regional style, and had moved into acting and reality television.
A mother of five children and grandmother of two, her music resonated with Latinos because she sang about her own difficult experiences – her battle with domestic violence, her struggle with weight, being a single mother and her failed marriages.
Based on reporting by the Associated Press.