Firm News

Settlement Helps Fund Burned Boy's Recovery

January 26, 2010

Daniel Happy, the Florida boy critically burned in a fatal aircraft crash that killed his four year-old sister, served as a patient ambassador at the 85th East-West Shrine Game this past weekend on January 23, 2010 in Orlando, Florida. In 2007, the then 10-year old suffered burns to over 95 percent of his body when a Cessna aircraft crashed into his family's home in Sanford, Florida. His parents were also seriously burned, but survived their injuries. Immediately after the crash, Daniel was airlifted from a local hospital to Shriners' Hospitals for Children in Cincinnati where he underwent 42 surgeries throughout seven months of treatment.

Robert Parks and Gabrielle Lyn D'Alemberte, trial attorneys at The Law Offices of Robert Parks, P.L., along with Gerald Lear and Ken Nolan of Speiser, Krause, Nolan & Granito, represented Daniel and his family in a personal injury lawsuit. Since it operated the Cessna 310, the attorneys sued against the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR), which in turn sued Cessna in a product liability suit.

The crash happened when the pilot was trying to make an emergency landing at Sanford International Airport. The Cessna's cockpit had filled with smoke due to an electrical problem in the wiring. The crash also killed the pilot and a passenger. An investigation showed that a “burning smell” had been reported on the previous day's flight, but the pilot and NASCAR ground crew members ignored the warning.

Parks and D'Alemberte said the case against NASCAR was settled for a confidential amount that made it possible for Daniel and his parents to receive the necessary long-term medical care. Daniel's treatment will continue into his 20’s.