Phoenix City sued for US$2 million by rescued hiker

helicopter hoist

Katalin Metro, a 74-year-old hiker whose rescue by helicopter was caught on camera and went viral when the stretcher in which she was placed span 175 times in the downwash of the aircraft, is suing the City for $2 million, according to a local news report.

Metro had tripped while hiking and the helicopter had been called to evacuate her to hospital. However, as the helicopter lifted off, the long line preventing the basket from spinning broke, and the stretcher then span for around a minute before the pilot was able to fly forward and stop the spin.

The victim and her husband are now said to have filed a notice of claim against the City of Phoenix for the ‘physical, emotional and psychological injuries’ suffered during the rescue. Injuries mentioned in the claim include swelling and bruising to both eyes, blood in her external auditory canals and soft tissue swelling over part of her skull. Metro’s medical bills have amounted to over $290,000.

The video of the rescue was viewed 19 million times and prompted much discussion in the industry about techniques and products that can prevent spinning from occurring during hoist rescues. AirMed&Rescue had written about this exact issue about a month before the event occurred, with expert opinion from air rescue operators around the world – you can read that here.