Husband of Latina music star Jenni Rivera files wrongful-death suit

Latina singer and reality TV star Jenni Rivera was killed in a plane crash in Mexico in December 2012.
(Reed Saxon / Associated Press)

More than a year after the death of Latin music superstar Jenni Rivera, controversy and accusations continue to surround the circumstances of her death. The latest salvo comes from Rivera’s husband, former Major League Baseball player Esteban Loaiza, who filed a wrongful-death suit against the owners of the aircraft that crashed with Rivera aboard, the Associated Press reported Friday.

Loaiza was separated from Rivera at the time of her death but seeks unspecified damages. The suit, according to the Associated Press, names the plane’s owners, Starwood Management LLC and its parent company, Rodatz Financial Group.

Rivera, a native of Long Beach, and six others, including two pilots, died Dec. 9, 2012, when the private jet carrying them went into a dive, plummeting nose-first 28,000 feet in 30 seconds before hitting the side of a mountain.


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Interviews and documents link the jet to a troubled company and an executive once imprisoned for faking the safety records of planes he bought from the Mexican government and sold to private pilots in the United States.

Representing Starwood had been attorney Mark Velasquez of San Diego. Reached by phone Saturday, Velasquez said that as of early this month he was no longer working with Starwood. Representatives from Starwood could not be reached for comment.

Relatives of the other passengers that died in the crash, all part of Rivera’s team, filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against Starwood and the singer’s company in January of 2013. In late 2013, a superior court judge rejected a motion by Starwood to have the case dismissed in California and moved to Mexico.

Another hearing is set for March 10 in Los Angeles. Velasquez estimates the suits won’t be resolved for three to five years.



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