Keith Williams, Nashville Tennessee Aviation Attorney, Discusses the “RARA Fund” And It’s Impact On The Survivors And Families Of Those Killed In Reno Airplane Crash

The Reno Air Racing Association Compensation Fund Program (The “RARA Fund”) has been established to provide for compensation to injured spectators of the legal heirs of deceased spectators who were injured or killed in the September 16, 2001 tragedy during the National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nevada.

The “RARA Fund” was implemented as an alternative to litigation.  This short cut may very well be the best path for some victims to take but it may not be in the best interest of other injured spectators or the loved ones of deceased spectators.

The $77 Million “RARA Fund” will be managed and administered by Kenneth Feinberg who was the administrator of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fun established for the 911 victims in Ney York City as well as the B.P. Oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

In order to be eligible to participate in the administration of the “RARA Fund” a claimant must have been present at the event in Reno, NV or the claimant must be a legal heir of a spectator that was killed at the event.  All of the settlements will not be based on liability and will be determined solely by Feinberg and based on Nevada law.

The “RARA Fund” will compensate victims and surviving family members for the following types of claims for costs and damages incurred as a result of the accident:

  • Claim for Death;
  • Claim for Physical Injury;
  • Claim for Non-Physical Injury for Family Member Bystander; and
  • Claim for Non-Physical Injury with Physical Contact with Debris from the Accident

If you choose to pursue your claim against the “RARA Fund” there are strict procedures that must be followed in order to collect from the fund.  Claim forms will have to be filed out and all damage documentation such as medical bills, medical records, physician reports, economic impact reports, lost wage reports, burial invoices and any other documentation evidencing how you or you lost loved one has been damaged by the incident.

If you do opt to participate in the “RARA Fund” program be forewarned that you are waiving your right to file a civil action or be a party to an action in any federal or state court for the damage caused to you or your loved one.  By signing the release provided by the “RARA Fund” administration, you are forever waiving and releasing all claims and legal actions whether you know about the potential claims or not.  You will be releasing any legal claim against:

  1.  The Reno Air Racing Association, Inc., d/b/a National Championship Air Races (“RARA”),
  2. The Reno Air Racing Foundation, Inc.,
  3. The Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority,
  4. The Airport Authority of Washoe County,
  5. The City of Reno
  6. The City of Reno Fire Department
  7. The County of Washoe, Nevada
  8. County Courthouse, Washoe County
  9. Nevada System of Higher Education
  10. f/k/a University of Nevada System
  11. d/b/a University of Nevada, Reno
  12. Aviation Classics, Ltd.
  13. The Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority
  14. Horne Tipps Trophy Suites, Inc.
  15. Horne Tipps Holding Company, Inc.
  16. OS Suites, Ltd.
  17. Caesars Entertainment Operating Co., Inc.
  18. f/k/a  Harrah’s Operating Co., Inc.
  19. Pinnoccio Bar & Grill
  20. Planes of Fame Air Museum
  21. Fighter Rebuilders, LLC
  22. Model Dairy, Inc.
  23. Silver Legacy Resort Casino
  24. Sparks Nugget, Inc. d/b/a John Ascuaga’s Nugget
  25. Circus Circus Casinos, Inc.
  26. d/b/a Circus Circus Hotel Casino
  27. St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, Reno
  28. Luce & Son, Inc.
  29. E&J Gallo Winery
  30. Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation
  31. Hawker Beechcraft Corp.
  32. Breitling USA, Inc.
  33. Bombardier Inc. d/b/a Bombardier Aerospace
  34. Dassault Falcon Jet Corp.
  35. Amador Stage Lines, Inc.
  36. Peppermill Casinos, Inc.
  37. d/b/a Peppermill Hotel Casino
  38. Pilatus Business Aircraft, Ltd.
  39. Pepsi-Cola Metropolitan Bottling Co., Inc.
  40. d/b/a Pepsi-Cola Bottling Group
  41. Avco Corporation d/b/a Lycoming Engines
  42. AT&T Inc. d/b/a AT&T Wi-Fi Services
  43. Sands Regency Casino Hotel
  44. Cessna Aircraft Company
  45. American Honda Motor Company, Inc.
  46. Lancair International Inc.
  47. Grand Sierra Resort and Casino
  48. Golden Road Motor Inn, Inc.
  49. d/b/a Atlantis Casino Resort
  50. New West Distributing, Inc.
  51. Nikon Inc.
  52. Piper Aircraft, Inc.
  53. Champion Aerospace LLC
  54. Eldorado Resorts LLC d/b/a Eldorado Hotel Casino
  55. Scolari’s Warehouse Markets, Inc.
  56. d/b/a Scolari’s Food & Drug Company
  57. Honeywell International Inc.
  58. d/b/a Honeywell Aerospace
  59. Smith Valley Equipment Co., Inc.
  60. d/b/a Renner Equipment Company
  61. Reno Cycles & Gear
  62. Rolls-Royce North America Inc.
  63. Embraer Executive Aircraft, LLC
  64. Heritage Bank of Nevada
  65. Simms Restaurants
  66. Nevada Commission on Tourism
  67. Million Air Reno
  68. Willis Lease Finance Corporation
  69. Wirtz Beverage Nevada Reno, Inc.
  70. GMR Marketing, LLC
  71. Microsoft Corporation
  72. d/b/a Microsoft Xbox Kinect
  73. Aviation Unlimited Agency, Inc.
  74. Cannon Aviation Insurance, Inc.
  75. Air Capital Insurance, LLC
  76. d/b/a Insurance Technologies & Programs
  77. Specialty Aviation Underwriters, Inc.
  78. MillerCoors LLC
  79. Coors Brewing Company
  80. The United States of America and the Federal Aviation Authority
  81. All National Championship Air Race contestants, performers, sponsors, and all other persons connected in any way with the organization and execution of the National Championship Air Race (including the National Championship Air Race Committees), with the exception of and specifically excluding James K. Leeward and his estate, successors, and assigns.

In addition to releasing all of the eighty- eight parties you would be releasing as each of their respective insurers, co-insurers, and reinsurers, and all affiliates, predecessor, successor, parent and subsidiary corporations, all past, present and future owners, officials, trustees, beneficiaries, officers, directors, regents, stockholders, employees, volunteers, agents, underwriters, sponsors, attorneys, and representatives, and all heirs, successors and assigns of any of them. (collectively, “the Released Parties”)

In order to evaluate whether a victim or the surviving family is better off pursuing a claim through the “RARA Fund” or by filing in a court of law, several factors would need to be addressed.These factors to consider include but are not limited to what law would apply to the particular claim, what jurisdiction the legal case would need to be filed in, what specific legal remedies are available in each possible jurisdiction, the monetary size of any potential verdict or settlement in a court of law vs. waiving you legal claim and pursuing a claim against the “RARA Fund.

The aviation attorneys at Keith Williams Law Group are knowledgeable and experienced in cases and claims such as the Reno tragedy and the resulting “RARA Fund.” We know what evidence it take to maximize our clients recovery with the smallest amount of intrusion into the victims or surviving family’s lives.