Thomas Demetrio Obtains Jury Verdict in 1973 Jim Croce Plane Crash
Corboy & Demetrio Partner Thomas A. Demetrio obtained jury verdict in federal court in Dallas, Texas, on behalf of the Estate of Jim Croce’s booking agent Ken Cortese, who died along with Croce and four others in a plane crash on September 20, 1973. Mr. Demetrio represented Linda Cortese, Ken Cortese’s widow in the wrongful death lawsuit. The verdict was for more than the insurance coverage. So, a Bad Faith case was successfully brought against the insurance company. The verdict as upheld by the 5th Circuit, and the entire verdict was paid.
Ken Cortese was working as a booking agent for Croce’s 1973 national tour at the time of his death. Croce, a popular singer and songwriter with a couple of Billboard #1 singles, was 30 years old. Along with Cortese and Croce, guitarist Maury Muehleisen; comedian George Stevens; Croce manager Dennis Rast, and pilot Robert N. Elliot were on the plane and died. All of those cases settled out of court.
The crash happened after Croce and his band performed at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. The end destination of the flight was Sherman, Texas, as the band was set perform at another college. The plane gained altitude after leaving the runway and but clipped the top of a tree about 250 yards past the runway before crashing.