A judge has approved a settlement worth millions of dollars for the family of a man who was killed in the fiery Learjet crash that injured Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker and DJ AM.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mary Strobel approved the settlement between Chris Baker’s family and Learjet Inc., Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and other companies involved with the jet’s ownership and operation.
Baker was Barker’s personal assistant, and was one of four people, including the Learjet’s crew and Barker’s bodyguard, who perished in the 2008 crash.
The settlement calls for the companies to pay for the college education of Baker’s 3-year-old son as well as establish an annuity that will give him more than $17 million during his lifetime. The settlement will also pay Baker’s widow, Otilia Baker, more than $7.6 million.
“It’s a very sad case, but we’re glad they were able to avoid a trial and receive full compensation,” the attorney representing the Baker family, Brian Panish, said after the hearing.
Barker, his bodyguard Charles Monroe Stills Jr., Baker, and DJ AM, whose real name was Adam Goldstein, were passengers on a Learjet departing an airport in Columbia, S.C., when the pilots tried to abort the takeoff. The jet skidded off the runway and crashed, killing all onboard except Barker and DJ AM, who were severely injured and burned.
DJ AM died in Aug. 2009 from what the New York City medical examiner’s office would later call an “accidental drug overdose.”
Although federal investigators haven’t officially determined the cause of the crash, they have said the plane’s reverse thrusters were not in the proper position. Barker and DJ AM’s estate reached individual settlements for undisclosed amounts in 2009.