Woman who spun wildly during Phoenix helicopter rescue seeks $2M
PHOENIX — The woman whose rescue basket spun wildly while she was flown off Piestewa Peak this spring is seeking $2 million from the city of Phoenix over her ordeal.
Katalin Metro and her husband, George, accused Phoenix rescue crews of negligence in a notice of claim, a precursor to a lawsuit, filed Tuesday.
The city, which sent a redacted copy of the filing to KTAR News 92.3 FM, said it was unable to comment on pending litigation.
According to the Metros’ claim, George called 911 when 74-year-old Katalin fell and injured herself during their June 4 hike.
The couple said although fire department personnel agreed with Katalin that she did not need to be flown off the mountain, paramedics chose to transport her by helicopter.
As she was being hoisted up, the rescue basket began spinning rapidly. Crews tried to stop the basket, the claim states, but its trail line broke and it continued spinning.
Katalin suffered severe injuries due to the spinning and was left unable to perform daily tasks, forcing George to take care of her, according to the claim.
The claim says the ordeal caused Katalin “physical, emotional and psychological injuries and damages,” while George “suffered loss of consortium.” They are seeking $1.75 million for Katalin’s claim and $250,000 for George’s.
George told KTAR News two days after the incident that his wife was left with a swollen face and was still too dizzy to walk.
He said she thought she was going to die and managed to avoid blacking out by taking deep breaths.
George said he and Kati, retirees and longtime Phoenix residents, are experienced, frequent hikers and in good shape.