A $450,000 settlement has been authorized by the Phoenix City Council for a 74-year-old woman who was carried from Piestewa Peak in 2019 when the rescue basket started to spin uncontrollably.
The rescue basket became trapped in a downwind from the helicopter, according to firefighters, and a cable line designed to keep the basket from turning snapped during the event.
The spinning continued for around 40 seconds while the team raised and lowered the basket many times in an attempt to free it from the spiral.
“We conduct mountain rescues all the time,” Assistant Fire Chief Shelly Jamison said at the time. “But this one got a lot of attention since she was placed on a hoist in a Stokes basket and she began to spin during the rescue.”
Firefighters were ultimately able to bring Katalin Metro, the lady, onto the chopper and then to a neighboring ambulance.
Because of the out-of-control spinning, Metro allegedly needed surgery for cervical stenosis, spinal cord damage. Her spouse told KTAR News that she spent weeks in rehab and that her medical expenditures were over $290,000.
In reaction to the settlement, the city of Phoenix issued the following statement on Wednesday:
“The Metros and the City were able to reach an agreement on this contested claim in this scenario. Any misconduct or culpability on the part of the city is categorically denied.”