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Elderly Couple Suing Airline After Plane Crashed Into Their SW Side Home

(STMW) - An elderly couple who were asleep in their Southwest Side home last week when a small plane crashed into their bedroom are suing the airline that managed the plane.

Roberto Rolinskas, 82, and her husband Raymond Rolinskas, 84, filed the lawsuit against Central Airlines Inc. Tuesday in Cook County Circuit Court.

The suit alleges negligence on the part of Central Airlines Inc., which operated the plane that crashed into their home in the 6500 block of South Knox on Nov. 18.

The pilot of the small cargo plane, 47-year-old Eric Howlett, of Ohio, was killed in the crash.

The suit claims that the airline was negligent in failing to execute a proper take-off and landing; maintaining a sufficient altitude; adequately monitoring the altitude and airspeed; and maintaining, inspecting and controlling the plane.

The law firm representing the couple, Corboy & Demetrio, obtained a protective order to protect the plane, radar reports, voice recordings and general maintenance records, according to a statement announcing the filing of the suit.

"While thankfully Roberta and Raymond did not suffer any physical harm, the emotional trauma has been devastating to them," attorney Matthew Jenkins said in the statement.

"Hearing, seeing and feeling an airplane crashing just inches away from them has caused severe emotional distress," he added.

The four-count lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount in damages.

A representative for Central Airlines, Inc., reached by phone Tuesday afternoon declined to comment on the crash or the suit.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2014. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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