Friday, November 09, 2007

Wife to sue husband and Cameron Balloons Michigan over incident.

The Star-Ledger

FLEMINGTON A Phillipsburg woman who plunged 50 feet from a hot air balloon after dangling by her rope-tangled foot is now suing her husband and the balloon's manufacturer over the harrowing incident.

Kathleen Long filed the civil lawsuit less than two weeks ago in state Superior Court in Hunterdon County.

Kathleen Long sustained "substantial head injuries" when she plunged through a barn in Bethlehem Township and has not been able to return to work as a corporate executive, said her lawyer, Salvatore P. DiFazio.

"Clearly, the injuries she has sustained have been difficult for them," said DiFazio. "But they're still married" after 27 years.

Kathleen Long is simply protecting her rights, he explained.

DiFazio said liability in the wife's suit will be "apportioned" between both defendants. If the wife doesn't act, the manufacturer, Cameran Balloons of Michigan, is likely to file a third-party claim against the husband that "puts the principal blame on him," DiFazio said.

Andy Baird, general manager at Cameran Balloons, was unaware of Kathleen Long's suit, and declined to comment. Baird did say he knew about the Oct. 30, 2005, accident.

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