Deal reached in lawsuit over hot-air balloon death


7:18 a.m. December 12, 2008


Family and friends of an Oceanside woman who was killed last year when she fell from a hot-air balloon in New Mexico have reached a $1.4 million settlement in a wrongful-death lawsuit.

Rosemary Wooley Phillips, 60, died during the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in October 2007 in New Mexico when the balloon she and others were riding in became tangled in utility cables.

Phillips slipped through a hole torn in the bottom of the basket and fell 70 feet to the ground, according to the lawsuit. She was pronounced dead a short time later at a hospital.

Three other women who were injured in the incident and Phillips’ sister sued the event organizers, the pilot and two New Mexico companies for wrongful death, negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The settlement was reached Monday, said attorney Greg Patton, who represented the plaintiffs.

Phillips lived in Alaska before moving to Oceanside and in 1989 was executive director of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. She served on the City Council in Nome, Alaska, from 1978 to 1982.



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