Lawsuit Filed by Family Over Deadly Balloon Crash in New Mexico

The family of a passenger on a hot air balloon that crashed and killed five people on June 26th in Albuquerque is suing the estate of the deceased pilot, Nicholas Meleski, and the companies that operated the commercial balloon. Martin Martinez’s estate filed a lawsuit against Balloonatics LLC, Sventato LLC, and the estate of Meleski, who has been accused of having drugs in his system and recklessly piloting the balloon. Martinez’s family is seeking monetary, punitive, and other damages.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration report, Meleski had marijuana and cocaine in his urine and blood. The cause of the crash has not yet been ruled on by the National Transportation Safety Board. The lawsuit states that Meleski was an employee of Hot Air Balloonatics and one of the organizers of Sventon, which owned the balloon that crashed. The balloon struck a power line and the basket toppled about 100 feet onto a busy street. Among the other four deceased passengers was Martinez’s wife, Mary Martinez.

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