A 74-year-old hiker who was caught on crazy video spinning out of control while being airlifted off Piestewa Peak back in June has filed a notice of claim against the city of Phoenix—or a dizzying $2 million, according to a report.
Katalin Metro’s attorney confirmed the notice of claim was served Tuesday, Nov. 26. Metro was hiking up Piestewa Peak with her husband, George when she fell hurting her face and head. Crews airlifted her off the mountain after she had trouble walking down. But that led to the basket she was in spinning nearly 200 times.
“I kept watching and hoping, just hoping that something would stop it,” Metro’s husband, George, said on Phoenix-based radio station KTAR-FM.
At the time, rescue crews explained how a person can turn into a pinwheel.
“As the basket comes up and hears the helicopter, the basket will start to interact with the rotor wash of the helicopter. That is when it tends to spin. It wants to windmill,” said Paul Apolinar, chief pilot of the police aviation unit.
The notice of claim states Metro suffered “physical emotional and psychological injuries and damages” as a result of the rescue attempt. The claim refers to the incident as a “failed helicopter rescue attempt.”
Metro’s medical expenses have been nearly $300,000 to date.
According to the claim, the Metros would settle with the City of Phoenix for $2 million.
While his wife is still recovering in a hospital, George Metro said the biggest issue his wife was dealing with was dizziness.
“The first thing she said was, ‘I’m glad I’m alive.’ She thought she was going to die when she was spinning,” Metro said.
The Phoenix Fire Department said over the last six years they’ve performed this type of hoist rescue 210 times, but only a couple of times did it result in a spin.
“It’s something that occurs every now and then and we’re trained to deal with it,” Paul Apolinar, the Phoenix Police Air Unit’s lead pilot, said at the time.