Victims' relatives sue Rivera's company over crash
Aircraft expert Mark Schmaltz speaks next to a photo of the type of aircraft involved as attorneys announce a lawsuit on behalf of four associates of Mexican singer Jenni Rivera, who perished along with her in a plane crash in Mexico in December, at a news conference in Los Angeles Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Relatives of four passengers killed last month with Jenni Rivera in a plane crash in Mexico filed a lawsuit against Rivera's company Thursday alleging the singer was negligent when she hired a faulty Learjet 25.
The civil lawsuit filed in a Los Angeles court seeks unspecified financial compensation from Jenni Rivera Enterprises. It claims Rivera picked the aircraft owned by Las Vegas-based Starwood Management and should have known the state of the plane and the pilots' status.
"There are a lot of doubts about why Jenni Rivera chose that aerial clunker," said attorney Vance Owen, of Kiel & Larson, who represents the plaintiffs.
A picture of Arturo Rivera, right, with singer Jenni Rivera, center, and Jacobo Yabele, is displayed as Cynthia Rivera, Arturo's sister, far right, speaks at a news conference to announces a lawsuit on behalf of four associates of Mexican singer Jenni Rivera, who perished along with her in a plane crash in Mexico in December, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013 in Los Angeles. Cynthia Rivera and Arturo Rivera are not related to Jenni Rivera. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
Rivera's publicist, Arturo Rivera, her makeup artist, Jacob Yebale, her stylist, Jorge Sanchez, her lawyer, Mario Macias, and the two pilots were among the seven people killed when the aircraft crashed Dec. 9 in northern Mexico.
Authorities have not determined what caused the plane to plunge, killing all onboard.
Jenni Rivera Enterprises collects royalties and copyright payments for Rivera, 43, and it manages the singer's other businesses and assets.
The Encino-based company was taken over by Rivera's sister, Rosy Rivera, according to their brother, Pedro Rivera.
FILE - In this March 8, 2012, file photo, Mexican-American singer and reality TV star Jenni Rivera poses during an interview in Los Angeles. The family of Rivera, who died in a plane crash in December, are expected to file a lawsuit against the operator of the private jet company. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, file)
Pedro Rivera didn't return a message requesting comment Thursday.