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Family of makeup artist killed with Jenni Rivera prepares to file suit

Jenni RiverPress Conference

Jenni Rivera Press Conference

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Updated: January 2, 2013 10:12PM

The family of one of the men killed in a Learjet crash that also claimed the life of superstar singer Jenni Rivera filed a petition in a Chicago court Wednesday seeking the plane’s ownership and maintenance records in preparation for a possible lawsuit.

Rivera — a successful musician and businesses woman known as the “La Diva de la Banda” — was killed with makeup artist Jacobo Yebale and five others when a Learjet 25 crashed Dec. 9, 2012, near Iturbide, Mexico.

Yebale had worked with actresses Jessica Alba and Eva Longoria, singer Rihanna and other celebrities before his death, his website said.

Antonia Yebale, an administrator for his estate, “has a viable cause of action against certain entities for damages arising from Jacobo Yebale’s death,” according to a petition for discovery filed Wednesday in Cook County Circuit Court.

The document seeks information from the Learjet Corporation and its Quebec-based parent company, Bombardier Aerospace.

It asks Bombardier to turn over contact information for anyone who owned or leased the jets, as well as any sales or lease agreements. It also asks for all maintenance and repair records and information on the designers and manufacturers of a broad range of the aircraft’s parts and safety systems.

The petition accuses as-yet unknown people and entities of negligence in the design, manufacture and maintenance of the aircraft.

The Learjet 25, registered to Las Vegas-based Starwood Management, crashed into a mountainous area in northern Mexico during an early-morning from Monterrey to Toluca, according to reports.

The petition did not indicate why it was filed in Cook County, other than to say Bombardier does “substantial business” in Illinois. A spokesman for the company could not be reached for comment Wednesday night.

Rivera — who was once married to former Chicago White Sox pitcher Esteban Loaiza — came from middle-class roots to dominate the male-dominated “banda” Mexican music scene, the Sun-Times reported at the time. She was rumored to be working on a pilot for a sitcom on ABC at the time of her death.

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