$9.4 Million ATC Negligence Post-trial
While a trial victory is certainly preferable
to the alternative, creating law that makes the public safer is far more
rewarding. My client and passengers were fatally injured in a spatial
disorientation accident after controllers misled the pilot with stale and
inaccurate weather information. Because of the holding in
Abrisch v. United States,
359 F.Supp.2d 1214 (M.D.Fla., 2004), controllers now have a legal duty to
provide pilots with timely, accurate and complete weather information.
$8.25 Million ATC Negligence Settlement -
After a Houston air traffic controller assured the King Air 100 pilot
help circumnavigating a line of severe thunderstorms, he vectored the
aircraft to directly penetrate them without warning. The
aircraft became uncontrollable and
crashed, fatally injuring four occupants. Depositions
revealed that the controller was not wearing his required glasses at the
time and had configured his radar screen to a color that masked the
weather information. We also learned that a second controller sat
idly by and watched the tragedy unfold without alerting his fellow
controller, even though he appreciated the
$3.6 Million Trial Verdict -
After a contested trial, a local jury
K-Mart negligent in causing its female customer to fall and injure
her back after tripping over a rolled-up carpet mat in its entry way.
The defendant's offer was only $5,000.
My two London clients were severely
injured when their Eurocopter EC130 crashed into a Kenya lake during a
private helicopter tour. The trial of the matter commenced in the
High Court of Nairobi in 2016 and is continuing.
The pilot and two passengers of a
Beechraft Bonanza were fatally injured after air traffic controllers
vectored them for nearly 31 miles to an airport that was only 5 miles
away when the pilot reported an engine malfunction. The case was tried
in the Middle District of Florida in Orlando in May, 2017. A ruling is
After a contested bifurcated liability
trial, a college graduate waiting to enter law school was fully compensated for injuries she sustained when two
vehicles collided in a Tallahassee intersection, causing one of the vehicles
to strike her while on the sidewalk.
$725,000 Maritime verdict
A 2014 Jacksonville jury
awarded $725,000 to an injured boater after the 32-pound windshield
detached from his new $111,000.00 Donzi fishing boat and struck him in
the face. The manufacturer failed to persuade the jury that the client
was not severely injured.
Golf Cart truck strikes Van --
Our client obtained full value for
her injuries after a local golf cart delivery company ran a traffic
signal and totaled her vehicle. The case was resolved after a trial on
liability and damages.
Semi driver strikes vehicle --
Our two retired Illinois clients
recovered injury damages from a Federal Court Jury in Ocala after
national trucking chain Celedon Trucking failed to accept responsibility
for its driver's negligence.
Assaults Patron --
A $351,000 trial verdict was
obtained for a Tuskegee Institute (Alabama) college student who sustained a
severely fractured jaw requiring surgical repair after a bar's
aggressive bouncer punched him in the face without provocation.
Defense Verdict for Uncle Sam!
Why would I advertise a
loss? Its been said, "You aren't a real lawyer until you
have lost one." Anyone can win an easy case. Many good trial
lawyers are reluctant to even try a case with less than perfect facts. While
true that some should not be tried, you need a lawyer willing to stand by
you when the deck is stacked against you. Our client, Tod Landry, perished
with three others in a 1999 Deland mid-air collision. Despite hard work and
a great client, the facts did not pan out in this very difficult trial
against the government. The Court held that the air traffic controller's
actions did not legally cause the crash.
Super Bowl police boat crash --
Two Jacksonville police
officers recovered for injuries they sustained when their police boat
allided with an old piling left in the river during bridge construction.
A settlement was reached with the State of Florida and two private
Defending those who defend
Its not always about money. It is about what is right. When a
local police officer was falsely accused by a criminal of having taken
part in a conspiracy that led to a shooting, I successfully
stepped-in to defend the police officer in the Internal Affairs
Investigation. The officer was cleared of all charges when it was shown
that the evidence established he had no such participation or knowledge
of the incident.
$1.5 Million for
Heroic Passenger --
The parents of a pilot-rated Beechcraft Baron passenger felt vindicated
after we proved that their son heroically saved two fellow passengers
from the pilot's antics that killed himself and the pilot. The pilot
dropped low to impress some Leesburg, Florida cattle when he let the
airspeed bleed critically slow. The client's son, recognizing the
imminent stall, was able to right the aircraft before the collision with
the ground, saving the backseat passengers. In addition to
advancing our client's claims against the aircraft owner, we
successfully defended a claim brought by one of the very passengers he
Afghanistan 737 crash--
A Vermont family recovered wrongful death
damages after their
24-year-old daughter, who had been on a mission trip to Afghanistan, was
among the 104 fatally injured in the crash of Kam Air Airlines 737 into
a mountain near Kabul Afghanistan. Our investigation found that the
pilot likely followed a flight path to a navigational aid that had been
moved 10 miles away and was using an obsolete FMS database. The claim
was brought against the airline and a private air traffic control
Trucker causes brain injury --
A confidential settlement was
reached after a Palatka truck driver negligently turned into the path of an
award-winning obstetrical nurse on her way to work, effectively ending her
career. The truck driver blamed the client even though she clearly had
Client struck by Recycler
My deceased client was blamed by the driver, witnesses and the police
for recklessly stepping into the street behind a backing garbage truck.
After I learned that the truck's back-up cameras were broken and later
conducted video surveillance finding the driver violating company backing
policies, I recovered ten times the offer made to another lawyer.
product fatality --
Our client's two minor children
$800,000.00 after proving their 35-year-old
mother's fatal heart attack was caused by a popular weight loss supplement laced
with the stimulant, Ephedra. The claim required us to litigate the
Multi-District Litigation claim in the federal courts of New York and
the Bankruptcy court of Southern California.
product fatality --
Rodriguez v. AIG,
(D. New Mexico, 2013). Recovery of wage loss and Medicare set
aside benefits as well as a waiver of subrogation under the Defense Base Act
for injured civilian aviation mechanic injured in the West Africa Dash 8
Mechanic crushed by falling truck --
A confidential settlement was reached for a local GM Master after
the truck he was repairing fell on him. Our investigation revealed that the
lift had been improperly designed and maintained. (2008).
Saudi Arabia - Aviation Tech injured by defective product --
$800,000 product liability settlement for an aviation worker injured in an
explosion that occurred while he was repairing the environmental controls
from an of F15 fighter jet in Saudi Arabia. (2002)
Aircraft Carrier Fall injures contractor--
$300,000.00 settlement against the United States government for an
injured marine construction worker who fell aboard the USS John F.
Kennedy aircraft carrier after Navy crewman failed to install required
safety netting. (2006).
Our client recovered full value and avoided the harsh immunities
normally afforded employers after we were able to prove the employer removed
press guarding devices mandated by OSHA, which resulted in an amputation of
his lower arm.
served intoxicated patron --
$335,000 Settlement with a tavern owner for the Estate of motorcyclist
killed by regular drunk patron of the bar. The bar continued to serve the
patron although they knew he was intoxicated and had a propensity to driver
under the influence. (2000)
breaks neck on trampoline --
$100,000.00 homeowners policy settlement for a child who sustained a cervical
fracture while roughhousing, unsupervised, on a neighbor's trampoline.
Electrocution caused by Code
Settlement for the family of electrician who was fatally electrocuted by a
dangerously positioned light pole. Our investigation found that the pole had
been located too close to a high power line in violation of national and
state electrical codes. (2007)
Helo Crash Injures Two Paramedics
Confidential settlement for two medivac helicopter paramedics
injured in the rollover crash of a Eurocopter Twinstar air ambulance
helicopter. The crash was caused by pilot error. (2006)
Pilot falsified logbooks before fatal crash
A confidential settlement was reached for the family of the father and son
owners of a national chain of car dealerships fatally injured in the crash
of a twin Cessna on approach into the Melbourne, Florida Airport. Our
investigation revealed that the pilot-in-command had falsified his flight
$150,000.00 for passenger who was severely burned during an airline flight
after the careless flight attendant spilled an entire pot of hot
coffee on his upper body as he slept. (2004).
Pilot Enforcement Action
/ Presidential TFR Violation
Administrator v. Pilot,
(FAA Administrative, 2009). Successful defense of an FAA pilot enforcement action
against private pilot alleged to have violated presidential restricted
airspace in Cessna 172.
Bag Dropped on Airline
Altarac v. Fresh Quest,
(Fla.,17th Judicial Cir. 2014) Client injured after fellow
passenger dropped a heavy bag on her head prior to departure in the Airbus
320 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
Propeller Separation Causes Crash
Avemco Insurance Co. v. Sensenich,
(Ariz. 2000). A pilot and passengers were injured when the wooden propeller
mounted on their Waco YMF-5 departed from the airplane over the Sedona, Arizona desert.
They all survived the crash and post-crash fire with injuries.
Defense of Products
Carson v. Heli-Tech, Inc.,
(M.D. Fla. Aug. 29, 2002). Defense of M.D. Helicopters in a crash involving
a Lee County, Florida Sheriffs Office McDonnell Douglas OH-6A
helicopter. No. 2:01-cv-643 TJC.
Fatally Injures Entire Family
Edwards v. Various Manufactuers
(Federal Courts for the Middle District of Florida, District of Colorado,
District of Delaware and Multi-District Litigation (2014). Six members of
the Bramlage family of Kansas were fatally injured in the crash of a cabin
class aircraft in central Florida.
TH-53 Tail Skid Failure
Forman v. Sikorsky Aircraft Co.
(D. New Mexico, 2004). When the tail skid
mounted on the rear of the USAF
operated Sikorsky TH-53A helicopter failed on landing at the New
Mexico air base, it allowed the tail rotor to strike the ground and
propelled its end caps into the open cargo area. My active duty Air Force
Instructor Pilot was blinded when he was hit by one of the end caps.
Airline Crash Caused by Faulty database
Gadue v. Midwest ATC, Kam Air
Airlines, (D. Kansas,
2008). Wrongful death claim for the Vermont family of 24-year-old Cristin
Gadue, who was among those killed when the Kam Air Airlines Boeing 737
flight 904 crashed into an Afghanistan mountain in 2005. My investigation
revealed that a private air traffic control company providing services in
the Kabul airspace failed to advise the flight that it was off course and
below assigned altitude.
Fatal Bird Strike Causes
Hartman/Sandoval v. United States
et al., (W.D. Oklahoma, 2010). Wrongful death
actions for families of two pilots after a Cessna 500 Citation Jet
impacted a flock of American White Pelicans in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The
City had diverted FAA grants for bird strike mitigation.
Inadvertent IMC Charter
Hines v. SK Jets
(M.D. Fla. 2013). Wrongful Death
claims after a Mayo Clinic transport
technician was fatally injured in the crash of a Bell 206 Jet Ranger
in heavy fog on a transplant flight.
Breach of Aircraft
Jet Club (Bruce Jenner Aviation)
v. Thrust Aviation (2008), Breach of Contract
brought by aircraft brokerage company after seller breached sales contract
and refused to pay sales commission.
Injured After Pilot Exhausted Fuel
Kennedy v. ASI, Inc.,
(Florida Circuit Court, pending). Claims against Estate
of pilot who exhausted fuel enroute to the Bahamas with three passengers
aboard a Cessna 340.
First Officer injured in
New Mexico Crash
D'Errico v. Flight School,
(Pending), a first officer working for a photo company
was injured when the Cessna 172S camera ship crashed. The owner operated the
flight with the wrong Pilot Operating Handbook that failed to account for
more than 200 pounds of camera gear.
Passenger Injured After
Aircraft lands on House
Early v. Confidential,
Pre-suit settlement for injured Part 91 passenger after
the Piper Cherokee he occupied crashed into a Georgia home. Our
investigation found that the aircraft's Cylinder detached in flight.
injured by Burning Coffee
Livermore v. Confidential Airlines
(Florida Circuit Court, 2004). Flight attendant spilled an entire pot of
boiling coffee onto sleeping passenger, who suffered 2nd and 3rd degree
burns requiring reconstructive surgery.
Injured By Clear Air Turbulence
Mezni v. Air France,
My client was injured by clear air turbulence after departing from France in an Airbus A320.
The claim fell under the provisions of the Montreal Convention, which
dictates the recoverable damages in international flights. (2015).
injured in on-board Fall
Osborne v. Delta Airlines,
(Florida Circuit Court, 2001). Resolution for client
injured in fall aboard a Boeing 737-200 during the boarding process.
Army soldier injured in
SH-60 crash in Germany
Rasmussen v. United Technologies
Corp., (D. Connecticut,
2001). Product liability settlement for soldier injured in the crash of a
U.S. Army operated Sikorsky SH60 Blackhawk in Wiesbadden, Germany.
This was a companion action that arose after the crash, which was caused by
a lateral fuel imbalance. In the companion action, the Connecticut jury
found that the manual failed to accurately reflect the flight envelope in
such a condition.
injured in Africa Dash-8 Crash
Rodriguez v. United States,
(Mali, West Africa, Pending). Pursuit of
administrative Military Claims Act benefits for a Dehavilland Dash-8
passenger who suffered a broken back after two active duty United States
Air Force pilots exhausted fuel. (Pending).
Apache crash kills two
National Guard Pilots
Ruffner et al. v. The Boeing
Company, (D. Arizona, pending). Wrongful death
claims for the families of two National Guard Pilots who died in an AH-64D
Apache crash in Afghanistan after the main rotor departed in Flight. The
accident was precipitated by the failure of the lead-lag link pin, which
retains the main rotor blade to the hub.
Atlanta Police Pilots
Investigation of death claims for the families of two Atlanta Police pilots
fatally injured in the crash of a Hughes 269 helicopter while
searching for a lost child.
Excellent question. There are about 100,000
lawyers in Florida. Most have never handled an aviation claim. The
aviation insurers know who can, and will, try your case if they are
unreasonable. I have tried a number of aviation cases to juries and judges
in federal and state courts. The published trial verdicts
below are examples of my tenacity.
Receive proper medical care for any
injured persons. Call an ambulance if necessary or visit an emergency
care facility as soon as you leave the scene of the accident. It is
important to note, some injuries may not be immediately apparent for
this reason, it is crucial to be examined by a doctor.