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Aircraft design defects - a case and a definition

In the Fall of 2017, New Yorkers interested in aviation safety may have been paying attention to the ruling in a case of aircraft design defects. The U.S. Department of Justice reported that the President of Aerospec, Inc. received a sentence of two years' imprisonment and three years supervised release. 

The case is important because it brings to light the issue of defective airplane parts and its impact on the aviation industry. While this case revolved around components sold to the military, defective parts are dangerous for all the world's aircraft.

In the 21st century, more flights than ever take off from airports across the globe every single day. If passengers cannot rely on the industry to guarantee vigilance in efforts to keep them safe, the whole world of travel could easily grind to a halt. 

In legal terms, according to FindLaw, a design defect is "one in which a whole product line or every product from a particular model is dangerously deficient." One manufacturing glitch may or may not affect the entire line of products, but when that glitch impacts every single engine the part is in, for example, it teeters closer to being "dangerously deficient." 

To determine liability in such a case, FindLaw explains the necessity of establishing strict product liability, which means the product must have caused the injury. However, that is not the only element the plaintiff must prove. He or she has to show the defect existed when the product left the manufacturer and that it was functioning in its intended role at the time of the injury. 


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