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How do lawsuits apply to aircraft product design problems?

There are few products that are more important to their users' safety than airplane and helicopter components. This is because the slightest problem can endanger property and life in an instant. How can designers and manufacturers be held accountable?

  • What is the nature of aircraft design defects in law?

Accident reports and other documents are very important to investigations because there are multiple reasons that an aircraft could experience a problem. Pilots are often legally liable for the safety of people in their aircrafts, but the manufacturers of planes and parts can also be at fault under certain circumstances.

  • What are these circumstances?

Early lawsuits regarding design problems were often related to negligence, when a designer does not use reasonable care in considering or testing designs that are then rendered in reality. For example, one of the first such cases involved a design that failed to consider a common fire hazard.

  • What else can cause liability after a aircraft design problem?

Aircraft part manufacturers must consider the lifespan of their products, as replacement dates are vital to air safety. If a warranty is breached regarding these lifespans, the results could be catastrophic and the maker or designer may be liable. A product that is unreasonably dangerous by a legal definition, often due to combustibility or biological hazard, may also create liability for a maker.

  • How can I get help with these issues?

Lawsuits regarding aircraft product problems are often best started by an attorney representing the victims or a victim's survivors. No one should try to work these complicated issues out alone.

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