Generally speaking, courts could hold manufacturers liable in New York for products they make which result in a personal injury to you or someone you love. However, your path to proving fault may not be as direct as you hope, especially in cases involving powerful corporations. As you might surmise from the vast resources and international holdings of powerful automotive and aviation companies, attempts to prove a vehicle design defect's responsibility for wrongful deaths or injuries are typically difficult.
The Federal Aviation Administration handles a variety of issues associated with aviation and traffic in the skies. This includes drones, which are becoming more common in New York airways. While drones may not fly as high as airplanes or other aircraft, they are still an aircraft product and face FAA regulations. They also are subject to accidents and issues that could cause you harm.
New York residents who board any type of aircraft expect the plane to be safe and get them where they are going without incident. Air travel is a necessity for both business and pleasure travelers today, and the public expects such travel to be safe.
Last month, a military aircraft crashed in Mississippi and killed 16 individuals, making for one of the worst aviation accidents the Marines have experienced in over 10 years. According to reports, the aircraft apparently broke apart at cruising altitude. According to an anonymous pilot, the aircraft broke into two parts in front of the wings. The cause of the aircraft’s dismemberment is still unknown.
Last time, we mentioned that recent cases have begun chipping away at federal preemption in the context of aviation-related product liability cases. These cases dealt with both the Federal Aviation Act and the General Aviation Revitalization Act, both of which have previously been held to preempt or trump state law when there is a conflict.
For those who have been harmed in an aircraft accident caused by defects parts, working with an experienced attorney who has a strong handle on the law is critical to pursuing a successful case. Building a solid product liability case in the context of aviation accidents is not necessarily an easy matter, though. One reason for this is that the applicable legal standards need to be highlighted and accurately applied.
Aircraft manufacturing is a process about which most consumers have very little knowledge. As consumers, we rely on manufacturers and their suppliers to produce quality products that function properly and do not put consumers at unnecessary risk of harm. When aircraft manufacturing goes wrong and a consumer is harmed as a result, it is important to work with an experienced attorney to build the strongest possible case for both liability and damages.
Earlier this month, the Federal Aviation Association permitted Boeing Co. to resume flights of its new 737 Max on a limited basis after a manufacturing defect was discovered. Boeing has been delayed in beginning deliveries of the jetliner to airlines after a problem was discovered with the new model’s engine. The FAA had certified the engine design back in March and no issues had been detected after 2,000 hours of testing, but it subsequently became clear that the engine used in the new jetliner model had potential quality issues.
On March 5, 2015, actor Harrison Ford took off from Santa Monica Airport in a restored World War II-era trainer, a single-engine PT-22. Almost immediately after takeoff, the aircraft experienced loss of engine power. Ford attempted to return to land at the airport but instead crashed at a nearby golf course. He suffered serious injuries, but survived to later reprise his role as Han Solo in "The Force Awakens."
Previously, we began looking at some of the legal theories that are used in product liability litigation. As we noted, strict liability is a common legal theory used in aviation-related product defect cases, because it allows consumers to more easily hold manufacturers responsible for defects.