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When an small aircraft, also known as a general aviation aircraft, crashes in the United States, the National Transportation Safety Board is called to the scene to investigate and later determine what the probable cause was. The NTSB’s role is solely to find out what caused the airplane to crash. They are not authorized to find out who or which parties (whether it be the pilot, a maintenance facility, the airplane manufacturer or others) are responsible for the crash. That task falls into the hands of lawyers representing the victims’ families. This often involves using investigative tools that the NTSB does not have. The lawyers representing the families of those who perished in a general aviation accident, can dedicate more time and resources to thoroughly investigating small aircraft crashes.
From business jets and cargo transports to racers and gliders, general aviation flights can cover a number of flight operations, including:
General aviation includes all flights excluding military and commercial and private scheduled airlines—it accounts for more than 70 percent of all flights in the United States.
According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), “general aviation continues to have the highest aviation accident rates within civil aviation: six times higher than small commuter and air taxi operations and more than 40 times higher than larger transport category operations.” This problem exists because improvements need to be made.
The NTSB suggests that to decrease the crash and fatality rate of general aviation flights, there should be:
All 88 people—five crew and 83 passengers—were killed and the plane destroyed.
If you’ve been injured or you’ve lost a loved one in a general aviation accident, you want an aviation accident attorney who gets results and who knows how to protect your rights. With 90 years of experience, Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy is confident in our ability to represent your case.
Our aviation accident lawyers view every case as an opportunity to improve the aviation industry so other people don’t have to experience what you did. Give us a call today at (216) 621-2300 or fill out a free initial consultation form.
One of the largest air crash disaster verdicts was handed down on Dec. 14, 2011, by a Philadelphia jury, which awarded $11.35 million in compensatory damages to Dr. Robert Marsico Jr. and his fiancée, Heather Moran, both of Akron, Ohio, in an action against Winner Aviation Corporation. (Case No. 000169, Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania).
Dr. Marsico, a dermatologic surgeon, and Ms. Moran, a professional pilot, were flying back to Ohio in Dr. Marsico’s private airplane when it developed engine problems and crashed shortly after takeoff from DeKalb‐Peachtree Airport in Georgia on August 8, 2007. Dr. Marsico and Ms. Moran both suffered disabling and disfiguring injuries, including third degree burns covering nearly 40 percent of their bodies. The lawsuit against Winner Aviation was tried in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, and the jury found that Winner Aviation was negligent and breached warranties in its inspection, maintenance, and repair of the Skymaster, and that this misconduct was a direct cause of the crash. Attorney Jamie R. Lebovitz was able to help secure a $11.35 million verdict for Dr. Marisco and Ms. Moran.
A Cuyahoga County jury awarded John White and his wife $7.4 million—the largest plane crash personal injury verdict in Ohio—for the injuries he suffered as a result of a plane crash in Lake Erie. The plaintiff’s unanimous verdict included $6.43 million for Mr. White’s injuries and $1 million for his wife.
Mr. White’s legs and spine were crushed in the aviation accident, which required multiple surgeries; although, he will never fully recover from the damages he suffered. Mr. White’s wife had to quit her job to be able to care for her husband.
The plaintiffs, with the help of Attorney Jamie Lebovitz and his legal team, sued the estate of the pilot who died in the crash, the pilot’s business, and the family trust of the pilot. The week-long trial was heard before Common Pleas Judge Nancy Russo.
Read about more aviation accident cases we’ve handled.