Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP
Treating California’s Injured With Dignity And Respect
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Victims Of Plane Crashes Deserve Compensation

Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP, is a pioneer in the field of aviation disaster litigation, having obtained the first of many jury verdicts in an airplane crash case in 1967.  Since then, we have earned a national reputation for excellence in aviation law and plaintiff’s personal injury. We have handled aviation crashes involving commercial jetliners, general aviation aircraft and helicopters.

The effective practice of aviation law requires extensive knowledge and experience with complex legal issues and engineering principles, including jurisdiction and venue, international law, treaties and agreements affecting damages, statutes of repose, Federal Aviation and National Transportation Safety Board procedures and investigations, aircraft and component part manufacturer certification, manufacturing processes, and manufacturer record keeping practices and procedures.

Our attorneys have the experience and the resources to handle complex and expensive airplane accident cases against domestic and foreign aircraft and component manufacturers, such as Boeing, Airbus, Cessna, McDonnell Douglas, Piper, Beech, Learjet, GE, Rolls Royce, Pratt & Whitney, and other airplane and aviation part manufacturers.  We have access to experts in aeronautics, aircraft mechanics, avionics, systems analysis, aircraft accident reconstruction, pilot and flight training, human factors, aircraft design, airframe structure, electrical systems, hydraulic systems, air traffic control procedures, and weather.

Examples of successful aviation litigation cases that our attorneys have tried include:

  • Defective aircraft design, structural failure and defective parts cases, such as those involving fuel pumps, carburetors, autopilot systems, pilot seat pedestals, magnetos, cockpit door locks allowing intruder into cockpit, defective flight control systems, stabilizing bars, torsion coupling, defective approach plates (maps) and mapping systems
  • Human factors such as pilot error and air traffic controller negligence

We accept only a small number of airplane crash cases each year, and we devote personal attention and the strength of our experience and resources to each. We work zealously to maximize the monetary recovery for our injured clients or the families of those wrongfully killed.  If you have been injured in a plane crash or have lost a loved one, please contact our law offices today for skilled and knowledgeable legal counsel.

See the other types of motor vehicle accident cases our personal injury attorneys represent.

Some of the Aviation Accident cases ASW has handled include:

Aviation Cases

Helicopter Pilot v. Helicopter Maintenance Company – $1,458,085 award

 Pilot suffered serious injuries when his helicopter crashed due to a fuel line that fractured soon after maintenance.

Our client, a helicopter pilot for 40 years, was hired to crop dust a field near Escalon, California, when his Arrow Falcon Exporters OH58A helicopter suddenly lost power and crashed, causing him to sustain serious injuries.  After first responders extracted our client from the helicopter, he was flown to Modesto via an air ambulance for emergency medical care.  The NTSB found that the pneumatic control line connecting the power turbine governor to the engine fuel control line had fractured, causing a leak and the helicopter to lose power.  Castle Aviation and Repair was hired to service the helicopter just two days before the accident, including checking the line in question for wear or failure.  Our client suffered significant injuries that required surgery to repair a traumatically damaged aorta and to fuse his thoracic and lumbar spine.  After extensive litigation, our client received an award of $1,458,085.

Our Client vs. Cessna Aircraft Corporation

$3 million settlement against manufacturer of a single engine airplane that crashed on take-off due to defectively designed fuel distribution system. The pilot suffered paraplegia because the defectively designed seat broke when the plane crash landed after the engine stopped due to fuel starvation.

Passengers v. Aviation Parts Manufacturer – $12,500,00 verdict

Jury verdict for the wrongful death and personal injuries of passengers in an airplane crash due to a defectively manufactured magneto on one engine of a twin engine aircraft. The failure occurred on take-off, resulting in the loss of ignition and engine stoppage.

Our Client vs. Confidential Aircraft Manufacturer – $1,000,000

Wrongful death of the pilot when a single engine airplane crashed on take-off because of fuel starvation due to defectively manufactured fuel pump.  Products liability case brought against the manufacturers of the airplane and the fuel injector for the wrongful death.

Our Client vs. Confidential Airline – $500,000

Passenger suffered an ankle fracture due to combination of pilot error in the control of a jet airliner and turbulence. The flight crew subsequently attempted to cover up the fact that they allowed the aircraft to descend below assigned altitude and had to abruptly correct flight path.

Passengers v. USA and Jeppsen and Co. – $11,600,000 verdict

Crash of a DC-9 cargo jet and the death of its crew due to a defective aeronautical navigation chart used by the pilot resulted in a large jury verdict.