Did a defective aircraft product injure you or a loved one? The Phoenix aviation accident attorneys of Gallagher & Kennedy can help you seek compensation from the company that manufactured it.
Securing compensation for aviation accident victims requires experience, resources, aggression, and grit. Our attorneys have handled litigation arising from some of the most noteworthy and complex aviation disasters in the United States and nearly all the aviation accident cases in Arizona in the last ten years. Victims of these disasters turn to Gallagher & Kennedy because of our track record of results. We understand the aviation industry’s complexities and have seen how a small component failure can devastate lives. Our Phoenix aviation product defect lawyers use that knowledge and experience to pursue the best possible outcome for our clients.
You have many options when it comes to personal injury firms. Why choose Gallagher & Kennedy to handle your defective aircraft product case?
We have significant experience handling complex aircraft cases and extensive knowledge of aviation laws and regulations.
Our attorneys have a track record of securing outstanding results for our clients, including a $3 million settlement of wrongful death claims for the families of victims in a small aircraft crash and a $1.125 million settlement for the victims of an Alaska airplane crash.
Over 40 years, our firm has earned a reputation for unwavering commitment to our clients and community. We are proud of our talented team and friendly workplace. We strive to be both good lawyers and good citizens.
We provide the resources of a large firm with the attentive client service of a boutique outfit.
We never charge our clients a dime out-of-pocket. Our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid if we successfully secure compensation in your case.
Types of Aircraft Product Defect Cases We Handle
The aviation attorneys at Gallagher & Kennedy handle the most challenging cases, including those involving aircraft product defects. These cases involve complex legal issues that an average product liability attorney is ill-equipped to handle.
Product defects may occur on any type of aircraft, including:
While major airline disasters like the recent Boeing 737 MAX crashes that killed 346 passengers attract the most media attention, many more accidents occur every year, injuring innocent passengers without most people noticing. The lawyers at Gallagher & Kennedy notice, though, and we care about the harm you suffered from a defective aircraft component.
We represent victims of all types of defective aviation product accidents, including those caused by:
Overhead baggage bin defects
Landing gear failure
Defective oxygen masks
Inoperable emergency lights
Tripping over broken components
Bathroom component defects
Seat tray defects
Fires from electrical defects or fluid leaks
Aircraft door or window defects
Cabin depressurization due to component or system failure
Emergency and safety equipment failures
In-flight turbulence issues caused by flight control failure
Who Is Responsible for a Defective Aircraft Product?
Defects can occur at any point in the design, manufacturing, sale, distribution, or installation processes.
That leaves numerous parties potentially liable for a defective product, including:
The company that designed the defective product. Sometimes, the design of a component makes it inherently unsafe. In these cases, those injured by the product can hold the company that designed the product liable.
The company that manufactured the defective product or a component of it. Companies often manufacture products based on another firm’s designs. Suppose that company makes an otherwise safe product such that it is no longer safe to use in the aircraft (for example, it utilizes contaminated materials). In that case, the manufacturer may be responsible for the product’s harm.
The company that sold or distributed the defective product. Sometimes, a company knows that a product it sells or distributes is unsafe. Still, it sells the product anyways to make profits. The seller could be liable for knowingly selling a defective product for use.
The company that installed the defective product. A safe product could become defective if installed improperly. The product installer could be liable for defects caused by faulty installation.
The company that provided inadequate warning or instructions about a product. A company must explain how to use its products safely and warn of any dangers. Failure to do so presents liability. For example, suppose a manufacturer fails to warn that an aircraft component cannot withstand certain conditions. In that case, it could be liable if an accident occurs because the operators were unaware of the component’s limitations.
Largest Aircraft Manufacturing Companies
Polaris Market Research values the global aircraft manufacturing market at $413.51 billion and forecasts the industry to grow 3.7 percent annually due to increasing demand from commercial airlines and the defense sector.
The largest aircraft manufacturing companies include:
Cessna Aircraft Company
Hawker Beechcraft Corp.
Piaggio America Inc.
Pilatus Business Aircraft Ltd
United Aircraft Corporation
Aircraft Product Defect FAQs
Below, you’ll find the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions about aircraft component liability in Arizona.
Who Investigates an Aircraft Product Defect Accident?
After suffering an injury in an aircraft accident, you may not know why the accident occurred or that a defective product is to blame for months or years. While you struggle to recover from your injuries, the attorneys at Gallagher & Kennedy can investigate the accident to determine how it occurred and which entity is responsible.
Depending on the accident, your attorney may uncover evidence that prompts an investigation by a federal or state authority, such as the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). In some cases, the NTSB may launch an investigation immediately after the accident. The NTSB investigates approximately 2,000 aviation accidents and incidents each year.
Under federal regulation, the aircraft operator must report to the NTSB any accident that meets specific criteria, such as a flight control system malfunction, internal turbine engine component failure, in-flight fire, or significant cockpit display failure. The aircraft operator must submit their report to the NTSB field office nearest to the accident within ten days. The report should include detailed information about the accident and crewmember statements.
Until the NTSB takes custody of it, the aircraft operator is responsible for preserving any wreckage, cargo, and mail aboard the aircraft and all records about the operation and maintenance of the aircraft. It must also retain any records, reports, internal documents, or memoranda about the accident.
Once the NTSB launches an investigation, its investigators will gather data and information to determine a probable cause of the accident. After analyzing the evidence, NTSB specialists will write a report that describes the accident, reviews the investigative analysis, and explains the likely cause. The full board reviews and adopts the report before releasing it to the public.
If the NTSB’s investigation reveals critical safety issues, it may issue safety recommendations to regulatory agencies, manufacturers, state and local authorities, companies, and other aviation organizations.
Gallagher & Kennedy has represented victims of many high-profile aviation accidents, so we are intimately familiar with the NTSB’s process. In most cases, an NTSB investigation can take one to two years. We know those aviation accident victims cannot wait that long for justice. That’s why we will begin our own investigation immediately and work aggressively to determine the cause of the accident independent of the NTSB’s process.
How Often Do Product Defects Cause Aircraft Accidents or Injuries?
Hundreds of thousands of individual parts collectively make up a single aircraft. For example, approximately 600,000 parts are in Boeing’s Next Generation 737. That presents thousands upon thousands of opportunities for a defective part to cause an accident.
A search of the NTSB’s Case Analysis and Reporting Online Query Tool returns over 500 aviation incident investigations over the last four decades in which the probable cause involved some sort of malfunction, including, right here in Arizona:
March 2021 near Phoenix, Arizona: While climbing through 22,000 feet, a single-engine plane experienced substantial damage when the main cabin door flew off and struck the side of the aircraft. Investigations determined a malfunctioning door latch mechanism to be the probable cause of the accident.
July 2020 near Payson, Arizona: A helicopter experienced a loss of control mid-flight, allegedly caused by a flight control stiffness or hydraulic hardover, in turn potentially caused by a failure within the irreversible valve on either lateral servo.
May 2014 near Page, Arizona: During a local sightseeing flight, a Cessna plane’s engine lost partial power, resulting in the aircraft flipping over after making a hard landing short of the runway. The post-accident investigation could not determine the exact cause of the engine losing power.
Beyond these 500 reported accidents, there are unknown more that did not rise to the attention of the NTSB. These accidents can nonetheless inflict significant harm on victims. Furthermore, some incidents involve a component or system malfunction, but the exact cause of that malfunction is unclear.
Which Laws Apply to Aircraft Product Defect Cases?
Numerous federal and state laws and regulations apply to the aviation industry. You may find it difficult to determine which law or regulation is pertinent to your case. Our aviation attorneys know the law forward and backward and can help you understand your legal options for pursuing the compensation you deserve.
Beyond aviation laws, cases involving an aircraft product defect also invoke product liability laws. There is no federal product liability law. Rather, each state creates its own laws to hold manufacturers and sellers accountable for dangerous products. In Arizona, many aviation product liability cases will apply the theory of strict product liability, which states that a company may be liable if a defect in its product inflicts injuries. Under strict liability, the victim does not need to prove that the manufacturer was negligent, making it much easier to hold manufacturers in high-risk industries (such as aviation) accountable.
How Do I Recover Compensation to Cover My Accident-Related Expenses?
Our attorneys understand the financial burden aviation accidents inflict on their victims. You need money right now to pay your hospital bills and provide for your family while you’re out of work due to your injuries. Gallagher & Kennedy can help you file a personal injury claim against the defective product’s manufacturer.
Moreover, you should not have to pay for an accident that was not your fault. You have suffered enough. Let our attorneys shoulder the burden of a defective aircraft accident claim, pursuing the money you need without upfront cost to you.
How Much Is My Aircraft Product Defect Case Worth?
It is difficult to estimate the amount of compensation a victim of an aircraft product defect case might recover without knowing the facts of their case. If you call Gallagher & Kennedy, our attorneys will listen to your story, gather the facts, and provide our best estimate.
With our assistance, you could potentially recover compensation for:
Current and future medical expenses, including hospital bills, surgery, physical therapy, medication, and medical equipment
Lost wages if you must miss work during your recovery
Loss of future earning capacity if your injuries prevent you from returning to work
Pain and suffering
Loss of companionship
Funeral and burial expenses, in cases of wrongful death
If an aircraft accident caused by a defective product left you injured and hurting, Gallagher & Kennedy is here to help. For over 40 years, our attorneys have tackled the most challenging cases, including aviation accidents, and secured multi-million-dollar settlements and judgments for our clients.
Aviation accidents caused by defective components are complex and require sophisticated knowledge of aviation, manufacturing, and liability laws. You cannot find that knowledge just anywhere. Our clients depend on Gallagher & Kennedy in tough times because we offer big-firm results with boutique-level service. Call us today at (602) 530-8400 or contact us through our website for a free consultation.
“Professional and determined, GK and Austin Kurtz we’re a delight to work with. I’ve worked with several other top firms in town over the years and have had the best overall experience with GK.”
To seek representation, please call Gallagher & Kennedy directly at (602) 530-8400 or fill in the Request below. Our first step will be to determine whether a conflict of interest exists. If no conflict of interest exists, you will be contacted so we can put you in touch with the lawyer best suited to handle your matter.