Overview

Our lawyers have extensive general product liability experience, having litigated thousands of matters in jurisdictions throughout the United States. We serve as national counsel to many clients and achieve cost-effective litigation management by knowing each client’s business and industry, understanding recurring factual and legal issues in the litigation facing each client and creating a strategic approach that is uniformly applied. We use sophisticated extranets and electronic case management tools, customized electronic invoicing and 24/7 IT support to efficiently manage client matters and communications. By investing time to understand the client’s business and industry, we are able to apply our extensive product liability experience in a way that meets each client’s specific needs and to develop a cost-effective approach to litigation management and resolution.

Aviation Litigators

Thompson Hine’s Product Liability group has extensive experience defending airframe and aircraft component part manufacturers against product liability actions arising from aviation incidents. We also have litigated aviation industry commercial disputes and counseled industry members in dispute resolution and risk avoidance.

Experience
Representative Experience
  • We secured a defense verdict for an aircraft components manufacturer in an aviation product liability action in which the plaintiffs represented the estates of the pilot and two passengers who died in a 2005 accident involving an allegedly defective aircraft exhaust system manufactured by a predecessor of the client. After more than eight years of litigation, the jury returned a defense verdict on all five claims submitted.
  • We secured a defense verdict for an aircraft components manufacturer in Douglas County, Nebraska following a three-and-a-half week trial.  The plaintiff, who claimed that the aircraft suffered an ice-contaminated tailplane stall that resulted in part from the aircraft’s allegedly defective deicing system, asserted negligence and strict product liability claims against our client.  After more than five years of litigation, the jury returned a verdict in favor of all the defendants, finding that the plaintiff failed to prove any of his claims.
  • We defended a fuel pump manufacturer in a product liability action arising out of a helicopter accident.
  • We obtained a defense verdict in a $90 million product liability action relating to the deicing equipment installed on an Embraer EMB-120 commercial aircraft. The aircraft crashed in icing conditions near Monroe, Michigan, resulting in 29 fatalities. The case involved allegations regarding the coverage area of the pneumatic equipment and instructions relating to its operation. At trial, we obtained a directed verdict on the design claim and a defense jury verdict on the warning claim, which were both successfully defended on appeal.
  • We prosecuted a commercial action on behalf of a major manufacturer of commercial and general aviation component parts. The part at issue was a fuel spray nozzle used in certain Rolls Royce engines installed on Airbus and Boeing aircraft. A commercial airliner experienced an in-flight engine fire and shutdown in Paris that was linked to the failure of the fuel spray nozzle. This led to the worldwide replacement of thousands of fuel spray nozzles on hundreds of aircraft and millions of dollars in damages to the manufacturer and its insurer. We developed a case for liability against the forging supplier, resulting in a highly favorable resolution.
  • We defended a European manufacturer of rotary aircraft in a product liability action arising from a fatal MedEvac helicopter crash. The incident occurred when the helicopter attempted lift-off from a hospital roof in high wind. Our lawyers successfully positioned the case for a favorable resolution.
  • We represented the leading manufacturer of general aviation global positioning systems against a product liability action arising from a fatal accident involving a Mooney M20R Ovation in Virginia. We obtained a dismissal of all claims against the component part manufacturer.
  • We have defended the world’s leading deicing equipment manufacturer against multiple claims arising from fatal crashes of cargo and private flights involving deicing equipment installed on Cessna 208B Caravan aircraft.
  • We defended an avionics manufacturer in an alleged product liability matter arising from an in-flight collision of a Cessna 172 and a Lancair 235.
  • We defended a major manufacturer of aircraft engines and component parts against a personal injury claim involving the separation of a magneto from a Piper Lance II aircraft after take-off. The event resulted in significant injuries to a businessman who asserted a $20 million economic loss claim due the business interruption caused by the event. We obtained a dismissal of the economic loss claim, thereby positioning the case for resolution.
  • We represented a manufacturer of aircraft engine mufflers in litigation arising from a three-person fatal crash involving a Grumman American AA-5.
  • We defended an aircraft maintenance provider against claims by the family of an Ohio-based passenger killed in a US Airways commuter crash in North Carolina. Claims relating to the event were consolidated through multidistrict litigation, and the Ohio-based claims were resolved without significant expense.
  • We defended a general aviation aircraft manufacturer against a claim involving engine fire damage. We successfully resolved the case in a cost-efficient and effective manner.
  • We defended the manufacturer of landing gear components for C-130 aircraft in a commercial dispute and prosecuted a counterclaim for unpaid amounts. The matter was successfully resolved without trial.
  • We counseled an aircraft maintenance company in connection with the resolution of pre-suit claims arising from the fatal crash of a cargo aircraft near St. Louis, Missouri. The matter was resolved before costly litigation was commenced.