Strict Liability in Aviation Accidents
According to the Aircraft Crashes Records Office, the year 2002 had the lowest number of aviation accident deaths since 1947. There were 154 plane crashes and 1,379 fatalities. While pilot error often plays a role in airplane accidents, the aircraft manufacturer or the company that produced an airplane part may also be liable for injuries or deaths caused by the accident.
An aircraft manufacturer can be held strictly liable if a defective product causes an injury. In a strict liability claim, it is not necessary to prove negligence on the part of the manufacturer. To show strict liability in a products liability suit, the person suing has to show: (1) the product was defective when it was sold or distributed; (2) the product was used as intended or in a way that the manufacturer could have expected; and (3) the product caused the injury or death.
A product can be defective in the following ways: a design defect, a manufacturing defect, or a failure to warn defect. A product is defectively designed when there is a flaw within the design of the product. The flaw makes the product dangerous when it is used as intended or in a way that the manufacturer could have anticipated. A product is defectively manufactured when it fails to comply with design standards. Manufacturing defects include missing or inferior parts and faulty construction. If the manufacturer fails to provide adequate warnings or directions for use, the product may be considered defective. The manufacturer must warn of any dangers associated with the product that are not obvious.
Consult an Attorney
Litigation resulting from aviation accidents is complex. It involves a technical understanding of aviation. There are specific laws in the field of aviation, including the Federal Aviation Administration's rules and regulations. It is important to consult an attorney with experience in aviation litigation following an injury or death due to an aviation accident.
Copyright 2012 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.