Aircraft Accidents Are Our Sole Focus
Our attorneys have successfully represented victims of virtually every major air disaster that occurred in the United States and many that occurred abroad in the past 35 years, including Northwest Airlines flight 255 at Detroit, Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, Continental Airlines flight 1713 in Denver, United Airlines flight 811 over the Pacific Ocean, United Airlines flight 585 at Colorado Springs, TWA Airlines flight 800 over the Atlantic Ocean, Korean Airlines flight 801 on Guam Island, American Eagle flight 3379 near Raleigh- Durham, United Airlines flight 232 at Sioux City, Iowa, USAir flight 427 near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Comair flight 3272 near Detroit and Comair 5191 at Lexington, Kentucky. We proudly represented the flight crew of the Boeing 737 Max airliner that crashed at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In addition to commercial airline disasters, we have represented countless victims of general aviation air crashes.
For over thirty-five years our law firm, its partners, associates, paralegals, and staff, have been devoted to zealously advancing our clients’ interests in personal injury and wrongful death claims arising from aircraft accidents. We have led the way in product liability trials to jury verdicts on complex issues of improper aircraft design and manufacture resulting in mistakes that induced systems failures leading to crashes. To name only a few, we have successfully handled cases involving inadequate airframe de-icing systems, reversing rudders, runaway trim systems, flutter induced in-flight structural failures, autopilot malfunctions, engine malfunctions, fly-by- wire failures causing loss of directional control and failures in complex after-market augmented flight control systems. We have handled innumerable cases involving improper maintenance on aircraft and pilot error, including flight into severe weather.
We have a proud history of favorable jury verdicts and settlements. In addition to the compensation and closure that we have provided for our clients, we have also advanced the rights of every aviation accident victim through our legal advocacy. Katzman, Lampert & Stoll stood at the front line of federal preemption litigation, which if lost would have precluded every personal injury and wrongful death claim against culpable aviation manufacturers. We twice litigated federal preemption to the United States Supreme Court, and we succeeded. We have stood at the top echelon of the legal practice and have litigated in courts across the country.
Most importantly, we are trial lawyers who willingly take on the most challenging cases and zealously fight to obtain a just result for our clients.
Our Commitment to Air Law and Litigation
Letter to Prospective Clients
Truth About Airplane Incidents
The relationship of our law firm with our clients often begins in the midst of great human tragedy. When aviation goes wrong, it has the capacity to hurt and kill. With each death and injury, grief ripples through loving relationships, families and extended families, bringing terrible loss and sorrow.
Often at some point, even in the midst of such horrific loss, there arise questions – the questions of “why and how?” Why did this accident happen? How did it happen? How can it be prevented from happening again?
Like many law firms, we have airline injury attorneys dedicated to advancing our clients’ causes. The difference is that at Katzman Lampert & Stoll, our aviation lawyers are pilots, engineers, investigators, and reconstructionists. We believe there is a need to seek and determine the real and true cause of an aviation tragedy while obtaining fair and just compensation for accident victims and their families. Because governmental agencies have abdicated their policing functions to the very industries they are charged with regulating, our legal system is left to and must hold accountable wrongdoers for their misdeeds. Public policy and corporate boardroom misbehavior can be and often are revealed and influenced by the piercing light of litigation’s discoveries.
Although the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is responsible for investigating and determining the probable cause of aviation accidents in the United States, it lacks sufficient budget, manpower, experts, and inclination to fully and properly investigate most general aviation and many commercial aircraft accidents. In most general aviation accident cases, the NTSB investigators typically spend only one day at an accident scene and quickly send the airframe and engine parts to their manufacturers for examination and testing – the fox watching the hen house – before closing the file with “pilot error” rubber stamped as the probable cause.
Experienced Aviation Attorneys
In high-profile aviation mass disaster accidents, the NTSB will expend more time, manpower, and money; however, in reality these efforts are directed more toward political rather than technical issues. The NTSB’s investigations are a mile wide, but only an inch deep, because the government’s investigators simply do not want to find technical flaws that might negatively affect an entire fleet of airplanes to the economic detriment of the manufacturers. Three specific examples of aviation product design flaws quickly come to mind in which this firm has been deeply involved and where the NTSB has had its “head in the sand”: un-commanded rudder reversal on 737 aircraft; an explosive mixture of fuel and air in the centerline fuel tanks of wide-body aircraft; and the lack of a requirement for use of child restraints on commercial airliners.
Through political lobbying and by actual participation as “party representatives” to most aviation accident investigations, industry has effectively co-opted the integrity of the government accident investigation process. It is left to aviation accident attorneys, especially those of us who are pilots and engineers deeply interested in finding the truth, to expend the time and invest the money and manpower to get to the bottom of these great tragedies. Litigation and the potential of large jury damage awards are, in many cases, the only checks and balances on the unbridled profit motive of corporate entities.
The attorneys of Katzman Lampert & Stoll have an established track record of tirelessly running down every lead and clue, performing the necessary engineering analysis, and undertaking the extensive flight tests needed to determine the cause of an accident. These efforts have resulted in advances in aircraft design, more reliable power plants, improved air traffic control procedures, and more crashworthy aircraft. As pilots ourselves, we prefer to prevent the next accident rather than to re-litigate over and over again the same problem at the cost of additional loss of life and the terrible pain inflicted by each accident. This is the higher goal that we seek to achieve.
You can expect, and we promise, a partnership dedicated to finding the truth and holding legally accountable the individuals or corporations whose actions have caused a tragedy. We seek to hold wrongdoers accountable and obtain fair and just compensation for those who have suffered a tragic loss from an aviation accident, while protecting other people from a similar fate in the future.
VERY SINCERELY, THE AVIATION ATTORNEYS OF KATZMAN LAMPERT & STOLL
Aviation Crashes and Accidents in the News
Below you will find articles about some of our recent cases, as well as news related to aviation crashes.
On Wednesday, March 1, 2023, seven passengers aboard Lufthansa flight 469 sustained injuries requiring hospitalization resulting from severe turbulence that the airplane encountered while in cruise flight at 37,000 feet over Tennessee. The flight was enroute from...
Sadly, another PC-12 medevac airplane, this one federally registered as N273SM, has crashed. The crash occurred on the night of February 24, 2023, after takeoff in poor weather from Reno, Nevada, enroute to Salt Lake City, Utah. All five occupants perished, including...
On December 18, 2022 at about 10:30 am local time, HA35 experienced severe turbulence causing injuries to a large number of passengers. Three dozen people were hurt - 11 of them seriously - when a flight from Phoenix to Honolulu was rocked by severe turbulence on...