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Significant Cases

Aviation Cases

Carolina Industrial Products, Inc. v. Learjet, Inc., 189 F.Supp.2d 1147 (D.Kan.2001).

Plaintiff purchased a Lear Model 25D which had been cobbled together from two other scrapped Model 25D aircraft parts. Plaintiff entered into a service agreement with a repair facility during which the aircraft was damaged in a landing accident. Plaintiff sued Learjet after the manufacturer refused to provide engineering or technical support for the aircraft because it had been previously attrited and sold for scrap. Plaintiff claimed that Learjet tortiously interfered with the service contract and business expectancy, engaged in deceptive trade practices, disparaged the aircraft, abused a monopoly power and was negligent. Summary judgment was granted to Learjet on all grounds.

Roll v. Tracor, Inc., 140 F.Supp.2d 1073 (D.Nev.2001).

An airman was severely injured when countermeasure flares, which were improperly repackaged by Air Force personnel, ignited at Nellis Air Force Base and he sued several defendant corporations. Summary judgment granted for those corporations whose predecessors never designed, manufactured or distributed the flares.

Eakin v. United Technology Corp., 998 F.Supp. 1422 (S.D.Fla.1998).

(Plaintiff representation)

Plaintiff was injured in a helicopter crash during a logging operation and filed suit against Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation. Plaintiff’s workers compensation insurance carrier filed an intervention to recover benefits paid to Plaintiff. After Plaintiff and Sikorsky reached a settlement, the carrier claimed a lien on the proceeds under Louisiana law. Upon Plaintiff’s motion to reconsider the Trial Court’s ruling denying Plaintiff’s right to have the carrier assume a proportionate share of attorney’s fees, the Court reexamined the applicable laws of the case and determined the carrier was liable for a share of attorney’s fees.

Potter v. Delta Airlines, Inc., 98 F.3d 881 (5th Cir.1996).

Passenger brought Warsaw Convention and state law negligence action against Delta claiming injury resulting from another passenger’s reclined seat position. Delta removed the action to federal court, moved for protection from discovery and for summary judgment. The Court of Appeals affirmed the Trial Court’s grant of summary judgment because the Warsaw Convention provided the Passenger’s exclusive cause of action, preempting her state law claims, and because Passenger failed to prove that an "accident" occurred as defined in the Convention.

Perez v. Lockheed Corp., 88 F.3d 340 (5th Cir.1996).

Plaintiffs sued Lockheed following fatal crash of an Air Force C-5A claiming negligence and products liability. The Court of Appeals affirmed the Trial Court’s grant of summary judgment as aircraft manufacturers had no duty under Georgia law to warn the military about any inherent dangers in the aircraft’s electrical circuit design where the military was so involved in the aircraft project that it was a learned intermediary and knew about any danger.

In re Air Disaster at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, 81 F.3d 570 (5th Cir.1996).

Plaintiffs sued Lockheed following fatal crash of an Air Force C-5A claiming negligence and products liability. The Court of Appeals affirmed the Trial Court’s grant of summary judgment holding that Lockheed had governmental contractor immunity from claims of strict liability, negligence, breach of warranty, and gross negligence in design, manufacture, and marketing of the aircraft. The Court of Appeals further held that manufacturers had no duty, under Georgia law, to warn the military of any danger in design of the aircraft’s electrical circuits.

Other Significant Cases

H.E. Butt Grocery Company v. Pais, 955 S.W.2d 384 (Tex.App.-San Antonio 1997).

Plaintiff brought suit for injuries incurred during a "slip and fall" in a grocery store. After a jury verdict finding the Plaintiff 51% at fault, the Trial Court reformed the judgment in favor of the Plaintiff and HEB appealed. The Court of Appeals reversed the judgment, finding that the Plaintiff failed to establish "unanimous error" in the jury finding and that the Trial Court could not amend any judicial error to reform the original judgment.

Jennings v. H.E. Butt Grocery Company, 1998 WL 88625 (Tex.App.-San Antonio 1998).

Plaintiff filed suit against H.E.B. on September 11, 1995 alleging negligence for injuries incurred on September 12, 1993. Plaintiff failed to serve H.E.B. for approximately eight months. H.E.B. moved for and was granted summary judgment by the Trial Court based on the expiration of the statute of limitations. Plaintiff appealed complaining that the Trial Court erred in granting summary judgment because H.E.B. failed to establish that her attorney did not use due diligence in effecting service. The Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment of the Trial Court.