Worst Aviation Accident Lawsuits in Recent History

by JRO on January 10, 2013

When aviation accidents occur, they makes news headlines and usually the news is grim. Reports of deaths and severe injuries are heart breaking to hear. They are especially devastating to family members who are left to pick up the pieces of their lives after such a terrible loss.

Multi million dollar lawsuits are not unheard of following these tragedies. Recently, there have been huge lawsuits and settlements because of the excellent skills of law firms handling the cases. The largest money awards are usually experienced during jury trials. This is partly due to empathy jurors feel for those critically injured and for those left  after losing their loved ones.

A 55 Million Dollar Settlement In Daytona Beach In 2007

In 2007, a jury in Daytona Beach awarded two young men, a student and his flight instructor, a record-setting <a href=””>55 million dollar settlement</a>. Both men were severely injured but survived the crash of the Cessna 150 they were in. Their lawsuit was against Teledyne Continental Motors, the makers of the plane’s engine, and against Precision Airmotive, the makers of the plane’s carburetors.

It was determined that carburetors were defective and that engines in these planes were malfunctioning. It turned out that both manufacturers knew of the recurring defect problems but chose to ignore them. Both plaintiffs suffered not only physical injuries but post traumatic stress injuries as well and were forced to give up their dreams of being airline pilots.

A Single Engine Aircraft Breaks Up In Flight Killing Two Dentists

An award of <a href=”—2009.asp”>$19 Million</a> was given to the families of two dentists in 2009, when it was determined that the plane they were flying in, a single engine model, broke up in flight due to something called flutter. When the phenomena known as flutter breakup occurs, the plane normally disintegrates immediately, due to the aerodynamic surfaces or the flight controls creating what is known as a harmonic.

The two men, prominent dentists, left two wives and a total of ten children behind. They were killed instantly when the accident occurred. This type of accident is similar to the plane exploding. It usually happens in a time of structural failure and happens extremely quickly and violently.

Almost $89 Million Awarded In Carburetor Failure And Takeoff Power Loss Accident

When a single engine plane crashed, killing three people and severely injuring a fourth, a jury in Philadelphia awarded a record-breaking <a href=”—2011.asp”>$89 million</a> in damages. This case kept being appealed and took almost ten years to come to a complete settlement. It was finally settled in 2010. It was found in this case that a defective carburetor failed, bolts loosened and fuel flooded in causing a loss of power on take off.

$11 Million Dollar Verdict In A Georgia Plane Crash

Jurors awarded over $11 million to two plaintiffs, a male doctor and a female airline pilot, who were injured in a crash at an airport near Atlanta, GA. Both victims suffered third-degree burns which occurred on over 35 percent of their bodies. The plane they were flying lost engine power and crashed into a water treatment plant shortly after taking off. It was found that there was negligence in the plane’s maintenance and during inspections of it.

Multi million dollar settlements help to compensate victims and their families when an airplane catastrophe happens. No amount of money will ever bring back those lost when these tragedies occur. A settlement, however, can be helpful to their families.


This piece was contributed by Travis Leary, a freelancer based in the Seattle area; Travis often writes on law, politics, and current events. Legal issues are extremely diverse and varied; for those who need assistance with difficult family law issues, see a Denton divorce attorney with significant experience in this area.




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