Posted by: Brent Anderson | November 16, 2012

Litigation and Scared Passengers

Well, litigation is still alive and well.  In the insurance industry we are always concerned about making sure aircraft owners have adequate insurance coverage for their passengers “bodily injury”.  “Bodily Injury” means physical injury sustained and includes sickness, disease, mental anguish and death.  Recently we have been reminded it doesn’t take physical injury to generate a lawyer’s interest.  All you really need to do is scare the crap out of your passengers and watch the lawsuits fly.

In Chicago early this month passengers on Polish Lot Airlines filed a lawsuit against Boeing, where they are headquartered, claiming both physical and psychological damage. They contend there are design flaws in the 15 year old 767-300ER which led to the hydraulic system leak resulting in a gear up landing at the Warsaw Chopin Airport.  The pilot made a well executed gear up landing and no one was injured.  The passengers praised the crew as heroes at the time.  During the aircraft recovery a ground power unit was connected and a circuit breaker was reset and the alternate landing gear extension system lowered the gear.  Oop’s, did we forget to check something?     Since the aircraft flew from Newark (EWR) to Warsaw the passengers had plenty of time to worry and be scared so this should help build their “mental anguish” case.

Plane Crash Plane Crash

This week we see another wild ride in a Cessna Citation 525B crash. Apparently no serious passenger injuries but based on the security camera video it would certainly scare the passengers enough to excite some lawyers again.

Here is a quote from the Mission Statement for American Tort Reform Association:

“Today, America’s $246 billion civil justice system is the most expensive in the industrialized world. Aggressive personal injury lawyers target certain professions, industries, and individual companies as profit centers. They systematically recruit clients who may never have suffered a real illness or injury and use scare tactics, combined with the promise of awards, to bring these people into massive class action suits. They effectively tap the media to rally sentiment for multi-million-dollar punitive damage awards. This leads many companies to settle questionable lawsuits just to stay out of court. These lawsuits are bad for business; they are also bad for society. They compromise access to affordable health care, punish consumers by raising the cost of goods and services, chill innovation, and undermine the notion of personal responsibility.”

If there is one thing I see repeatedly its claim settlement to avoid court costs.  It angers the insured even though it is his own insurance company working on his behalf.

The next time you go flying, be sure you don’t scare the passengers; it might cost you more.

If you would like more information on Brent Anderson visit his bio page or if you would like more info on CS&A Aviation Insurance don’t hesitate to call Brent at 800.999.1109 or visit our web site.

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