September 11th- On Sunday in Nevada, three individuals lost their lives in a tragic plane crash, according to NBC News. Ian Gregor of the Federal Aviation Department reports that just after taking off from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport around 6:15 p.m., the Piper-Cherokee plane carrying the three people crashed into a parking lot. The Reno-Tahoe International Airport reported that the plane was heading for San Carlos Airport, which is about 23 miles south of San Francisco.
According to SFGate News, the Washoe County Coroner’s Office, the three people who died were the pilot, 57-year-old Robert Drescher, Ed Mumbert, a San Jose Bail bondsman, and 34-year old Ronni Hernandez, whose hometown remains unknown. Witnesses reported that the crash damaged 13 cars, totaling three. It remains unclear whether the crash resulted from negligence or a defect in the plane’s function.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, 449 fatalities resulted from aviation accidents in 2012 alone and 443 resulted from aviation accidents in 2013.
A number of factors involved in an aviation accident can give rise to liability. If airport personnel fails to fulfill their duty of ordinary care in ensuring a safe flight, and such a breach of duty results in injury or death, then the airport can be held liable for the injuries.
If the particular plane that crashed had a defect that other planes manufactured by the defendant don’t have, the manufacturer defendant may be held liable for a manufacturing defect. In such a situation, in order to establish liability, a plaintiff must prove 1) that the manufacturer defendant made and sold the airplane, 2) that the plane contained a manufacturing defect at the time it left the defendant’s possession, 3) that the plaintiff was harmed, and 4) that the plane’s defect was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s harm.
Alternatively, a plaintiff can establish what is called a “design defect” claim if there is an inherent problem with the plane’s design that all the manufactuerer’s planes have. In such a situation, a plaintiff can establish liability where a court finds that the risks of the manufacturer’s chosen design outweigh its benefits, and such risks were a substantial factor in causing a plaintiff’s injury.
If you or a loved one has been harmed by a plane crash, and you believe the crash resulted from negligence or a manufacturing/design defect, contact our office.