Airplane Crash Verdict

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$115.75 Million Awarded to Families of Flight Crew Killed in Cargo Plane Crash

Families of military support personnel who perished in a tragic airplane crash in Afghanistan on April 29, 2013, received a verdict following trial in the Circuit Court of Cook County. At trial, the families of three flight crewmembers received a total of $115,000,000.

The deceased crewmembers were operating a cargo plane for a private air carrier that contracted with the government to transport military equipment. The aircraft, carrying armored vehicles, took off from a military base in Afghanistan. The final destination was California.

Transporting vehicles of this size and weight requires that the equipment be tied down so it does not move during the flight. This is especially important when an airplane is taking off and climbing. It is noticeable when watching an airplane takeoff that the aircraft is angled upward, with its nose toward the sky. If heavy objects are unsecure or loose, they could slide toward the tail of the airplane. If this occurs, the aircraft can pitch up dramatically and enter into a “stall.” When a stall occurs, the aircraft can drop hundreds of feet before it can recover. But when close to the ground on takeoff, the aircraft may not have enough room to recover, and a crash will occur.

Unfortunately, that is what occurred here. The plaintiffs said that the straps used to restrain the cargo were old and in such poor condition that they could not support the weight of the armored vehicles. As the aircraft was taking off and climbing, the restraining devices failed, causing the armored vehicles to slide to the rear of the airplane. One of the vehicles crashed through the rear bulkhead, damaging the flight control systems. Consequently, the airplane entered a stall and crashed. The accident, which was videoed on a dashboard camera by a passing vehicle, can be seen online.

Although air transportation is a very safe method of travel, unfortunate events do occur. Passengers may fall while walking on a jet way to board the aircraft or deplane, baggage may fall from an overhead luggage bin striking a passenger, or a passenger may be mistreated by a crew member. In addition, accidents can occur when walking through an airport terminal.

Attorneys that handle aviation matters are involved in a broader scope of cases than just airplane crash cases. Should you need representation in one of these cases, having an attorney with experience in handling these matters, and possessing specific knowledge of aircraft and the aviation industry, can work to your benefit. If you feel you were a victim in an aviation-related matter, you should explore your rights to compensation. Our law firm has an attorney experienced in aviation cases, who is a licensed pilot, and who teaches at DePaul Law School. If you or a family member were involved in an incident where you feel you may be entitled to compensation, our law firm can help you.

Contact the attorneys at Woodruff Johnson & Evans Law Offices toll-free at (630) 585-2320 for a free case review or fill in our Contact Form.

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