$24.1 Million Dollar Verdict in Aviation Case

In the News

Phoenix Business Journal covers the historic avaition verdict in their article, Phoenix jury awards Glendale helicopter owner $24.1M for helicopter crash in Arizona desert”

The trial team led by Hunter J. Shkolnik, Esq. along with Partner Patrick Haines and Associate Brett Bustamante of Napoli Shkolnik PLLC obtained a $24.1 million-dollar verdict in a case concerning a 2011 helicopter crash. The Plaintiff, Jeffrey Boatman, an experienced helicopter pilot, was making a routine flight one morning when his master caution indicator light illuminated. Realizing he was having a transmission failure, the pilot attempted to immediately land the helicopter. Unfortunately, before he was able to reach the ground the transmission fully seized and the helicopter fell from the sky. Due to the force of the crash, Mr. Boatman became paraplegic and suffered other severe complications.

Napoli Shkolnik PLLC and their accident reconstruction experts were able to piece together the cause of the accident. Through careful scientific analysis, it was discovered the failure was due to a negligent overhaul of the transmission by Defendant Uniflight LLC approximately thirteen years prior to the incident and 1100 hours of post repair flight time. Napoli Shkolnik PLLC filed a negligence and product liability suit on behalf of Mr. Boatman and his wife Anne Boatman.

A three-week trial ensued with Hunter J. Shkolnik, Esq. as the lead attorney. After less than an hour of deliberating, the eight-person jury returned with a unanimous verdict for Plaintiffs. Mr. Boatman was awarded $ 23.1 million in damages and Mrs. Boatman was awarded $1 million for her loss of consortium claim.

“We are so very pleased we could bring justice to Anne and Jeffrey Boatman, this crash should never had happened had Uniflight done what was right,” the Boatmans’ attorney, Hunter Shkolnik, said. “We hope no other family suffers like this.”

The case was styled Jeffrey Boatman and Anne Boatman v. Uniflight LLC, case number CV2014-015326 in the Superior Court of Arizona for the County of Maricopa. Mr. and Mrs. Boatman are represented by Hunter J. Shkolnik, Esq., Patrick N. Haines, Esq., and Brett S. Bustamante, Esq. of Napoli Shkolnik PLLC and David W. Lunn of DKL Law PLLC.

General Aviation, Airplane and Helicopter Accidents

Aviation accident, although rare, are one of the most serious types of accidents in which a person may be involved. They often involve serious personal injuries or loss of life for the passengers and crew members. Often, people on the ground are injured as well. Non-commercial airplane and helicopter accidents require a very detailed investigation that often requires expert witnesses from many different disciplines including accident reconstruction, metallurgy, engineering, radar analysis and human factors.

Aviation accidents are investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Personnel from both agencies will analyze the evidence. However, such investigations are just the beginning of an accident investigation.  Our attorneys begin their investigation using the best experts in the world to analyze the facts and circumstances of the accident and to prevent future similar accidents Regardless of the cause, the families of the victims, as well as those who survive, deserve answers as to what caused the accident and how future accidents can be prevented. Our experienced attorneys will provide you with solid legal advice and will pursue justice so that you and your loved ones can gain closure.