Military Aircraft Crash Lawyers
When a US military aircraft crashes, strict protocols are followed to ensure that the next of kin receive immediate support. Tragically, these spouses, children, or parents are left with more questions than answers should they desire civil justice for the death of their service member. With very few exceptions, a family cannot sue the US government when a military pilot, aircrew, or passenger dies in a military airplane or helicopter crash. If the aircraft or an aircraft component manufacturer could be liable for a design or product defect, the “government contract defense” imposes an additional barrier to justice. In 1988, by 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court in Boyle v. United Technologies Corp. decided that liability for a design defect in military equipment does not apply if:
- the US approved reasonably precise specifications;
- the equipment conformed to those specifications; and
- the supplier warned the US about the dangers in the use of the equipment that were known to the supplier but not to the United States.
David Boyle was a Marine helicopter pilot who very likely drowned because of a defectively designed cockpit escape hatch. His family was stripped of a jury verdict, and after Boyle the escape hatch created for government contractors has deprived many more families of civil justice when a design defect caused the death of their service member. The government contractor defense is not iron clad. Lawyers who understand the military crash investigation process, the defense acquisition system, and aviation law can fight and win against these manufacturers. Napoli Shkolnik aviation lawyers possess this knowledge.
Military Contract Air Crashes
The Department of Defense relies on military and private contract air to transport service members to and from forward operating areas and US military installations abroad. When these transport aircraft are owned, operated, and maintained by private businesses, some of the immunities and defenses mentioned above might not apply to a civil action brought against them. Napoli Shkolnik Aviation Attorneys can help you find a path to civil justice against these private contractors.
Getting Military Air Crash Victims Full Compensation
Military and Military Contract Air Crashes require specialized knowledge and experience to litigate. The Napoli Shkolnik practice group is armed with a unique understanding of military aviation and led by Hunter Shkolnik, a thirty-year trial lawyer, with proven results in state and federal courts across the United States. Contact us for a free consultation and preliminary investigation.