As of March 2019, the Boeing 737 MAX has been involved in two fatal accidents resulting in a great outcry over the safety of the planes and causing authorities to ground the 737 MAX across the globe. The grounding of the 737 MAX has wiped out more than 30,000 Southwest Airline flights alone and resulted in the loss of more than $100,000,000 in lost wages for pilots who have been unable to fly.
Amidst growing concerns over air travel, Boeing is reportedly negotiating over 100 settlements with the families of victims of two separate crashes of their 737 MAX jetliners. Both 737s went down under similar circumstances within five months of each other: a Lion Air jet flying out of Jakarta, Indonesia in October 2018, and an Ethiopian Airlines flight in March 2019. There were no survivors of either crash, as nearly 350 people were killed.
On Thursday, April 4, 2019 Ethiopia's Ministry of Transportation released their preliminary report regarding the crash of flight ET302. Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 crashed shortly after taking off last March, near the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa. Benny Agosto, Jr. currently represents the families of three passengers that perished in the crash.
Zachary Coleman, a passenger of Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 has filed a lawsuit against Southwest Airlines for personal injuries he sustained after witnessing a woman die midflight due to an engine explosion. On April 17, 2018, Flight 1380 was flying from New York to Dallas but had to make an emergency landing when one of the aircraft's twin engines suddenly exploded 32,000 feet in the air. The explosion showered the jet with debris and shattered a window.
Firm attorneys Benny Agosto, Jr. and Kelly Woods have reached a confidential settlement on behalf of the widow of Johnny Johnson regarding a crash that occurred on February 1, 2016. The settlement brings a favorable end to the widow's wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for the death of her husband-a loving husband, father, and renowned flight instructor-that occurred when the light sport aircraft he was piloting crashed upon takeoff.
In July 2016, Texas saw the deadliest hot air balloon crash in American history when Alfred "Skip" Nichols piloted his balloon into power lines near Lockhart, killing himself and 15 passengers. It has now been revealed in an October 17 meeting of the National Transportation Safety Board in Washington that Nichols was impaired by Valium, opioids, and other medication, and had psychological conditions that affected his decision-making. As quoted by the Associated Press, NTSB medical officer Dr. Nicholas Webster reported that there was enough Benadryl in Nichols' system to have "the impairing effect of a blood-alcohol level" of a drunk driver.
A deadly tragedy hit Central Texas the early morning of July 30, 2016, when a hot air balloon came crashing to the ground in a literal ball of fire. Federal and local authorities reporting this story believed that the hot air balloon was carrying 16 people at the time of the crash, none of whom survived. Federal Aviation Authority officials said the balloon caught fire before crashing, but did not provide any other details.
The National Transportation Safety Board said on Sunday that a hot air balloon that crashed near Lockhart, Texas likely struck power lines before it crashed. The crash, which occurred on Saturday morning and garnered national media attention, killed all sixteen people aboard. It was the deadliest hot air balloon crash on record in the U.S., eclipsed only by a 2013 crash in Luxor, Egypt that killed 19.
Three people were tragically killed after their airplane crashed into a car Thursday afternoon. The crash happened just after 1:00 p.m. in the 6800 block of Telephone Road, approximately three blocks north of William P. Hobby International Airport. The Cirrus single-engine SR-20 crashed in the parking lot of an Ace Hardware store crushing an employee's car. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the aircraft was attempting to land at Hobby Airport. The plane was registered by Safe Aviation LLC in Moore, Oklahoma. The National Transportation Safety Board is in charge of the crash investigation.
On April 19, 2016, the United States Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued a precedential opinion finding that state law product liability claims for defective aircraft are not preempted by federal law. The Third Circuit's opinion holds that neither the Federal Aviation Act or a federal agency's decision to issue a certificate approving of an aircraft design preempt state law product liability claims. In doing so, the court found that the presumption against preemption applies in the context of aviation accident claims. The court also found that the FAA contains a savings clause that expressly reserves state law claims. In reaching these conclusions, the Third Circuit recognized that most other courts and jurisdictions, including the United States Fifth Circuit Court of appeals that oversees federal district courts in Texas, reject preemption of product liability actions for aviation accidents. The Third Circuit noted that "[b]esides preserving principles of federalism, this conclusion avoids interpreting the Federal Aviation Act in a way that would have 'the perverse effect of granting complete immunity from design defect to an entire industry that, in the judgment of Congress, needed more stringent regulation.'" The Third Circuit's decision is a positive step toward universal recognition of an injured person's right to seek recovery for injuries caused by airplane and airplane part manufacturers who place unsafe products in the marketplace.