Stage 2: Where should we bring the claim?
While our investigation helps our clients understand who is responsible for their injuries and loss, our job is also to obtain financial security for our clients’ future and compensation for their pain.
In most cases, we will determine that a number of people and companies contributed to the accident. These people and companies will give us a choice of countries in which we can pursue our clients’ claims.
Every country has different laws on liability, a different court system, and a different way of valuing life and loss. The lawyers in our team speak multiple languages, are qualified in multiple jurisdictions and have experience of valuing claims all over the world. This allows us to choose the best country in which to pursue our clients’ claims.
Many manufacturers of aircraft and aircraft components are based in the US, and often this is a preferred country in which to bring a claim. There are risks with taking a non-US claim to the US as the courts often dismiss foreign matters as being better suited to litigation in another country.
Two of the partners in the Aviation department are US qualified attorneys and, together with the Wisner Law Firm in Chicago, we have made Illinois the most favourable jurisdiction in the US for claimants.
Notable wins include:
- Air Philippines Flight 541 (Boeing 737, Philippines, 2000): Ellis v. AAR Parts Trading (2005)
- Transair Lockhart River (Fairchild Metro 23, Australia, 2005): Thornton v. Hamilton Sundstrand Corp. (2008)
- Tans Flight 204 (Boeing 737, Peru, 2005): Vivas v. Boeing (2009)
- Atlasjet Flight 4203 (Boeing MD-83, Turkey, 2007): Arik v. The Boeing Company (2008 affirmed by the Appeal Court in Chicago in 2011)
- XL Airways Flight 120 (cabin fumes intoxication, Boeing 767, 2007): Sabatino v. Boeing (2009)
- Mexico Interior Ministry private flight (Learjet, Mexico, 2008): Björkstam v. Learjet (2010)
- British Airways Flight BA038 (Boeing 777, England, 2008): Stafford v. Boeing (2011)
Once a range of potential countries has been established and claim values have been determined under each of them, our job is to negotiate the best compensation for our clients.
Ultimately, it is the insurers of the different entities that pay compensation following an accident. The majority of those insurers are based in London and it is here that the decision-makers on our clients’ claims are based.
Our head of department, James Healy-Pratt has 15 years’ experience in the heart of the insurance market, as in-house counsel at two of the largest global aviation insurers. We know the decision makers and their lawyers. Time and time again, this has resulted in speedy and smooth resolution of our clients’ claims for compensation packages that fairly reflect the risks to all parties.
Meet the Aviation team
Our team has unrivalled experience in dealing with aviation accident claims and aviation litigation.
We are ranked No.1 in the UK by Chambers and The Legal 500 and are one of the top five firms worldwide for aviation accident litigation.