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Can You Hold Aircraft Manufacturers Liable for Accidents?

March 7, 2017 · FLEMING | NOLEN | JEZ, L.L.P.

While flying is much safer than driving, it can still result in dangerous situations. Private planes, in particular, are less heavily regulated and require fewer standards to be met if pilots wish to fly their own planes. While pilot error can be a huge factor in airplane accidents, sometimes it’s not the pilot’s fault at all. Just as car manufacturers can be held responsible for putting a faulty car together, an aircraft manufacturer could face the same kinds of lawsuits.

Mechanical failure and structural problems are two things that could contribute to the hazardous quality of faulty airplanes, and both could be the fault of a negligent manufacturer. Under Texas law, you could argue the manufacturer was negligent by proving they are guilty of one of the following:

  • Manufacturing defect
  • Marketing defect

A manufacturing defect means the product deviated in its construction or quality from its original specifications or planned output in a way that renders it unreasonably dangerous. For example, if the designer of a particular type of airplane specified the entire plane must be made out of aluminum, but the manufacturer used a cheaper kind of material that more easily melts, the manufacturer would be liable for making a dangerous decision.

A marketing defect means the manufacturer failed to give sufficient warning of the product’s dangers. This is not a danger the average fully developed human would be able to figure out on their own. Rather, the danger must be unpredictable or unreasonable.

If you or a loved one were injured in an airplane accident caused by the negligence of a manufacturer, you can pursue a product liability suit against them. However, you must file the lawsuit by the statute of limitations. In Texas, the statute of limitations is two years after the date of the injury or damage. After this point, a court will be unlikely to hear your case or rule in your favor.

If you wish to begin a product liability suit against an aircraft manufacturer, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Our skilled aviation accident attorneys can help. The attorneys here at Fleming | Nolan | Jez, L.L.P. have more than 170 years of collective legal experience to offer your case. Let us see what we can do for you.

Contact us at (713) 621-7944 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case consultation today.