Defective Product Design: Risking Disaster in the Air

Manufacturers of airplanes, helicopters, homebuilt kits and component parts play a dangerous game. Sometimes they decide it just isn’t worth the cost of designing safety into a product. The lives they risk are the pilots, crews and passengers on aircraft.

A fuel injector servo was installed backward and caused a fatal crash. A simple fix by the manufacturer would have made it impossible for a mechanic to make that mistake.

At Girardi | Keese, our trial lawyers have a well-earned reputation for facing manufacturers in court and holding them accountable for defective designs.

The FAA suggests minimum standards — and that’s all.

The FAA’s advisory boards are staffed with manufacturers’ representatives. They don’t want to put any extra burdens on their companies, so they keep FAA recommendations to a minimum. The result is often defective designs.

  • Every airplane and helicopter design and component part should meet high safety standards. When an aircraft is in the air and in trouble, it is too late to deal with bad product design.
  • We work closely with experts to investigate aircraft disasters. We use science and engineering to follow the clues left behind. Was it component failure, poor maintenance, design defects, pilot error or a combination of problems?
  • To cut costs or to simplify the production process, a manufacturer may choose a design that is not as safe as an alternative design. Or the manufacturer may decide that a back-up system wouldn’t be worth the trouble and expense.

The product defects attorneys at Girardi | Keese fight hard against defective design. We do not like it when a manufacturer risks other people’s lives in the name of convenience and cost savings.

In addition to fighting defective product design in the courtroom, Girardi | Keese is playing an active role in Washington, D.C., to make the Federal Aviation Administration more effective advocates for safety and less dependent on manufacturers.

Contact us to discuss an aircraft accident. We represent clients in California, nationally and internationally.


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