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Aviation Litigation

Helmsing Leach created an aviation litigation practice when the firm opened its doors in 1976.  Since then, we have handled numerous aviation cases in some of the nation’s most challenging venues.  We have efficiently handled all types of cases, from minor lost-baggage claims to lawsuits resulting from major accidents involving death, catastrophic injury, and substantial property damage.

  • Our aviation lawyers have:
    • represented general aviation aircraft and component part manufacturers in claims arising out of accidents
    • defended fixed-base operators and commercial airlines in cases alleging negligent repairs or servicing of aircraft or relating to airport ground services and operations
    • represented aerial applicators in personal injury and property damage claims from overspray, chemical drift and pilot error
    • handled aviation coverage disputes, prosecuting or defending subrogation and indemnity claims
    • handled negotiations and litigation between fixed base operators and owners on lease and franchise issues

Notable or Recent Aviation Engagements

    • Obtained summary judgment for helicopter manufacturer in a multi-death helicopter crash
    • Defended plane manufacturer in a wrongful death and personal injury case involving six plaintiffs arising out of a plane crash in New South Wales, Australia
    • Represented fixed-based operator who had performed maintenance on an aircraft that crashed in Washington Parish, Louisiana, killing all three passengers and the pilot
    • Defended aerial application contractor that had over-sprayed herbicides killing significant tract of mature oak trees in a rural Alabama county
    • Represented crop-dusting contractor for claim related to pesticide over-spray resulting in damage to cotton crop
    • Represented owner of an jet aircraft that struck a deer on take off causing extensive property damage to the jet
    • For FBO, asserted claims of property damage and lost-income due to jet damaged during towing of aircraft
    • Efficiently obtained summary judgment for international airline in lost baggage case



James B. Newman, Joseph P. H. Babington, Russell C. Buffkin, T. Ryan Luna

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