Sidley litigators have extensive experience representing U.S.-based and foreign clients involved in the aviation industry, including handling cases in litigation as well as providing advice and counseling with respect to liability risks, contractual warranty and indemnity issues, insurance and other issues related to aviation.
Sidley has represented commercial airlines, manufacturers and other defendants in hundreds of personal injury and wrongful death actions arising out of major airline accidents. Our lawyers have substantial experience in handling lawsuits filed in state and federal courts on a nationwide basis as well as federal multidistrict litigation proceedings, having served for ten years as lead counsel for General Electric in more than 200 lawsuits filed across the country arising out of the United Flight 232 accident near Sioux City, Iowa in 1989.
Sidley played a lead role in the successful defense of American Airlines and its related entities in the MDL litigation arising out of the American Eagle Flight 4184 accident in 1994 near Roselawn, Indiana, and represented American Airlines in numerous lawsuits stemming from the American Eagle Flight 3379 accident in 1994 near Morrisville, North Carolina and the American Airlines Flight 965 accident in 1995 near Cali, Colombia. We have extensive experience in representing defendants in U.S. courts arising out of major airline accidents that occurred overseas, including litigation arising out of the accidents involving Garuda Indonesia Flight 421 in Indonesia in 2002, and Lion Air Flight 538 in Indonesia in 2004.
In addition to handling MDL and multiparty litigation arising out of major air crashes, Sidley’s aviation litigation lawyers have experience in matters involving smaller general aviation accidents, including the representation of owners of private helicopters and business aircraft. We provide advice and counseling on a regular basis to aircraft owners, operators, lessors, pilot training facilities and other aviation clients in connection with the evaluation of liability exposure and aviation insurance issues. In this counseling role, we work with the firm’s aircraft transactional lawyers in advising on warranties, disclaimers, indemnification, limitation of liability and similar provisions in aircraft purchase agreements, leases, aircraft management agreements, maintenance agreements and related contracts.
As part of its aviation-related and broad commercial litigation practice, Sidley has represented clients in commercial disputes involving aircraft purchase agreements, aircraft modification, airline frequent flier program promotions, regulatory, insurance and lease issues, some of which have involved the defense of class action lawsuits. The depth of our aviation-related experience can also be seen in our representation of clients in the aviation field in many diverse practice areas, such as our established Aircraft Finance, Environmental, Products Liability, Transportation, Restructuring, Government Contracts, corporate Internal Investigations, Tax, Securities, Intellectual Property, Insurance and Insurance/Reinsurance Disputes practices.