Maj. Stephen Stilwell, an air force pilot, is suing plane manufacturer Boeing over the F-15C airplane accident that left him disfigured and with debilitating shoulder injuries. The plane was built by defense contractor McDonald Douglas, which was purchased by Boeing Corp.
In his personal injury lawsuit, Stilwell says that the plane started “shaking violently” during a routine training mission. He ejected himself from the plane and was seriously injured when he was struck by parts of the plane, which had started to disintegrate.
According to air force investigators, there were cracks in the aircraft parts that caused the failure. These parts were installed without implementation of the correct safety measures.
After the plane crash, all of the F-15’s were grounded for inspection, with several of them staying there after similar cracks were discovered.
Stilwell says the accident has affected his ability to work as a civilian/military aircraft pilot. Stilwell contends that Boeing should have known that its F-15C was a dangerous/defective product that was susceptible to breaking apart during flight.
Product manufacturers, sellers, and distributors are responsible for making sure that their products will not cause harm to any users. Grounds for a products liability lawsuit can include:
Negligence: Failure to act with reasonable care to make sure that a product is safe for use.
Strict Liability: If a person is injured by a product, the manufacturer can be held liable even if he or she did not act negligently.
Misrepresentation: Marketing, promoting, or presenting a product in a manner that misrepresents the actual safety or risks that come with using a product.
Breach of Warranty: The manufacturer is in breach of the warranty that accompanies its product.
If you are injured on the job by a defective product, you usually will not be able to sue your employer, but you can file third party lawsuits against other liable parties, such as the manufacturer or distributor of the product. You may also be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits from your employer’s insurer.
In Maryland and Washington D.C., one of our products liability lawyers would be happy to speak with you.
Pilot hurt in jet breakup sues Boeing, CNN.com, March 25, 2008
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