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Arthur Alan Wolk, founder of The Wolk Law Firm, has a simple credo. “We will work harder than anyone, spend whatever it takes, and prove our cases for the benefit of our clients ethically and honestly. We will not be intimidated by anyone and will never allow multinational corporations to deter our work.”

The Wolk Law Firm

Verdicts/Settlements for the period 2012 to Present

$4,250,000 Settlement

A pilot was killed due to a crash of a single engine aircraft when the Primary Flying Display (PFD ) failed leaving him without effective instruments for safe flight into non-visual weather conditions.

$4,648,000 Settlement

Single engine aircraft disintegrated in flight, young couple killed. This very old, 10,000 hour aircraft suffered a flutter induced failure of its tail. The couple was survived by two small children. Severe turbulence reported nearby. General Aviation Revitalization Act statute of repose applied to this aircraft which would have precluded any recovery. The NTSB concluded that turbulence brought the aircraft down in spite of over 100 similar in flight break-ups of this model.

$9,000,000 Settlement

A pilot was killed due to an in- flight break-up of a turboprop single engine aircraft in convective weather conditions. The pilot was survived by a wife and small child. The aircraft was new and the pilot well trained. The break up sequence appeared that flutter or overload caused a tail failure then the wings. No thunderstorms were present. The NTSB did no serious investigation into the real cause of this accident including other in flight break-ups of this model and erroneously concluded pilot error.

$3,800,000 Settlement

This settlement preceded a verdict of 2.2 million in the Superior Court of California. We proved that the pilot and his wife were killed when a failure of the magnetic flux detector in the wing due to a retaining bolt falling out caused an un-annunciated failure of the HSI to correctly report aircraft heading. That also caused the multi-function display to slew its moving map to the incorrect position causing the pilot to lose control while attempting to descend into visual conditions. The NTSB never looked into the flux detector and totally missed the obvious cause of this accident. The pilot and his wife were survived by two adult daughters.

 $8,135,568 Settlement

This multi-engine aircraft crashed on takeoff with four young persons aboard. The cause of the accident was engine failure after lift-off on a warm night.

The NTSB erroneously concluded that the pilot left the fuel selector in the off position after checking for fuel cross-feed. We established that in the position the damaged fuel selector was found the engine would run forever. The engine failed due to carburetor ice and neither the engine manufacturer nor the airframe manufacturer equipped the carburetor with ice detectors or carburetor air temperature gauges each of which were readily available and used in other models. The lawsuit against the engine and airframe manufacturers continues.

 $4,000,000 Settlement

This settlement was reached with the engine manufacturer following an engine failure due to a defective carburetor where two young men were injured. Settlements were reached with others after a verdict in favor of the plaintiffs. The NTSB did no carburetor evaluation or analysis. The total verdict against all defendants was 53 million dollars ($53,000,000.)

 $3,000,000 Settlement

This recovery was made for the widow of a jet fighter pilot killed when his aircraft crashed during air combat maneuvering. He was survived by a widow and two small children. The law for recovery for the deaths of military pilots is most unfavorable and this compromise was reached when all concerned did the right thing for this military family.

 $3,250,000 Settlement

Two young men were killed when their aircraft was overtaken and struck by a helicopter. The aircraft was making a go around at the uncontrolled field at the time of the collision. Both men were single and survived by their parents.

$3,500,000 Settlement

This settlement was reached for the widow of a military pilot who was killed due to engine failure. He was survived by a wife and two small children. Recoveries are severely limited by law for deaths of military pilots and all concerned reached this settlement with respect.

 $2,300,000 Settlement

This settlement was reached for the death of a young single man who died when the engine of the aircraft he was flying quit due to fuel starvation. The cause of that fuel starvation was a defective carburetor float that caused rapid consumption of fuel. While fuel consumption charts indicated that more than an hour of fuel should have remained, in fact none was present. Tests demonstrated that the defective float can cause engines to consume far more fuel than specified without any cockpit indication of the significantly increased fuel flow. The NTSB concluded pilot error for running out of fuel and never looked at the details of the carburetor malfunction.

 $19,000,000 Settlement

This settlement was for the deaths of three individuals and the severe burns suffered by a fourth when the engine failed on takeoff due to a defective carburetor. The defense and NTSB claimed pilot error but in fact the engine had quit due to fuel starvation when the needle valve in the carburetor stuck in a groove it had machined in the soft brass seat material. The propeller showed no signs of power.

 $3,500,000 Settlement

This settlement was reached for the deaths of two individuals who were killed when the aircraft they were flying rolled over and crashed on final approach to an airport. Flight tests showed the aircraft suffers from a difficult to counteract roll when go-around power is applied when the airspeed gets below its approach speed but well before stall.

The Wolk Law Firm

 Verdicts/Settlements for the period 2010 to 2011

 $11,000,000 Verdict

2011 Marsico Moran vs. Winner Aviation Corporation

Jury Awards more than $11 Million in airplane crash lawsuit. The Wolk Law Firm obtained a multi-million dollar verdict for its clients in the case of Marsico Moran vs. Winner Aviation Corporation. The verdict was returned after a two week jury trial in Philadelphia during which The Wolk Law Firm brought an actual Cessna 337 Skymaster twin engine aircraft into a city owned parking lot for an up close and personal orientation for the jury.

The plaintiffs suffered 3rd degree burns over 35% of their bodies as the aircraft they were flying crashed into a water treatment plant after losing engine power shortly after takeoff from the Dekalb Peachtree Airport near Atlanta Ga.

The case was tried by Arthur Alan Wolk, Cynthia Devers, Bradley Stoll and Cheryl DeLisle of the Wolk Law Firm of Philadelphia and they were assisted by Jaime Lebovitz, Ellen McCarthy and Tamara Brininger of the Cleveland based law firm of Nurenberg Paris.

 $88,000,000 Verdict

2010 Verdict against Avco Corporation:

A jury in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas returned a eighty eight million seven hundred thousand dollar ($88,700,000) verdict against AVCO Corporation – twenty four million seven hundred thousand dollars ($24,700,000) in compensatory damages and sixty four million dollars ($64,000,000) awarded for punitive damages in a separate jury deliberation.

The Plaintiffs asserted that a defective Marvel-Schebler carburetor was the cause of the accident which killed three people and severely injured a fourth. Plaintiffs advanced that the carburetor failed when its needle valve became cocked in the brass seat used to determine the fuel level in the carburetor bowl flooding the carburetor; and that the bolts that hold the carburetor halves together loosened on their own.

This verdict was decided under the “Knowing Misrepresentation” exception to the General Aviation Revitalization Act of 1994, a federal statute of repose. The parties reached a settlement before the Court entered judgment.

 $7,000,000 Settlement

2010 Caption Confidential

A seven million dollar ($7,000,000) settlement was reached for the death of a businessman who was killed when the engine of his single engine aircraft lost power on descent to landing. The problem was traced to vapor in the fuel system which could not be overcome by the engine driven or auxiliary fuel pumps.

The problem had been well known to the aircraft and engine manufacturers. The victim was survived by a wife and two children.

$8,000,000 Settlement 

2010 Caption Confidential

An eight million dollar ($8,000,000) settlement was reached for the deaths of two friends who were killed when the pilot’s seat of the a single engine aircraft suddenly slid rearwards on takeoff causing loss of aircraft control.

The men were survived by adult children and widows.

The Wolk Law Firm reconstructed a similar aircraft, put it on hydraulic jacks and demonstrated the sudden pitch up of the aircraft to the jury in a tent erected in front of the courthouse. The case settled shortly thereafter.

 $89,000,000 Verdict

2010 Pridgen vs. Lycoming

A Philadelphia jury returned an eighty-nine million dollar ($89,000,000) verdict against an engine manufacturer for a power loss on takeoff in a single engine aircraft. The cause of the loss of power was traced to a defective carburetor. The verdict was for three deaths and a serious injury. Most notable about the case was that it was appealed no less than three times by the defendant and took nearly ten years to come to trial. Those appeals resulted in favorable interpretations of the General Aviation Revitalization Act for plaintiffs. Pre judgment interest alone was $13,000,000. The case ultimately settled. The Wolk Law Firm is the nation’s leader in obtaining appellate court interpretation of GARA, all favorable to plaintiffs.

 $7,500,000 Settlement

2010 Caption Confidential

A seven million five hundred thousand dollar ($7,500,000) settlement was obtained from multiple defendants for the death of a physician due to engine failure in a single engine airplane.

The cause of the loss of engine power was a loss of engine timing due to defective hold down clamps on a single drive dual magneto.

Engine vibration was found to cause the magneto to rotate in place changing engine timing until internal heat and loss of proper timing resulted in complete engine failure.

The Wolk Law Firm did tests that demonstrated the failure and careful examination of the badly burned wreckage confirmed that one of the two magneto hold-down clamps had departed the aircraft before the power loss. The problem had been identified years before and never corrected by the engine manufacturer.

 $5,300,000 Settlement

2010 Caption Confidential

A five million three hundred thousand dollar ($5,300,000) settlement was reached for the death of a family aboard a single engine aircraft attempting an emergency landing at night.
The engine caught fire due to a failed fuel injector line and the pilot was overcome by smoke and fumes while attempting an off airport landing.

The Wolk Law Firm discovered the hole in the fuel injector line after years of painstaking investigation and finally located it when a rubber grommet flaked off and revealed a hole in the stainless steel fuel line. Such holes were well known due to the composition of the stainless steel and the rubber used for the grommet which was high in chlorine which became hydrochloric acid and etched the hole. The Wolk Law Firm uses real science to defeat its adversaries. No expense is spared in this effort.

 $14,000,000 Settlement

2010 Caption Confidential

A fourteen million dollar ($14,000,000) settlement was reached for the death of a prominent businessman who was a passenger in a chartered aircraft.

The pilots of the aircraft attempted a landing on a very wet runway and when the aircraft would not stop due to a failure of a lift spoiling system, they attempted a rejected landing with insufficient runway remaining. The aircraft crashed killing all aboard. The Wolk Law Firm led a team of lawyers in establishing defects in the lift spoiling system of the aircraft and the operational mistakes which led to the crash. A radio controlled model of the aircraft was created which replicated the failures of the lift spoiling system ready for use before a jury had the case not settled. The victim was survived by a wife and two adult children and an adoring family of brothers, sister, mother and first cousins.

 $9,000,000 Settlement

2010 Caption Confidential

A nine million dollar ($9,000,000) settlement was reached for the death of a young father of three who was killed when the aircraft in which he was a passenger struck a navigation antenna, cart wheeled and crashed to the ground. While the victim was new in his job, he was so highly regarded by his employer and co-workers that he was soon to be promoted to a management position. The loss to his young family was so compelling that some of his children refused to admit that he was not coming home even years after the accident.

 $3,500,000 Settlement

2010 Caption Confidential

Three and a half million dollars ($3,500,000) was obtained by settlement for the death of a man and injuries to his adult son when the propeller on their single engine aircraft suddenly separated in flight. The cause of the failure was an improper propeller overhaul that allowed for stress risers to remain in the blade from corrosion pits.

The Wolk Law Firm used modern science to find the pits, determine the cause of the fracture and trace the failure back to the overhauler. Another propeller overhaul by the same company within months of this accident had caused another accident. The science used in the first case confirmed that the appearance of the propeller in this crash was identical and caused for the same reason. That collective and repetitive finding no doubt was the incentive for the defendant to settle.

The Wolk Law Firm

 Verdicts/Settlements for the period 2005 to 2009

2005 Sheesley vs. Capitol City Air Carrier

This South Dakota state court case arose out of the crash of a Cessna 340 twin engine aircraft as a result of an in flight fire from a broken turbocharger exhaust pipe that caused fuel interruption. The Wolk Law Firm proved that a bad weld in the pipe allowed exhaust gases to leak past the pipe flange and impact the firewall next to the crossover fuel lines. The heat caused the fuel in the lines to boil and interrupt the fuel supply to the engines causing the crash that killed three. After putting on the plaintiffs’ evidence the defense settled as did another defendant who watched the proceedings.

 $2,000,000 Verdict

2005 Buschmann vs. City of Little Rock

The victim of this crash of a McDonnell Douglas MD-82 was none other than the Captain of the airliner. He died when the aircraft he was piloting left the runway at the Little Rock International Airport in a downpour and struck steel approach light supports placed illegally in what should have been an unobstructed runway safety area. At trial, The Wolk Law Firm established that the Little Rock Airport Authority and the City of Little Rock knew that it was vital to maintain a 1000 by 500 foot runway safety area free of obstructions just in case an aircraft left the runway. Instead they used political pressure on the FAA to install the approach light system with non-frangible steel poles. When the aircraft left the runway that stormy night, it was torn to shreds by the structures that shouldn’t have been there.

Previous to the trial the dead pilot was blamed for failing to arm the spoilers before landing, failing to use adequate braking and failing to uniformly apply reverse thrust to stop the aircraft. The evidence obtained by The Wolk Law Firm showed that the spoilers were armed, the engines were out of synch and thus spooled differentially and the brakes were also not functioning properly. All of these maintenance deficiencies it was proved had existed for months before that fatal flight and were not repaired by American Airlines. The jury awarded over two million dollars to the pilot’s family.

 2005 Eigen vs. Precision

This case was settled during the trial when it became apparent that a defense witness had falsified documents after the accident. The deaths of three members of the Eigen family occurred when the carburetor on their Piper Cherokee caused an engine failure during an attempted go around at the Mount Snow Vermont Airport. Precision and its lawyers told the jury that the engine did not fail and later in post trial proceedings it was learned that they stated the engine in fact failed. One of the lawyers representing Precision was so angry that he had to pay in yet another Precision case, he leveled false charges against The Wolk Law Firm that later proved to be entirely fabricated. Precision wound up paying the full amount of the settlement plus interest and agreed not to engage in such behavior again. The Wolk Law Firm will never be intimidated.

 $7,00,000 Settlement

2005 Caption Confidential

A seven million dollar ($7,000,000) settlement was obtained for a business executive killed when the engine on his turboprop aircraft failed due to mis-assembly by an overhauler. The engines were assembled with incorrect parts that caused engine failure before the crash.

2006 Terry vs. Teledyne

This case was settled after direct examination of the first witness and was a claim by three sisters who lost a fourth in the crash of a Cessna airplane due to a defective magneto manufactured by the defendant Teledyne. The aircraft crashed into the waters off Riverside California as it lost power just as the pilot was climbing to his cruising altitude. Two occupants drowned while the pilot lived. The court ruled that Teledyne’s history of felony convictions could be offered into evidence to prove its lack of credibility. Teledyne claimed that the magneto failure never occurred and the multiple breaks in the springs inside were due to its immersion in salt water for a day. The court scoffed at that explanation since that model magneto had a long history of broken springs that caused engine failures none of which aircraft crashed into the water.

 2006 Randolph vs. Cessna

This successful settlement arose from the crash of a Cessna Caravan single engine turbine aircraft. The Wolk Law Firm hired the University of Texas to perform wind tunnel studies of the Cessna Caravan to determine why so many were crashing in only light to moderate icing conditions. The results were astounding. The research proved, the wing design, the deicing system design, the tail configuration and the flight manual were all defective. The Wolk Law Firm established that Cessna had deliberately misled the FAA and the NTSB about the flaws in the Cessna Caravan icing certification. The research has been made available publicly to fulfill another of The Wolk Law Firm’s goals, improvement in aviation safet

 2006 Jorgensen vs. Cessna

This settlement resulted from the death of a young executive being transported across the country in a corporate jet. The aircraft was making an approach to Pueblo Colorado to refuel when it suddenly rolled and crashed killing all aboard. The Wolk Law Firm determined the cause of the crash to be airframe icing due to the inadequacy of the equipment provided for the aircraft’s known icing certification by Cessna and the decision to fly that ill-equipped aircraft into the mountains for a fuel stop when the weather was conducive to moderate icing encounters. The Wolk Law Firm continues to emphasize to Government and industry that the standards and practices that allow inadequately equipped aircraft to fly in known icing conditions are unacceptable. The settlement allowed this outstanding young man’s family to recognize how valuable others believed him to be and the magnitude of his loss to them.

2006 Caption Confidential

A multi-million dollar settlement was reached for the death of a thirty year old man survived by a wife and young child when the Piper Seneca twin engine aircraft he was piloting disintegrated in flight due to a flutter of the stabilator. This was the fourth such in flight break-up in a Piper Seneca handled by The Wolk Law Firm. Basic aeronautical engineering research was commissioned by The Wolk Law Firm in an effort to get to the bottom of this all too common accident in Piper aircraft. Low flutter margins in the original design of the tail was found to be the cause. Complicating the problem is the deliberate failure of the manufacturer to let mechanics in the field know how serious the problem is, the signs to look for during inspections, and the risks of incomplete repair

 $55,000,000 Verdict

2007 Godfrey, et al vs. Precision and Teledyne

A Daytona Beach, Florida jury awarded fifty five million dollars ($55,000,000) of which one million, five hundred thousand dollars ($1,500,000) were punitive damages against Precision Airmotive, LLC., maker of aircraft carburetors. Compensatory damages were also assessed against the engine maker, Teledyne Continental Motors. The verdict was for two young men, a flight instructor and his student who were badly injured but survived the crash of a Cessna 150 when an exhaust valve stuck in a recently overhauled rich running engine due to a new, but defective, carburetor. Evidence showed that both stuck valves and rich running carburetors causing engine malfunctions were common problems in this model, as were the means to fix them, which both manufacturers ignored.

The injuries included severe facial fractures and post traumatic stress disorder which put an end to both victims’ desires to become airline pilots. Efforts to settle the cases before trial were rebuffed by the defendants who chose instead to personally attack the plaintiffs, their witnesses and their counsel.

 $19,000,000 Settlement

2009 Caption Confidential

A nineteen million dollar ($19,000,000) settlement was obtained for two victims of an in flight break-up of a single engine aircraft.

The aircraft was approaching an airport for landing when it disintegrated as a result of flutter. This model had a long history of flutter breakups. Flutter occurs when aircraft flight controls or aerodynamic surfaces generate a harmonic which in an instant can destroy the aircraft. The two men aboard, both dentists, were killed instantly and were survived by wives and ten children.

 $2,700,000 Settlement

2009 Caption Confidential

A partial settlement of two million seven hundred thousand dollars ($2,700,000) was reached for a young husband and wife who were killed when the airplane in which they were passengers disintegrated in flight in clear weather. This was one of more than a hundred in flight break-ups for this model aircraft. The aircraft which broke up due to flutter was rented to celebrate the couple’s anniversary. They are survived by two young children. An action is pending against the aircraft manufacturer.

 $4,000,000 Settlement

2009 Caption Confidential

A four million dollar ($4,000,000) settlement was reached for the loss of a family which included two infants when the aircraft they were flying in suffered an engine failure on takeoff.

The failure was traced to a long known defect in the engine’s carburetor. The size of the settlement was affected by the advanced age of the surviving family members entitled to recover. The aircraft’s engine suffered roughness before the crash on a preceding flight but the owner was assured that the problem was not the carburetor.

 $2,700,000 Settlement

2009 Caption Confidential

A partial settlement of two million seven hundred thousand dollars ($2,700,000) was reached for a young husband and wife who were killed when the airplane in which they were passengers disintegrated in flight in clear weather. This was one of more than a hundred in flight break-ups for this model aircraft. The aircraft which broke up due to flutter was rented to celebrate the couple’s anniversary. They are survived by two young children. An action is pending against the aircraft manufacturer.

 $2,750,000 Settlement

2009 Caption Confidential

This two million seven hundred fifty thousand dollar ($2,750,000) settlement followed an eleven year fight against a foreign ultralight engine manufacturer who denied doing business in the United States.

Having been thrown out of twelve courts, The Wolk Law Firm persisted and one court accepted the case and supervised a good settlement for an injured victim of the engine failure who had mostly recovered from his injuries. The Wolk Law Firm never rests.

The Wolk Law Firm

 Verdicts/Settlements for the period 2000 to 2004

Winning the largest aviation law suit of all time, $480,000,000, against Cessna Aircraft Corporation.

 $480,000,000 Verdict

Cassoutt v. Cessna Aircraft Company

This case is the largest aviation verdict of all time. A Pensacola Florida jury awarded four hundred and eighty million dollars ($480,000,000) against Cessna Aircraft Company for another seat slip that caused two passengers to be severely burned and another to be crippled for life. The Wolk Law Firm proved that Cessna, in spite of being punished twenty years before in the Harper case continued to allow unsafe pilots’ seats to be used in its aircraft and did nothing to retrofit those aircraft with features to prevent the seat slip before the occurrence of this accident years later. The verdict was some eighty million dollars ($80,000,000) compensatory and four hundred million dollars ($400,000,000) in punitive damages. (Top ten jury verdict of 2001).

 2001 Caption Confidential

A multi-million dollar settlement was reached for the death of a man who was killed when the Piper Seneca he was flying came apart in the air during an instrument flight in icing conditions. The ice makes the low flutter margins designed into the tail of the aircraft much worse by aggravating the tendency of the tail to flutter. Small accumulations of ice that cause vibration are sufficient to excite flutter in the stabilator already susceptible to such a failure by creating a harmonic that will tear the tail off the airplane. It doesn’t take much to generate flutter in these badly designed aircraft and minor variations in build quality or maintenance can greatly aggravate the situation.

 $2,000,000 Verdict

2002 Schelpert vs. Egyptair

This was one of many cases The Wolk Law Firm handled arising from the tragic sabotage of Egyptair Flight 990 by its co-pilot. In what would be one of the earlier acts of terrorism preceding 9/11, and it was established by Arthur Wolk as one of the lead litigators on the plaintiffs’ steering committee that there was no mechanical cause that could explain the sudden gyrations of the Boeing 767 that preceded its break-up and crash into the Atlantic Ocean. It was also established that the co-pilot had a history of mental instability that was ignored by Egyptian authorities before the crash. In this instance The Wolk Law Firm represented the families of five persons who died in the crash. In one of the only cases tried from that accident, The Wolk Law Firm recovered more than two million dollars in a bench trial in a Federal Court in Los Angeles.

 2002 Taylor vs. Teledyne

This accident occurring near the Hartsfield International Airport in Atlanta arose from defects in engines overhauled by Teledyne. The crew reported engine trouble and was returning to the airport when the aircraft crashed and burned killing the two pilots. The very favorable settlement occurred after The Wolk Law Firm was brutally attacked by defense counsel and the defendant. Notwithstanding the most horrific abuse ever visited upon a lawyer, Arthur Alan Wolk persisted and was successful in resolving the case to the great benefit of his clients. The Wolk Law Firm will never be intimidated.

 $17,200,000 Settlement

2002 Caption Confidential

This seventeen million two hundred thousand dollar ($17,200,000) settlement arose out of the crash of an executive jet. The crash was caused by a maintenance company’s failure to properly reassemble the horizontal stabilizer components following an inspection. The victim was a well known entrepreneur who had invented a number of innovative devices. He was survived by a wife and three adult childre

2002 Caption Confidential

A multi-million dollar settlement was reached for the death of the pilot of a Cessna Caravan that crashed after a flight in light icing conditions. The aircraft crashed while on final approach to the airport after a routine flight. The cause of the accident was tail stall, a phenomenon caused by an extremely poor design of the deicing equipment on the aircraft, coupled with an extremely poor choice of wing airfoils. The inability to shed ice, even ice into which the airplane was purportedly certified for flight, makes the situation worse. Tail stall, for which pilots are not trained to recover, pitches the nose of the airplane up instead of down as in a conventional stall, and in the Cessna Caravan may be unrecoverable, especially at low altitudes. Basic wind tunnel research commissioned by The Wolk Law Firm demonstrated fundamental flaws in the design of the aircraft that should have caused its “known icing” certification to have been revoked.

 2002 Egyptair 990

The Wolk Law Firm represented five families who lost loved ones in this tragic crash of a Boeing 767 flying from New York to Cairo, Egypt. Arthur Alan Wolk was on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee and instrumental in debunking Egyptair’s claim that mechanical failure and not terrorism was the cause of the crash.

During depositions taken by Wolk, he established that seven simultaneous malfunctions would have had to occurred to bring the big aircraft down. He also established that the co-pilot had been suspected of behavior that would have led to his firing when he returned to Egypt. In that Egyptair was an organ of the Egyptian Government, the one trial on damages was before a single Federal Judge and a multi-million dollar verdict was entered for the family of the deceased. All the other cases were settled under terms favorable to the families.

 $6,000,000 Verdict

2003 Blanton vs. Precision

This six million dollar ($6,000,000) verdict arose from the crash of a single engine Cessna airplane that suffered engine failure shortly after takeoff due to a defective carburetor. The Wolk Law Firm proved that Precision, the manufacturer had a long history of carburetor caused engine failures and failed to do anything to fix the myriad of problems with their carburetors. The plaintiff was the wife of the victim who died instantly in the crash.

 $5,000,000 Settlement

2003 Caption Confidential

This settlement arose from the crash of an airliner that had been overloaded. The evidence established that the weights being used to calculate passengers’ weights were grossly understated. The risk for a trial was that airlines would be exposed for flying virtually every flight with illegally overloaded aircraft. The settlement amount was five million dollars and was for the wife and adult child of a businessman who died in the crash.

 2003 Caption Confidential

A multi-million dollar settlement was reached for the family of a nine year old girl who fell to her death when the tail came off a Piper Seneca during a flight returning from medical treatment being flown by a volunteer. All aboard the aircraft were killed when it crashed, except for the mother of the little girl, who miraculously survived the crash. The cause was flutter of the stabilator due to a flaw in the original design made worse by maintenance personnel who have no knowledge of the seriousness of the problem and may ignore signs of the onset of the flutter, which include working of the trim tabs, backing out of bolts in the stabilator mounts, and reports of vibration in flight.

 2004 Kanter vs. Flying Tigers

Three persons lost their lives in the crash of a Piper Saratoga when the aircraft disintegrated in flight due in part to spatial disorientation of the pilot from the loss of the sources that supply power to the aircraft’s instruments. The system is designed to supply vacuum to drive gyroscopic instruments but when the primary pump failed, the secondary system that’s supposed to take over failed as well due to deteriorated gaskets and a defective valve to maintain vacuum. The Wolk Law Firm also established that the way the secondary system was designed, use of it further added to the disorientation of the pilot flying in bad weather and contributed to the loss of situational awareness. One of the defendants claimed it did no business in Pennsylvania and after extensive discovery, The Wolk Law Firm established that the defendant had filed false documents and affidavits with the court. The case was later settled.

 $8,500,000 Settlement

2004 Caption Confidential

This case involved the crash of an airliner that was overloaded and out of its center of gravity limits. Control was lost on takeoff and the crash killed all aboard including a businessman who was survived by his wife and two teenage children. The settlement was eight million five hundred thousand ($8,500,000) dollars.

 $2,100,000 Verdict

2004 Walker vs. Segal

This landmark verdict established liability on the pilot of an aircraft who had made a nuisance of himself on the radio, so distracting an air traffic controller that she failed to give appropriate guidance to an aircraft that ultimately collided with another killing the pilot. The victim who was survived by a wife was awarded two million one hundred thousand dollars ($2,100,000) by the jury.