Common Aviation Industry Class Action Lawsuits Dec08


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Common Aviation Industry Class Action Lawsuits

The Convention on International Civil Aviation places aviation accidents in three distinct categories; Accident, Incident, and Serious Incident. Each one of these descriptions requires the diligent investigation by an airplane accident attorney due to the large amount of legal resources that airlines use to defend these cases.

An accident is the worst occurrence that can happen with personal and mental injuries to passengers. An incident is something that nearly occurs or is barely avoided and is usually associated with the operation of the aircraft. Finally, a serious incident is an event where an accident nearly occurred.


An accident, as defined by the Convention on Civil Aviation, occurs during the operation of an aircraft between when the person boards the plane and when they disembark. An accident occurs when 1) a person is seriously or fatally injured as a result of coming into contact with a part of the aircraft, being in the aircraft, or being subjected to a jet blast; or 2) the aircraft sustains damage which negatively affects the structure or performance of the aircraft.

In Michigan, a recent airplane accident involved the University of Michigan’s Men’s Basketball team in 2017. The accident occurred when a jammed part prevented the pilots from tilting the nose of the plane upwards causing the plane to crash on the runway. All of the passengers exited the plane using the emergency evacuation chutes, and only one passenger had minor injuries. Whether or not a Class Action was filed depends on any other damages that passengers may have developed later. An airplane accident attorney would be able to follow up on any latent accident claims. However, it is understandable that this airplane crash could be included in any of the three categories pertaining to a Class Action Lawsuit in Chicago.

Incident or Serious Incident

There is a very slight difference in an incident and a serious incident as pertains to a Class Action Suit. The difference usually is determined by the final result. Many airplane accident attorneys and even personal injury attorneys look closely at incidents to determine whether they can be labeled a serious incident.

For instance, a near collision that is avoided by a pilot decision, or when an unsafe situation could have been avoided, could be called a serious incident. Aborted takeoffs, as in the situation with the accident in Michigan, and fires and smoke in the passenger compartments and cargo compartments, could also be found to be a serious incident rather than an incident. There are always unique situations, and there is always a fine line. This is when the airplane accident attorney will dig deep into the facts of the case to uncover the causes. Once the digging and investigation are completed, then the determination can be made.

Other Class Action Suits

A Class Action Suit is not always limited to accidents or incidents. In some cases, a Class Action Suit can be brought against the airline for discrimination, unfair employment practices, unfair pricing, sexual harassment, or unfair policies. Visit Zimmerman Law Offices today.

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