Aviation law encompasses so much more than just time spent in the sky. From the time a passenger books a ticket, to the time he or she makes their way out of the airport at their destination, the interactions with airport and airline products, premises, and employees are both plentiful and fraught with potential liability. Lawsuits involving airports, airlines, and vendors can take a variety of forms. Airplanes, or any of their thousands of component parts, can malfunction. A wide range of incidents, from vehicular accidents to jetway mishaps to slip-and-falls, can occur anywhere on the premises. Passengers, expecting an uneventful and safe travel experience, can incur injuries at a myriad of points along their travel inside an airport. This is especially true if these passengers are infirm or disabled and require a special duty of care. Airports are hotbeds of liability and, as a result, are constant sources of litigation. If you operate anywhere in or around an airport, you need to be protected by an experienced and zealous legal team.
The attorneys in Morgan & Akins PLLC’s aviation law practice group have represented airlines, state and federal airport authorities, municipalities, wheelchair assistants, baggage handlers, jetway operators, ticketing and security agents, tarmac mechanics and engineers, and many other aviation-related entities. Our clients and our cases stretch across the country, and the types of aviation law matters we have encountered span across the wide aviation law spectrum. From minor claims involving wheelchairs, motorized carts, jetway defects, tarmac machinery and vehicles, to larger matters resulting in catastrophic injury and death, Morgan & Akins aviation group has the expertise to tackle any issue your insureds may encounter. For over fifteen years, our attorneys have been at the forefront of some of the country’s most notable aviation cases. Our attorneys have seen it all, so we can do it all.
First and foremost, litigating aviation matters requires a unique knowledge of the interplay between the entities involved. The issues of tender, indemnity, and immunity issues need to be resolved at the outset. Contractual agreements between parties operating in and around an airport govern their respective duties and responsibilities, and oftentimes can be used to shift liability away from our clients. On other occasions, our clients must indemnify other parties, and knowing that up front is key to developing litigation strategy. Given the breadth of experience Morgan & Akins attorneys bring to the table, we are particularly adept at navigating the interplay between the parties. Our strong relationships with individuals at numerous airports – from attendants and service managers to high-level airline and port authority management – allows us to pick up the phone and discuss these issues candidly and efficiently. Our analysis always includes a comprehensive analysis of all applicable materials, including contracts and insurance policies, between airlines, municipalities, and vendors. We promptly provide our clients with a breakdown of which agreements apply, the duties they impose, the potential business ramifications they entail, and our suggested course of action given all of the above. Our pledge to our clients is to inform them of our analysis within the first month after we undertake representation.
The work Morgan and Akins’ attorneys perform at the beginning of the case doesn’t stop at the corners of our desks. We know that an inspection of the site and/or products at issue, as well speaking with the employees involved, is crucial to understanding of how an incident may have occurred and what we can expect the opposing party to allege. That’s why we get out to the airport within days of the inception of a matter (oftentimes armed with hand-picked experts) to gain a complete, 360-degree view of where we are and where we need to go. Our staunch commitment to this “boots-on-the-ground” mentality is best represented through our multiple tarmac inspections, hard hats on and flashlights in hand, in the very early morning hours following an incident. Our relationships with airport management and governmental representatives affords us the ability to conduct these inspections without the time constraints or red tape other firms may encounter. During our investigation, we meticulously document the areas and materials at issue. We speak to everyone with knowledge of the incident in great detail. And all of this work at the outset isn’t done in vain just to pass the time. We provide our clients with a complete litigation analysis in about one month. We do this so they know not only the underlying facts and applicable law, but also the risks and costs involved in defending against the claim. Aviation lawsuits are unlike any other, and not just any defense firm can handle them. Morgan & Akins has the experience, track record, connections, and acumen to tackle any aviation law issue. Our results in this space speak for themselves.