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Cirrus Not Liable To Crashed Pilot's Family  
User currently offlineMountainFlyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 473 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 9 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 14543 times:

Not exactly airline news, but significant I believe. Mods, feel free to change if you disagree.

http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2012-...cirrus-not-required-to-train-pilot

Quote:
The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that Duluth-based Cirrus Design Corp. had no legal duty to provide a flight lesson to a Grand Rapids man whose plane crashed in 2003, killing him and his passenger...


The NTSB report indicates the pilot was not instrument rated and flying in marginal VFR conditions.

http://www.ntsb.gov/aviationquery/br...ef.aspx?ev_id=20030122X00087&key=1

I posted this because I think it is hugely important to civil aviation. Essentially, the families were trying to place responsibility on the flight instructors and Cirrus for the pilot's decisions and lack of experience.

[Edited 2012-07-19 09:24:56]


SA-227; B1900; Q200; Q400; CRJ-2,7,9; 717; 727-2; 737-3,4,5,7,8,9; 747-2; 757-2,3; 767-3,4; MD-90; A319, 320; DC-9; DC-1
145 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinefutureualpilot From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2598 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (1 year 9 months 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 14497 times:

So a pilot decides to go fly after presumably checking the weather, in conditions they may/may not have enough experience to safely operate in, gets disoriented and crashes and somehow this becomes the aircraft manufacturer's fault? GMAFB.

Good on the court for not blaming Cirrus.

[Edited 2012-07-19 09:39:44]


Life is better when you surf.
User currently offlineyyzala From Canada, joined Nov 2009, 155 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 9 months 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 14418 times:

Well it is a no brainer that the pilot is ultimately responsible for his actions and the court has rightfully decided so. However an interesting bit from the article

Quote:
Cirrus also included two days of training in the purchase price, but Prokop did not receive in-flight training that would have included a maneuver to help him recover from an emergency in inclement weather.

The question becomes why didn't Cirrus teach this maneuver to the pilot? Is it because there wasn't enough time and told him to comeback later, and during this time the crash occured? Then no they are not responsible. But if they are supposed to teach it, but didn't, then they are quite liable....


User currently offlinemoo From Falkland Islands, joined May 2007, 3829 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (1 year 9 months 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 14362 times:

I find the dissenting opinions difficult to accept.

Quote:

Justices Paul Anderson and Alan Page disagreed.

"I conclude the majority's holding usurps the role of the jury and misreads our precedent," Anderson wrote in a dissenting opinion.

He also said the majority overstepped its authority and he was concerned about the far-reaching consequences, saying the opinion "essentially held that no consumer of a dangerous product may ever hold a supplier liable for personal injury arising out of defective nonwritten instructions."

The dissent also found it "absurd" that a supplier of an airplane would be held to the same standard as the supplier of a coffee pot.

Cirrus did not provide comprehensive flight training for the pilot. Cirrus did not profess to provide comprehensive training. Cirrus has no obligation in law to ensure that a purchaser is properly trained at all - this isnt about being held to the same standard as the supplier of a coffee pot, its about a car dealership not having to teach every buyer of a car how to drive, and ensuring that they pass a test, before allowing them to ever drive the vehicle.

The aircraft was not faulty, the training Cirrus provided was not faulty - it simply did not cover what the plaintiffs say it should have covered, which is something that the pilot should have been trained in when he gained his VFR (correct me if Im wrong, but you should get training on how to avoid inclement weather in VFR training, right? Because you can't go into it, you must avoid it to stay within VFR boundaries...)

This is a basic situation of the supplier having no control over the operation of the item once its in someone elses possession. The fact that Cirrus gave training should not ever make them liable for accidents or incidents involving situation that training does not cover - the jury decision to the opposite is simply ludicrous.

Imagine if I sold you a hammer and trained you how to use your hammer, during the day, outside in the sunlight. Imagine you bashed your thumb a couple weeks later while using the hammer, in your attic, with only a flashlight (held by your teeth), and you had to have your thumb amputated. No one is going to say Im liable for that.


User currently offlineMountainFlyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 473 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 9 months 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 14285 times:

Quoting yyzala (Reply 2):
The question becomes why didn't Cirrus teach this maneuver to the pilot? Is it because there wasn't enough time and told him to comeback later, and during this time the crash occured? Then no they are not responsible. But if they are supposed to teach it, but didn't, then they are quite liable....

No, they are not "supposed" to teach it, the same as the car dealership is not "supposed" to teach you that you legally need to use a turn signal before turning, or that you should slow down on ice.

The only way I see that Cirrus could or should be held liable to this is if there was something unique to Cirrus aircraft that the pilot was not taught about that was a direct cause of the crash. That is unlikely since all certified aircraft must adhere to strict standards under FAR Part 23.

It boggles my mind that there were dissenting judges, and it scares me at the same time. Should it have gone the other way, imagine the unintended consequences. The cost of purchasing an aircraft would probably increase on the order of 10-20% or more as the aircraft manufacturer would either have to verify the pilot has been trained for all possible circumstances, or else train you themselves. Think Ford having to give you a full driver's ed class if you bought a new car from them.

Quoting moo (Reply 3):
No one is going to say Im liable for that.

I would like to agree with that, but sadly, I'm sure there is a judge/jury out there who might prove that statement wrong.



SA-227; B1900; Q200; Q400; CRJ-2,7,9; 717; 727-2; 737-3,4,5,7,8,9; 747-2; 757-2,3; 767-3,4; MD-90; A319, 320; DC-9; DC-1
User currently offlineBravo1Six From Canada, joined Dec 2007, 396 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (1 year 9 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 14139 times:

Quoting moo (Reply 3):
(correct me if Im wrong, but you should get training on how to avoid inclement weather in VFR training, right? Because you can't go into it, you must avoid it to stay within VFR boundaries...)

In Canada, PPL training involves some instrument time so that you can live to fly another day should you inadvertantly find yourself in inclement weather (which shouldn't happen if you aren't IFR rated, but things sometimes happen). Not sure if that's also the case in the US.


User currently offlineMountainFlyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 473 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 9 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 14085 times:

Quoting Bravo1Six (Reply 5):
In Canada, PPL training involves some instrument time so that you can live to fly another day should you inadvertantly find yourself in inclement weather (which shouldn't happen if you aren't IFR rated, but things sometimes happen). Not sure if that's also the case in the US.

Yes, it is the case in the US. FAA regulations require 3 hours of flight training on maneuvering the airplane solely by instruments including recovery from unusual attitudes in addition to ground training. However, this is the responsibility of the flight school and CFI, not the aircraft manufacturer.



SA-227; B1900; Q200; Q400; CRJ-2,7,9; 717; 727-2; 737-3,4,5,7,8,9; 747-2; 757-2,3; 767-3,4; MD-90; A319, 320; DC-9; DC-1
User currently offlineplanemaker From Tuvalu, joined Aug 2003, 5925 posts, RR: 34
Reply 7, posted (1 year 9 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 14030 times:

This is an example of why there has to be tort reform in this country. There are way too many lawyers that are purely motivated by greed and will go after anyone and anything - in this case $16 million! Cessna stopped making 172's, etc., for many years bacause they were being sued for accidents even when it was obviously pilot error but jurors would side with the "grieving" families' lawyers. The liability insurance basicaly put Cessna's light aircraft out of business. Another dumb verdict was the McDonald's customer that won their case over spilling coffee on their lap!?!

Back to the case, the pilot "had logged 248.0 hours total time, including 57.0 hours of instrument time and 18.9 hours of night flight time." There is nothing that Cirrus could have "taught' him that would have prevented his poor judgement and poor piloting skills.



Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
User currently offlineJoeCanuck From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 5318 posts, RR: 30
Reply 8, posted (1 year 9 months 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 13853 times:

Cirrus is under no obligation to only sell to those who have a pilot's licence, or to train the pilot at all. It's the responsibility of the pilot to familiarize himself with the aircraft.

Regardless, what killed him had nothing to do with the aircraft flying. To hold Cirrus liable, they would have had to at least show that this would not have happened in another aircraft.

Still, with the way product liability cases have gone in the States, I'm surprised this one was decided in favour of Cirrus.



What the...?
User currently offlineweb500sjc From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 692 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 9 months 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 13819 times:

Quoting planemaker (Reply 7):
Another dumb verdict was the McDonald's customer that won their case over spilling coffee on their lap!?!

as i understand the coffee was actually too hot...but still it is generally accepted that a hot cup of joe is....HOT.



Boiler Up!
User currently offlinerwy04lga From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 3120 posts, RR: 8
Reply 10, posted (1 year 9 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 13704 times:

Quoting Bravo1Six (Reply 5):
find yourself in inclement weather (which shouldn't happen if you aren't IFR rated, but things sometimes happen). Not sure if that's also the case in the US.

It is. Came to good use a few years after I got licensed. Scud running, was cutting it too close, was inside an ARSA and took a chance. started a gradual climb, felt a little imbalance, trusted those instruments, and popped up into blinding sunlight and headed back to HTS. Thanks to Dag Skvold, my instructor.

Quoting MountainFlyer (Reply 6):
Yes, it is the case in the US. FAA regulations require 3 hours of flight training on maneuvering the airplane solely by instruments including recovery from unusual attitudes in addition to ground training. However, this is the responsibility of the flight school and CFI, not the aircraft manufacturer.

  

Quoting planemaker (Reply 7):
Another dumb verdict was the McDonald's customer that won their case over spilling coffee on their lap!?!

  =  =  



Just accept that some days, you're the pigeon, and other days the statue
User currently offlineDL787932ER From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 597 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (1 year 9 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 13576 times:

Quote:
According to Cirrus Design/University of North Dakota records, the pilot completed the SR-22 training course on December 12, 2002. The course consisted of 4 flights for a total of 12.5 hours of dual flight instruction and 5.3 hours of ground instruction.

How much more flight training was Cirrus supposed to give the guy? He was already a licensed pilot.

The crash didn't have anything to do with the SR22 anyway. The guy would have still killed himself if he were still flying the 172, just a bit more slowly. He actually had many more tools in the SR22 that could have helped him avoid the crash, none of which he used.



F L Y D E L T A J E T S
User currently offlinePC12Fan From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2378 posts, RR: 5
Reply 12, posted (1 year 9 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 13484 times:

Quoting MountainFlyer (Reply 6):
However, this is the responsibility of the flight school and CFI, not the aircraft manufacturer.

   Not looking to flamebait and playing devil's advocate here, but was this Cirrus equipped with the parachute device? Could Cirrus have trained what to do in the worst case scenario? IFR or VFR, it could be used. Making one thing clear though, I totally agree with everyone in favor of this ruling. The only one to truly blame is the pilot.

Quoting DL787932ER (Reply 11):
The crash didn't have anything to do with the SR22 anyway. The guy would have still killed himself if he were still flying the 172, just a bit more slowly.

   and    at the same time with that one!



Just when I think you've said the stupidest thing ever, you keep talkin'!
User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7345 posts, RR: 32
Reply 13, posted (1 year 9 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 13444 times:

Quoting PC12Fan (Reply 12):
Could Cirrus have trained what to do in the worst case scenario? IFR or VFR, it could be used.

From the Cirrus web site

Quote:
Transition Training (VFR Emphasis)

The three day Cirrus Transition course is designed for licensed pilots who wish to fly a Cirrus aircraft. The course focuses on mastering aircraft control, engine management, use of avionics, use of autopilot, and important emergency/abnormal situations in VFR conditions. Completing the Transition Training course satisfies most insurance requirements or aircraft checkout procedures for pilots new to Cirrus aircraft. This package includes 3 days of one-on-one instruction, an aircraft / avionics specific pilot training kit, and 3 hours in the flight training device.

I understand this is included in the purchase of a new Cirrus aircraft. There are some big differences between the SR-20/SR-22 aircraft and the previous aircraft of many buyers.

The SR-20/SR-22 is much faster with a more sophisticated engine - a low wing design. But the big differences are flying with sidestick controllers, not a traditional yoke, or even stick, and the glass cockpit.

Those are obviously most of the training focus.


User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 6676 posts, RR: 46
Reply 14, posted (1 year 9 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 13373 times:

Quoting yyzala (Reply 2):
But if they are supposed to teach it, but didn't, then they are quite liable....

There is no requirement for the manufacturer to provide any training; it is solely the pilot's responsibility to be properly trained for the airplane and weather in which he chooses to fly.

Quoting moo (Reply 3):
The aircraft was not faulty, the training Cirrus provided was not faulty - it simply did not cover what the plaintiffs say it should have covered, which is something that the pilot should have been trained in when he gained his VFR (correct me if Im wrong, but you should get training on how to avoid inclement weather in VFR training, right? Because you can't go into it, you must avoid it to stay within VFR boundaries...)

A VFR pilot is supposed to avoid non-VFR weather, period. It is the pilot's responsibility to do so; legally, the pilot can be sanctioned by the FAA for flying in anything less than VFR, or for even flying closer than a mile from a cloud (good luck enforcing that.) It is prudent for a VFR pilot to learn how to get out of a cloud, and most flight instructors do teach it. However, the rules do not require it.

Quoting MountainFlyer (Reply 4):
The cost of purchasing an aircraft would probably increase on the order of 10-20% or more as the aircraft manufacturer would either have to verify the pilot has been trained for all possible circumstances, or else train you themselves.

This is exactly why Cessna ceased manufacturing piston powered planes for well over a decade; they only resumed when a fig leaf that was supposed to be tort reform passed Congress. I read once that 50% of the cost of a new piston powered aircraft went to pay for insurance premiums, and I believe it. If this precedent was established it probably would kill off piston powered plane manufacturing completely.



The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlineplanemaker From Tuvalu, joined Aug 2003, 5925 posts, RR: 34
Reply 15, posted (1 year 9 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 13347 times:

The only reason this went to court is because of the possibility for an out of wack payout -the $16 million that the jury awarded. Of course, the law firm's specialities are:

Quote:
For over 40 years, our lawyers have tried or settled wrongful death cases resulting from automobile accidents, medical malpractice, plane crashes, and defective products.

Thank goodness this was overturned but scary that it went to the state supremem court!



Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12416 posts, RR: 100
Reply 16, posted (1 year 9 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 13182 times:
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Quoting moo (Reply 3):
Cirrus did not profess to provide comprehensive training. Cirrus has no obligation in law to ensure that a purchaser is properly trained at all - this isnt about being held to the same standard as the supplier of a coffee pot, its about a car dealership not having to teach every buyer of a car how to drive, and ensuring that they pass a test, before allowing them to ever drive the vehicle.

That is exactly the point. Cirrus is not responsible for training a pilot. They offer a course to ensure pilots may handle a high performance product.

This is analogous to a local BMW car dealership offering a one day track course as part of buying a car. I was offered and I declined because:
1. No way was I taking my brand new, not yet broken in car on a track
2. It interfered with a pre-paid vacation.

I almost spun out my car accelerating into a turn with wet leaves on the ground. Oops... My fault. BMW's have the infamous 'BMW twitch' at the limit while accelerating in corners. If I had crashed, it would have been my own stupidity for initiating a maneuver beyond my driving skills for the conditions.

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 14):
A VFR pilot is supposed to avoid non-VFR weather, period.

That too and file an IFR flight plan if IFR conditions are expected...

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 14):
This is exactly why Cessna ceased manufacturing piston powered planes for well over a decade; they only resumed when a fig leaf that was supposed to be tort reform passed Congress. I read once that 50% of the cost of a new piston powered aircraft went to pay for insurance premiums, and I believe it. If this precedent was established it probably would kill off piston powered plane manufacturing completely.

  

If this had passed, pretty quickly all purchasers of aircraft would have to take a month long flying course to be eligible. How many people could afford the time off, hotel, and added cost of the lessons?

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 14):
There is no requirement for the manufacturer to provide any training;

Good point. There is a HUGE difference between offered training and required training.

Lightsaber



I've posted how many times?!?
User currently offlineMark2fly1034 From United States of America, joined Oct 2011, 116 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (1 year 9 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 12813 times:

Seems to be one of the cases where in this case the family has to try and sue everyone they can and make them at fault happens in any situation it seems.

User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6100 posts, RR: 9
Reply 18, posted (1 year 9 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 12718 times:

Quoting yyzala (Reply 2):
Quote:
Cirrus also included two days of training in the purchase price, but Prokop did not receive in-flight training that would have included a maneuver to help him recover from an emergency in inclement weather.

The question becomes why didn't Cirrus teach this maneuver to the pilot? Is it because there wasn't enough time and told him to comeback later, and during this time the crash occured? Then no they are not responsible. But if they are supposed to teach it, but didn't, then they are quite liable....

This maneuver is called "stay on the ground", not really flight training is it ?



New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22302 posts, RR: 20
Reply 19, posted (1 year 9 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 12720 times:

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 16):
If this had passed, pretty quickly all purchasers of aircraft would have to take a month long flying course to be eligible.

To get the picky lawyer point out of the way first: nothing was "passing" or "failing" here. As with most tort duties, the legislature isn't involved.

And to your larger point, I don't know that it's correct. To me, the question isn't what duties Cirrus owes as a manufacturer of aircraft. That's pretty much settled law. The question - and the reason the Minnesota Supreme Court was involved - is what duty a manufacturer who opts to provide training on the product owes, and that's not as settled. (My friends who do plaintiffs' work might phrase it slightly differently, as something like what duty a manufacturer who designs such a dangerous product that he must sell it with training owes.)

Remember that the US tort system defaults to no duty. Tort law generally assumes that no one has any duties to others and that people (and corporations) assume duties through their actions. To take an example for individuals, I don't owe any duty to the drivers on the street in front of my house UNTIL I choose to get in the car and drive, when I owe a duty to drive with reasonable care. Cirrus doesn't owe you or me any duties UNTIL it chooses to manufacture a product (which creates one set of duties) and give training on that product (which creates a different, though probably overlapping, set of duties).

The crucial thing about duties for this discussion is that duty is almost always a question for a judge, not for the jury. And when legal questions such as the duty owed are unsettled, appellate courts can (and should) get involved.

Quoting planemaker (Reply 15):
Thank goodness this was overturned but scary that it went to the state supremem court!

Not at all scary. It's an example of the system working as it should. The Minnesota Supreme Court is supposed to be the body that tells product manufacturers what duties they owe to Minnesotans. And here, I think the court got it right.

Quoting planemaker (Reply 15):
The only reason this went to court is because of the possibility for an out of wack payout -the $16 million that the jury awarded.

What's a death worth?



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineplanemaker From Tuvalu, joined Aug 2003, 5925 posts, RR: 34
Reply 20, posted (1 year 9 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 12548 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 19):
Not at all scary. It's an example of the system working as it should. The Minnesota Supreme Court is supposed to be the body that tells product manufacturers what duties they owe to Minnesotans. And here, I think the court got it right.

No, it shouldn't have even gone there as the pilot clearly broke VFR regs. The lawyers and family were just out for booty. And scary that two of the judges had dissenting opinions!

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 19):
What's a death worth?

Depends... according to various sources anywhere from just over $1 million to under $3 million. But that is beside the point here... the guy broke VFR regs and even with all his IFR and night time still lost orientation and the family and lawyer tried to get &16 million from Cirrus. That is just greed.



Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22302 posts, RR: 20
Reply 21, posted (1 year 9 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 12494 times:

Quoting planemaker (Reply 20):
No, it shouldn't have even gone there as the pilot clearly broke VFR regs.

You are conflating the legal and factual questions. Whether Cirrus owed a duty to train is a purely legal question. Whether Cirrus' faulty training or the pilot's dumb choices (or both) caused the accident is a factual question. The Minnesota Supreme Court spoke to the former, as it should have.

Quoting planemaker (Reply 20):
But that is beside the point here... the guy broke VFR regs and even with all his IFR and night time still lost orientation and the family and lawyer tried to get &16 million from Cirrus. That is just greed.

Would you favor a return to pure contributory negligence, where someone one who is partially at fault can never recover from another in tort? The "tort reform" movement you seem to support has moved us away from that principle.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineplanemaker From Tuvalu, joined Aug 2003, 5925 posts, RR: 34
Reply 22, posted (1 year 9 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 12269 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 21):
The Minnesota Supreme Court spoke to the former, as it should have.

No, the case should never have even seen a court room in the first place. And the fact that 2 judges dissented is scary. It is such an open and shut case.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 21):
someone one who is partially at fault

The pilot was completely at fault... and the lawyers knew that (because they are not stupid) but with their 40 years experience of these kinds of "extortions" they were able to fool the jury into awarding an unbelievable $16 million!!



Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22302 posts, RR: 20
Reply 23, posted (1 year 9 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 12260 times:

Quoting planemaker (Reply 22):
No, the case should never have even seen a court room in the first place.

What sort of pre-filing screening do you suggest?

Quoting planemaker (Reply 22):
The pilot was completely at fault... and the lawyers knew that (because they are not stupid) but with their 40 years experience of these kinds of "extortions" they were able to fool the jury into awarding an unbelievable $16 million!!

We get paid to advise and advocate, not to believe that a case is meritorious or not. That's true on both sides.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineplanemaker From Tuvalu, joined Aug 2003, 5925 posts, RR: 34
Reply 24, posted (1 year 9 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 12123 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 23):
What sort of pre-filing screening do you suggest?

That is another discussion. My point is that the lawyers KNEW the pilot was at fault and because of GREED they wasted a lot of other peoples time, money and energy. Furthermore, if they had won (and they obviously thought that they could... well they did fool the jury!) they would have set a precedent that would have set back GA... like all those suits that drove Cessna out of the light single market as pointed out earlier.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 23):
We get paid to advise and advocate, not to believe that a case is meritorious or not. That's true on both sides.

The lawyers KNEW that the pilot was at fault but they advised the family that they would probably score a few million anyhow. I find that 'advice' repugnant.



Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
25 ThirtyEcho : I have always maintained that, unless all you do is hop around the traffic pattern, you are not a safe pilot until you get an Instrument Rating. Studi
26 planemaker : He was ready to take the flight test... While I don't debate that an Instrument Rating would be nice for pilots to have but it really isn't required.
27 armitageshanks : Actually, she almost died because of the burns she received. I saw the pictures and read the case and her injuries were horriffic.
28 DL787932ER : Really? Would you be willing to call your state's bar association and tell them you were pursuing a civil case you did not believe to have merit beca
29 soon7x7 : Think she now flies a Cirrus...
30 flightsimer : yes it is still done. I did this when I went for my private and instrument ratings and have done it since then while working on my commercial rating.
31 Post contains images lightsaber : The problem is that if cirrus had lost, it would have opened a flood gate of liability and the only way to defeat a future lawsuit would be to provid
32 Lutfi : Just an aside, this isn't a BMW twitch, it is a rear wheel drive twitch. It is just that almost all BMW are RWD (some are AWD, but none are FWD) Heck
33 zeke : I do not believe those hours for a second, 57 hours instrument time and not even 250 total ? instrument time means flying by sole referance to the in
34 planemaker : I don't know... I know a lot of wise pilots who don't have their IFR ticket. I got mine right after my PPL so I am not debating the merits (I have ev
35 garpd : I'm surprised this went in Cirrus' favour. I know Boeing actively save a little cash each month from their accounts to fund payouts when one of their
36 MountainFlyer : It is required in the sense that all private pilots must have at least three hours of flight training flying on sole reference to instruments. That a
37 zeke : Didn't know he was doing that training, that is a lot of hours not to have the rating. I thought it was something like 40 hours instrument time, of w
38 soon7x7 : I've been flying 29 years and live on the coast (Lots of scud). I have not obtained my IFR ticket for a good reason, my personal belief if you are a
39 Archer : Cirrus planes do have a parachute.
40 Cubsrule : The only hurdle we have to cross (in general) is not filing frivolous pleadings. That's a pretty low bar. Again, I don't view this case as frivolous
41 rfields5421 : I agree with you and have regretted the irrational hysteria on this thread. This lawsuit was NEVER about Cirrus having an obligation to provide train
42 suseJ772 : Agree whole-heartedly. The system did exactly what it should have done. I flew once for 60 seconds with my eyes closed and didn't lose control. I did
43 Post contains links MountainFlyer : Actually, it was about Cirrus' obligation to provide training. The point was not that the training was insufficient, rather that he did not have it f
44 Cubsrule : Correct, but it was based on Cirrus (arguably) assuming a duty to do so by providing training, not based on Cirrus having manufactured the airplane.
45 Post contains images lightsaber : Ok. But its more fun to say BMW twitch. Agreed. But not in my social circle. I missed that. That is like some of my ex-Scuba buddies who thought taki
46 Cubsrule : The court said no. It held that the choice to provide training creates contractual duties only, not tort duties. See Pages 22 and 23. Product liabili
47 Post contains images planemaker : To qualify, I have good friends who are lawyers (2nd oldest profession ) so I don't think of ALL lawyers are immoral, unethical, greedy basterds (spel
48 Cubsrule : As I've tried to explain to you, we don't deal much in black and white because few cases are black and white. Other than because you say so, why is t
49 planemaker : This IS black and white. The lawyers KNEW from the FACTS that they pilot should NEVER even have attempted that flight. The GREEDY lawyers tried to ha
50 Cubsrule : Were the conditions VFR when he took off? The NTSB report doesn't seem real clear on it.
51 Mir : Doesn't necessarily mean that the training the pilot received was poor. In this case, I don't think it was - what Cirrus provides is basically the pi
52 planemaker : They are indeed very clear about it... This has all been highlighted, and more, in this thread. The pilot is 100% at fault and the greedy lawyers KNE
53 Cubsrule : Marginal VFR is VFR, not IMC, right?
54 planemaker : Yes, not much different than the type of training one would get at, for example, a flying club when wanting to fly a different type. I went through m
55 Cubsrule : Was he legal to take off or not? I think you know this, but NTSB has a vastly different purpose than the tort system.
56 Mir : Actually, spatial disorientation is listed as one of the probable causes. Therefore, it's not incorrect to question whether the pilot should have bee
57 Dornier328Jet : The CAPS (the parachute system) isn't always the solution. I did my entire instrument training in an SR-20, and we were told to only use the system w
58 planemaker : Simpler... how was the accident NOT the pilot's fault. Again, you avoid the issue... the pilot should never have taken off... that is just simple goo
59 Cubsrule : Again, product liability isn't fault based, so that's not really the question. The more appropriate question is what caused the accident, and there m
60 planemaker : Again, you keep running away from the simple fact that it was the pilot's fault. The NTSB report very CLEARLY shows what caused the accident... there
61 Cubsrule : . . . which does nothing to answer the question of whether that poor judgment and lack of skill was caused by the pilot, the pilot's training or both
62 planemaker : You OBVIOUSLY haven't read the NTSB report because the report clearly shows that the accident had NOTHING do to with training. You really should read
63 SEPilot : As a non-instrument rated pilot the only way he can legally log "instrument" time is when he is under the hood with either a safety pilot or instruct
64 Post contains links and images planemaker : It seems that it is the death rate that is much higher... Why the fatality rate is much worse is open for interpretation (like how many pax per accid
65 SEPilot : I was going by memory; I will accept your correction. Thanks for the details; again, I was going by (distant) memory. While I had the numbers a bit o
66 Cubsrule : That's sort of my point. Some seem to think that it's black and white that this fellow shouldn't have taken off, but I'm not so sure why. We can argu
67 Mir : Except for spatial disorientation training, of course. Not necessarily. You can log actual instrument time if you're in the clouds and you've got an
68 rwy04lga : Ever wonder why so many lawyers have broken noses....It's from chasing parked ambulances. She didn't know it would be hot? Would she have complained
69 SEPilot : Unfortunately there are no rules that insure good judgment. Airline flying has become as safe as it is because they have managed to establish rules t
70 planemaker : Read the NTSB report and then "argue" about the facts of the accident. He had completed his IFR training.
71 Cubsrule : I have, twice. Why don't you enlighten those of us who are dumber than you are?
72 rfields5421 : At the time - McDonalds required coffee to be served at 180-190 degrees. That will cause third degree burns in a few seconds. Most restaurants serve
73 planemaker : You have shown no intention of discussing this accident from a factual point of view as your previous post and this post clearly demonstrates. Not on
74 Post contains links planemaker : It can cause 3rd degree burns even at the temp that the lawyers were saying that McDonald's should serve coffee at... The lawyer representing her was
75 Cubsrule : I think what you are missing is that I'm not interested in the single answer, because there is rarely one single answer. I am interested in what a ju
76 planemaker : There is a single answer... the pilot shouldn't have taken off. And I'm not missing anything. I've answered factually ALL your unfounded speculation
77 Post contains images Cubsrule : Now, it appears that you are the one who has not read something. The Minnesota Supreme Court found a duty to provide the training, but held that it w
78 SEPilot : I have found that private pilots generally fall into two classes-those that realize that they are engaging in risky activity, and therefore examine th
79 Post contains images lightsaber : That is part 1 of 2. The second part is: Note: I agree with Planemaker, the pilot shouldn't have taken off. I'm not a pilot but I'm allowed to scrub
80 planemaker : You are still trying to run away from the NTSB report facts that the pilot should never have taken off and that the accident was a result of poor jud
81 Cubsrule : Maybe you think we need special rules for aviation torts (that's probably a discussion for another day), but under normal legal principles, both the
82 Mir : And since he crashed due in part to spatial disorientation, I'd say that such training would be of significant interest, wouldn't you? -Mir
83 planemaker : Hilarious, you just keep ignoring the facts and go off on a tangent. The forecast for his route was IMC... case closed. He had already completed his
84 JoeCanuck : It's simple...it's the pilot's responsibility to make sure he is qualified to fly a particular plane under particular conditions. It is his responsibi
85 tribird1011 : I'll agree with you that he shouldn't have taken off, but he did. He had already completed his IFR training (but not signed off yet), but he took off
86 planemaker : Not necssarily since if you look at the accident database there have been several CFIT by IFR rated pilots. Not necessarily since I think that some p
87 JoeCanuck : He entered IMC without an instrument ticket and stayed in it...no different than driving without a licence. Even if you can do it, and have the train
88 SEPilot : Absolutely wrong. The plane manufacturer has no more duty to guarantee that the purchaser has the necessary training than a car manufacturer has a du
89 rcair1 : Porsche 911's are famous for trailing throttle over-steer. Especially the turbo's. Even my souped up VW Bug (used to race) was pretty twitchy, but on
90 planemaker : In several news accounts it is stated that he was waiting to take his IFR flight test. But that is really besides the point. As has been pointed out
91 Cubsrule : None, but plenty of suits have been successful on various other failure to warn theories (including some that you might find pretty close to your exa
92 rcair1 : It is also part of the training to not fly VFR in marginal VFR on a route that is shown to be IFR at night w/o rating. Indeed - as did mine - except
93 lightsaber : Ok, then I would change the law. I know my employer spends quite a bit to avoid lawsuits that provide no benefit and will, within weeks, result in 40
94 Post contains images Cubsrule : At the start, there was an unsettled legal question: what tort duties did Cirrus owe because it voluntarily provided training on the airplane? So I d
95 planemaker : No it didn't... And that echo's what the Appeals Court said... I'm sorry but after saying that you read the NTSB report twice and failing to see that
96 Cubsrule : Yes, it did. You are conflating tort duty with duty in general (which is understandable, given that the opinion did this and that a lot of lawyers do
97 redflyer : This was purely about lawyers getting greedy and taking a chance on winning a courtroom jackpot, pure and simple. This case was about a pilot who cho
98 SEPilot : There is a very simple remedy for such needless suits as this, which many other countries have, and I would like to see implemented here: Loser pays.
99 Cubsrule : Loser pays has some advantages (especially as applied in most States, which tends to be more nuanced than how our friends across the Pond apply it),
100 SEPilot : If the plaintiffs in this case (where the fault of the pilot was so glaring) had known that they would potentially be liable for Cirrus's legal costs
101 redflyer : Seems to me if the legal profession was about common sense there would be no question about the "core legal question" involved. When lawyers are tryi
102 Cubsrule : If it is so obvious and is staring everyone squarely in the face, how do we explain the result that the jury reached? That is an interesting question
103 JoeCanuck : The only had a legal agreement to provide lessons because they offer lessons as part of the purchase contract. They are not obligated to provide enou
104 redflyer : Spoken like a true lawyer defending his/her "noble profession". But that was precisely my point - the lawyers made it about minutiae, which is what t
105 Post contains images planemaker : I would add "trying" to defend because there has been no success... the "jury" of pilots on this thread hasn't bought any of the arguments.
106 rwy04lga : Priceless!
107 SEPilot : You and I both know that many tort lawyers (I hear ads for them every day I listen to the local radio station) will bear the entire costs of a trial,
108 Cubsrule : You need to distinguish between a garden variety tort case (car wreck, slip and fall) and a case like this. The costs are so monumentally different t
109 redflyer : No one in this thread has indicated the jury got it wrong, and I can't think of a single instance where I've ever heard anyone indict a jury's verdic
110 Cubsrule : And my answer to that is simple: at the time of trial, that question was for the jury, which could have found that the lack of training caused the ac
111 redflyer : So there was no argument by plaintiff's counsel, no effort whatsoever by plaintiff's counsel, to focus on and show that the gap in the curriculum led
112 Cubsrule : Based on what's been said in this thread and on reading the linked materials, no. But what has been said in this thread isn't what was said in the co
113 redflyer : Thank you for answering that question. Which is what this thread is all about - how lawyers have screwed up the system. C'mon...you're an attorney! A
114 Cubsrule : Your complaint - at least that specific complaint - seems to be about rules of evidence, not about lawyers. We limit what jurors can see to try to en
115 JoeCanuck : What specific training was offered by Cirrus but was not provided? I will say it; the jury got it wrong....completely, utterly wrong. The problem does
116 Post contains images redflyer : No, my "complaint", and everyone else's in this thread, is about lawyers who limit what juries are allowed to see and deliberate upon. See my above c
117 Cubsrule : On what do you base your assertion? I've written jury verdict forms. There are multiple ways to skin the cat, but it's permissible to make the questi
118 redflyer : Now it is you that is conflating two separate issues. The jury may have been asked a broad question, but the question was broad only to a very specif
119 Cubsrule : I think we are on the same page and I have confused the issues. Based on the supreme court decision, I'd agree with you that in this case, the jury w
120 planemaker : You claim to have read it twice... so if you had, even once, you wouldn't need to know any more.
121 JoeCanuck : Indeed...there is no debate. Your conclusion on whether or not Cirrus provided the training they said is completely wrong. I'll say it again, Cirrus
122 Cubsrule : I was thinking of methodology, not conclusions. If you've read a lot of full AARs, you probably know that NTSB's methodology can vary quite a bit fro
123 SEPilot : I believe that in cases like this the actual facts weigh less than the emotional aspects. I think that too many of them look at big corporations as d
124 planemaker : NTSB methodology is COMPLETELY irrelevant to anything being discussed here. That you tried to pass the original "question" off and than reply with th
125 JoeCanuck : NTSB reports cannot be used as evidence in any legal proceedings. They are completely neutral and anybody who gives evidence does so on the basis tha
126 Cubsrule : Why, then, do manufacturers that make an effort to try cases win so many? Are they not admissible under Rule 803(8) and its state analogs and the hol
127 planemaker : As Reagan use to say, "there you go again." You respond with a question instead of supporting your assertion with a single fact from the NTSB report.
128 Cubsrule : I'm not sure what assertion you think I've made. This discussion began with my observation that I'd like to know more about NTSB's methodology to ful
129 planemaker : Not only do you show, again, that you haven't even read the NTSB report (though you claimed to have read it twice), you don't even present a cogent o
130 Cubsrule : The report, as I'm sure you know, notes the portions of the training that he did not complete, but it does not analyze the effect, if any, of that. H
131 redflyer : Ok, I think we're arguing two sides of the same coin. What I've been trying to say is that a BROAD QUESTION may be asked, but only to a NARROW ISSUE
132 Cubsrule : The vast majority of personal injury plaintiffs cannot afford to pay hourly rates. How would plaintiffs' lawyers get paid? I think we've been down th
133 planemaker : Because it is not relevant. Try again.
134 Cubsrule : I'm not sure why we are arguing. We both have made that assumption. Neither of us can prove that that's how NTSB got there.
135 planemaker : You are the one making all the "assumptions"... I reference facts. Got "where"?
136 JoeCanuck : I should have been more clear...the facts of an NTSB investigation are allowed since they are facts, obtainable by other means. The conclusions aren'
137 Cubsrule : I'm not sure why you say that. I've said - repeatedly - that I don't think the training had anything to do with this accident. Read Rainey again. Tha
138 redflyer : Easy. They could charge an hourly rate just like every other attorney practicing other forms of law and litigation. How do you think contract attorne
139 SEPilot : And this is precisely the problem with our system. It has come down to the fact that if you build a product and someone gets hurt using it, no matter
140 Cubsrule : There's no way to respond to this other than with a broad generalization, but as a defense attorney, I'd much rather deal with a plaintiff's attorney
141 Cubsrule : Let me clarify: product liability is defect based. A plaintiff has to prove a defect to recover. In some states, the definition of "defect" is so bro
142 DiamondFlyer : Aviation has that specifically. It's what led to many of the companies starting to build light GA airplanes again in the 1990's. GARA (http://www.avw
143 redflyer : Litigation finance companies are in bed with law firms. Law firms typically rely on them to finance the cases that the law firm pursues. Get rid of t
144 Cubsrule : It would have to. Like it or not, the tort system is part of what informs manufacturers' safety choices, and without that tort system, the government
145 SEPilot : This indeed needs to happen, but in this case it would not have helped, as there was no defect alleged in the machine. The problem was the idiotic la
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