Kreindler Exemplar Cases
Kreindler has successfully handled thousands of commercial airline disaster cases, including actions against virtually every major domestic and international airline, the aircraft manufacturing giants Boeing and Airbus, as well as many of the manufacturers of components and instruments used aboard commercial jets. The firm’s work has been instrumental in promoting aviation safety and we have repeatedly won precedent-setting cases and secured record damage recoveries for our clients.
The following is only a partial list of Kreindler’s major cases.
Kreindler represented the families of the three students who lost their lives in the crash of Asiana Flight 214, plus scores of U.S. and foreign passengers who suffered serious personal injuries. The firm vigorously investigated all potential contributing causes of the July 6, 2013 crash at San Francisco International Airport.
Kreindler successfully litigated claims arising from the February 12, 2009 crash of Continental Connection Flight 3407 in Clarence Center, New York. The Continental Connection Flight 3407 disaster exposed serious safety problems associated with regional airlines’ operations and we are honored to have represented the Flight 3407 families who made improving aviation safety their primary goal. The Kreindler 3407 team included Justin Green, Dan Rose, Marc Moller, Noah Kushlefsky and Jim Kreindler. The court appointed Jim Kreindler as Chair of the committee of plaintiffs’ lawyers prosecuting the case. The court appointed Justin Green and Dan Rose among the lead attorneys representing the plaintiffs.
In the early morning of August 27, 2006, the Bombardier Canadair Regional Jet 100ER being used for the flight crashed while attempting to take off from Blue Grass Airport in Fayette County, Kentucky, four miles (six kilometers) west of the central business district of the city of Lexington. Kreindler played a leading role in the litigation arising from the disaster and successfully obtained a very favorable result for the firm’s client. The Kreindler team on the case included Marc Moller and Dan Rose.
Our firm was honored to be appointed to the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee by the Court to prosecute the claims on behalf of the families of victims from the 2001 crash of American Airlines Flight 587.
Steven Pounian was appointed Chairman of the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee and Robert Spragg served as Liaison Counsel. They, along with Dan Rose, successfully prosecuted all claims against American Airlines and Airbus over the past 7 years resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation for the families. This summer, the last passenger case was successfully completed.
The claims of all 265 families of the victims killed in the disaster are now resolved.
Kreindler represented the largest group of families of passengers killed in the July 1996 TWA Flight 800 disaster off Long Island, New York. At the outset, many believed a bomb or missile caused the crash. But based on our own intensive, hands-on investigation, including the examination of several 747 aircraft in the California desert, Kreindler quickly determined that the likely cause of the disaster was a mechanical malfunction leading to an explosion in the center fuel cell. Armed with this knowledge, we filed the first suit in October 1996 against the airline and manufacturer. Three of the firm’s partners were appointed by the court to the Plaintiffs’ Committee, including the post of Committee Chairman.
Kreindler represented the largest number of families of passengers killed in the December 1988 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland. The case required an investigation spanning seven different countries. Three of the firm’s partners took leading roles in exhaustive international discovery, and thereafter on the trial, and won a verdict of willful misconduct against the airline. Two of the first three damage cases we tried resulted in verdicts which set new worldwide records for recovery. We briefed, argued and defeated the airline’s appeals. Our seven-year work effort resulted in the largest total recovery for a single disaster in the history of aviation. Kreindler continues to pursue claims on behalf of the families against the Libyan government.
We represented the largest group of injury victims and families of passengers killed aboard an airliner which ran out of fuel and crashed in New York in 1991. Faced with the prospect of limited liability of the airline, Kreindler developed a negligence claim against the United States air traffic controllers who handled the aircraft. We painstakingly prepared a video recreation of the flight which placed in sharp focus the controllers’ errors. After one week of trial, the government agreed to a settlement that assured a complete damage recovery for all plaintiffs, even those who could not maintain their actions against the airline in the United States.
Korean Airlines Disaster
When a Korean Airlines 747 was shot down by a Soviet fighter in 1983, many believed there was no way to prove that the airline had committed willful misconduct, the standard necessary to recover full damages. Two of the firm’s attorneys were appointed to the Committee that tried the case. We meticulously detailed the series of errors made by the pilots during the flight, won a verdict of willful misconduct against the airline and successfully defended the verdict on appeal.
The same hard work and results for which Kreindler receives significant attention in major air disaster litigation are also apparent in general aviation cases. We have won numerous suits against manufacturers of small aircraft, helicopters and component parts makers.
Bell Helicopter Engine Failure
Kreindler represented the family of the president of America’s top entertainment company who was killed in a Bell helicopter crash. The government investigation found that the helicopter operator was responsible because snow had filled the engine’s air intake while the helicopter was parked. The operator, however, had limited insurance coverage. Our investigation revealed the manufacturer knew that small quantities of snow inside the intake could cause engine failure. We constructed a full scale model of the intake and demonstrated how the manufacturer failed to provide the means to prevent snow from entering the intake and that an operator had no proper means to check for and remove snow. Our work resulted in a substantial settlement from the manufacturer.
Cessna Fuel Exhaustion
We represented the family of a businessman who was a passenger killed in the crash of a Cessna aircraft. The government investigators found that the plane ran out of fuel and singled out pilot error as the sole cause. The pilot was the passenger’s co-employee, however, and could not be sued. We uncovered evidence from a series of other fuel exhaustion accidents and conducted extensive fueling tests. We proved that the pilot had been misled because the plane did not actually hold the amount of fuel the manufacturer had stated in the manual. At trial, the jury found that the aircraft was defective and awarded full compensation to the family.
Vacuum Pump Failure
We represented the families of persons killed in five different crashes. While the cause of the accidents was a mystery, our investigation and bench tests pointed to a faulty pump that could fail suddenly and unpredictably without warning. We were successful in obtaining substantial awards from the manufacturer of the pump. The cases led to a change in aircraft design to provide for backup pumps.
Kreindler is a leader in handling military accident claims. Several Kreindler attorneys are former military pilots. Our firm has successfully opposed the government contractor defense in a series of cases and obtained recoveries for our clients.
Ejection Seat Failure
We represented the family of the Commander of the elite Air Force Thunderbirds. He was killed when forced to eject from his fighter jet at low altitude. We demonstrated that the seat latch was improperly designed and obtained a favorable settlement from the manufacturer despite the government contractor defense.
Main Driveshaft Failure
We represented the families of five servicemen killed in two separate military helicopter crashes. We successfully reversed the lower court’s ruling on the government contractor defense by showing that the manufacturer had failed to meet its burden of establishing governmental approval of reasonably precise specifications for the helicopter’s main driveshaft.
World Trade Center First Responders and the 9/11 Zadroga Act
Kreindler partner Noah Kushlefsky represents first responders and ailing workers through the maze of paperwork, documentation and evidence needed to properly present a claim in the VCF and maximize compensation from the Fund. The 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund provides benefits to people whose injuries and illnesses resulted from exposure to WTC dust and debris. The Act also provides ongoing health treatment for those sickened by the toxins. The law has been recently updated to include compensation and medical treatment for cancers linked to the toxic dust.
In a lengthy product liability trial in Waterbury, Connecticut, Kreindler partner Andrew J. Maloney proved to a jury that a roofing bracket was defective and unreasonably dangerous. The Trial Judge, however, over objection, charged the jury on the doctrine of superseding cause and judgment was entered in favor of the defendants.
In September 2002, partner David Beekman argued the appeal before the Supreme Court of the State of Connecticut and that Court’s opinion released on May 6, 2003 changed Connecticut’s longstanding law on superseding cause. The Supreme Court of Connecticut stated that the jury found the “product was defective and unreasonably dangerous at the time it was manufactured and sold by the defendants, and that the defective condition of the product was a proximate cause of the plaintiffs’ accident.” The Court went on to abandon the use of the doctrine of superseding cause except in exceptional circumstances, ruled that the Trial Judge should not have charged the jury on the issue of superseding cause and granted the plaintiffs a new trial. This advance in Connecticut Law brought about by Kreindler & Kreindler in this case will benefit injured individuals and their families for years to come.
Amtrak Northeast Corridor Derailment
Kreindler represented victims of the Amtrak derailment near Philadelphia that occurred on May 12, 2015. The tragedy claimed the lives of at least eight passengers, including three New Yorkers. More than 140 passengers were sent to area hospitals and several remained hospitalized with serious injuries. The train was traveling at over 100 miles per hour on a curve where the maximum speed limit is 50 miles per hour. The accident was investigated on behalf of our clients by Kreindler’s experienced railroad liability team, including partners Andrew Maloney, David Cook, Noah Kushlefsky and Dan Rose.
NFL Concussion Litigation
Kreindler partners Anthony Tarricone and Noah Kushlefsky, who were part of the team of lawyers that sued the National Football League over concussion related brain injuries, were a key part of the class action lawsuit settlement reached with the NFL, NFL Properties, retired NFL players, their representatives and family members. The retired NFL players sued, accusing the NFL of not warning players of the risks of concussions and hiding the damages of brain injury. On April 22, 2015, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania entered a Final Order and Judgment approving the settlement.
On September 11, 2001, nearly 3,000 people were killed, 400 were police officers and firefighters, in the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center in New York City, at the Pentagon building in Washington, DC, and in a plane crash near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Kreindler & Kreindler represented the most 9/11 families in all matters related to the tragedy, including the legal suits against the airlines and other entities, the suits against the terrorists and those who funded their actions, and in the creation of the federal 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund.
Kreindler represented businesses and business owners who suffered significant financial losses as a result of the spill, and owners of private homes and rental properties throughout the Gulf States who lost revenue and saw their property values plummet.
Kreindler joined forces with some of the most prominent and successful law firms in the south and on the gulf coast to best represent the interests of their clients who suffered injury and losses from the B.P. Deepwater Horizon Oil Disaster.
The patient began feeling flu-like symptoms after undergoing four hours of periodontal surgery. A few days later she experienced numbness and clumsiness on her left side, indicating some type of neurological event. She presented at the office of her family medical group and saw an internist who contacted a consulting neurologist by phone. The neurologist was told about the four hours of oral surgery and suggested that the patient might have experienced an arterial dissection, which is also known as a “beauty parlor stroke,” because, in rare cases, it can be brought on by the neck being in an unusual position for an extended period.
The patient was immediately sent to the emergency room. Within hours of her admission, bilateral stroke was diagnosed and arterial dissection was eliminated as a possible cause. At the hospital, she was attended to by two cardiologists, a neurologist, an internist and an emergency medicine specialist. All of the doctors knew she had recently undergone extensive dental work and that dental work can cause endocarditis in patients with pre-existing heart valve issues. Nevertheless, no diagnosis was made over the next seven days and no antibiotics were administered. As a result, the patient suffered several massive strokes and subsequently died.
The case was filed and litigated in New York State Supreme Court, Nassau County.