Mass Aviation Disaster – Bet The Company Litigation

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David Defeats Twin Goliaths — Strategic Management of ‘Bet the Company’ Litigation

Swissair Crash, Europe and Philadelphia

In the hours following the tragic crash of a Swissair MD-11 off the coast of Nova Scotia, Rose Walker name partner Martin Rose was retained to represent Santa Barbara Aerospace. The Swissair plane had caught fire in midflight and crashed into Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia, killing all aboard.

Within days, the crash investigation focused on the in-flight entertainment system as the possible source of the fire. The air carrier and manufacturer both pointed the finger at Santa Barbara Aerospace, a small aviation electronics shop, which then became the target of litigation in Europe and multi-district litigation in Philadelphia.

The federal judge managing the litigation refused to allow formal discovery and demanded that defendants capitulate. Ignoring the pressure from the judge and twin corporate behemoths Boeing/McDonnell Douglass and Swissair, we led our own extensive investigation and testing. These efforts attacked the $600 million case against Santa Barbara Aerospace on two fronts: whether SBA had anything to do with the wiring problems; and whether the in-flight entertainment system was the source of the fire that led to the crash.

While the specific terms of the case resolution are confidential, it was an overwhelming victory for our client.