Aviation Litigation

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DHS Again Postpones REAL ID Deadline [Alert]

Rachel Welford discusses DHS's extension of the REAL ID deadline to May 3, 2023.


According to the old adage, flexibility is the key to airpower. The same idea applies to legal power as well. Businesses in the aviation sector need lawyers with the knowledge and experience to find creative solutions that defy convention. Cozen O’Connor’s aviation litigators are consistently successful in handling complex cases involving catastrophic losses and significant exposures by devising innovative approaches.

Cozen O’Connor represents aviation and aerospace insurers and reinsurers, aviation products and component part manufacturers, carriers, airports, repair facilities, and manufacturers and operators of unmanned aircraft systems (drones) in all manner of dispute and investigation. The firm handles wrongful death and survival actions, personal injury claims, antitrust and consumer protection claims, product liability and recalls, property damage claims, liability claims, coverage issues, air accidents, and other claims under the Montreal and Warsaw conventions.

The firm also assists aviation clients in state and federal government investigations. Firm attorneys regularly represent subjects and third parties in federal investigations of all types, including mergers, civil antitrust, consumer protection, and criminal. The firm has a dedicated State Attorneys General practice that defends clients against state consumer protection, deceptive trade, and advertising claims.

When facing high-stakes litigation, businesses need experienced trial lawyers who know how to get results in the courtroom and aggressively negotiate favorable settlements. We have successfully tried aviation cases valued at hundreds of millions of dollars to verdict and served as national coordinating counsel for multinational companies. The firm’s well-deserved reputation as a trial powerhouse provides leverage in negotiations and meditations; adversaries know we settle to serve our client’s interests, not to avoid court.

The firm’s reach is global. With offices in 30 cities across North America and in Europe, and extensive experience working in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa, Cozen O’Connor is ready to respond wherever and whenever the need arises. Cozen O’Connor’s Rapid Response Team can be on site within 24 hours to advise on investigations, emergency response protocols, family support services, cleanup, and public relations. Moving forward, our attorneys can handle all ongoing investigations, inquiries, or resulting litigations.

In managing major aviation litigation, Cozen O’Connor carefully tailors its defense strategy to each client and each situation. Rather than providing cookie-cutter answers and stock briefs, Cozen O’Connor adds value by being creative, adaptive, and persuasive. Cozen O’Connor also adds value by staffing with proportionality and employing seasoned attorneys who provide cost-effective service.

Members of the aviation litigation practice includes fellows in the prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers, a special assistant U.S. Attorney; a former Air Force Judge Advocate; and a former military pilots with thousands of flight hours. 


DHS Again Postpones REAL ID Deadline [Alert]

April 29, 2021

Rachel Welford discusses DHS's extension of the REAL ID deadline to May 3, 2023.

The Efficacy of Preemption Defenses in Airline COVID-19 Litigation [Alert]

July 27, 2020

William H. Walsh and Anusha E. Jones discuss potential preemption defenses that could be available to airlines and their potential effectiveness.

DOT/HHS/DHS Issue Joint COVID-19 Guidance to Airlines and Airports

July 06, 2020

On July 2, 2020, the U.S. Departments of Transportation, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services issued a joint guidance document titled “Runway to Recovery- the United States Framework for Airlines and Airports to Mitigate the Public Health Risks of Coronavirus.”

DOT Issues New Guidance Regarding Airlines’ Obligation to Provide Passenger Refunds [Alert]

May 13, 2020

Rachel Welford discusses DOT's guidance for airline carriers operating flights to, from, and within in the United States on when it is necessary to offer ticketed passengers refunds.

What's in Store for the Cruise Industry? [CNN]

May 01, 2020

Chris Kende is quoted in a CNN article titled, "What's in Store for the Cruise Industry" discussing the impact of COVID-19 on the cruise industry.

Rolls-Royce Petitions U.S. Supreme Court to Block Discovery in Aid of International Arbitration [Alert]

April 28, 2020

David Loh and Chris Raleigh discuss the possibility of the U.S. Supreme Court permitting U.S. discovery in international private arbitration and what that means for foreign companies doing business in the United States.

DOT to Impose Minimum Air Service Obligations For U.S. Carriers Receiving CARES Act Financial Assistance [Alert]

March 31, 2020

David Heffernan and Rachel Welford discuss DOT's proposed parameters for implementing the authority granted it by the CARES Act to maintain scheduled air transportation to U.S. points.

Turbulence Ahead for the Airlines Under the Montreal Convention? [Alert]

March 23, 2020

Chris Kende discusses liability issues airline carriers may be facing under the Montreal Convention following the coronavirus pandemic.

Reflections on Boeing’s Exposure Following the 737 MAX Crashes [Alert]

April 17, 2019

Chris Kende, Bruce Maffeo and Dina Moussa, discuss the civil and criminal liability Boeing could face following the two crashes and subsequent grounding of the brand new Boeing 737 MAX.

Federal Court in Massachusetts Upholds $2.2 Million Verdict for Claim for PTSD Against Boeing [Aeronautics Committee Newsletter]

March 01, 2019

Christopher Kende (Insurance, New York) contributed an article to the March edition of the New York City Bar’s Aeronautics Committee Newsletter discussing a federal court case in which an individual was awarded $2.2 million in damages after suffering from PTSD, major depressive disorder and decompression sickness as a result of a decompression incident onboard an aircraft manufactured by Boeing.

California Federal Court Declares Drones are Aircraft [Alert]

January 18, 2019

William Walsh discusses the decision in Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company v. Hollycal Production, Inc and what it could mean for the future of drone law.

The Safety and Comfort of Your Airline Seat [Forbes]

January 07, 2019

David Heffernan, a member of the firm's Transportation & Trade Group and co-chair of the Aviation Industry Team, authored "The Safety and Comfort of Your Airline Seat" for Forbes.

May 2018 Update on Significant DOT, FAA and Other Federal Agencies’ Aviation-Related Regulatory Actions [Aviation Regulatory Update]

May 04, 2018

This edition of the Cozen O’Connor Aviation Regulatory Update discusses the U.S. House of Representatives’ passage of a five-year Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill, the FAA’s Airworthiness Directives requiring inspections of fan blades on CFM56-7B model engines as a result of last month’s Southwest Airlines engine incident, the Department of Transportation’s recent award of frequencies for new U.S.-Cuba air service, new DOT requirements for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)/drones to obtain DOT economic authority in the form of a Part 298 air taxi registration in order for commercial UAS/drone operators to operate air transportation services for hire, the Department of Homeland Security’s increase in the amount of civil penalties imposed by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the Government Accountability Office’s implementation of new electronic filing requirements for bid protests, and the latest DOT and FAA enforcement actions.

Perspectives: Commercial Use of Drones Could be Grounded by Costs [Business Insurance]

January 02, 2017

William Walsh, co-chair of the Aviation Industry Team, discusses the significant tension between the Federal Aviation Administration regulation for commercial drones and any conceivable economic model of a profitable retail drone delivery operation.

In The News

US Regulator Grants Exemption for Drone Flight During Lockdown [Financial Times]

April 22, 2020

Bill Walsh was quoted in an article in the Financial Times titled, "US Regulator Grants Exemption for Drone Flight During Lockdown." This article discusses a new coronavirus-related waiver for drone flight which allows an oil and gas company in Houston, TX to use unmanned aircraft instead of humans to inspect its facilities while the staff remains in lockdown.

57 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers, 16 Practices Earn Top Recognition in Chambers USA 2019 Guide

April 25, 2019

Chambers USA, the leading annual guide to the top lawyers and law firms in the USA, has ranked 57 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their respective fields in the Guide’s 2019 edition.


William H. Walsh



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