Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Against ICON Aircraft
Opinion Editorial by Jason J. Baker – Trial Lawyers Danko/ Meredith along with co-counsels Nelson & Fraenkel, have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against ICON Aircraft on behalf of Cagri Sever’s wife and two children. Sever had joined ICON shortly before the deadly crash. In what could be described as a legal stunt, counsel recognizes that the general rule is that a family cannot sue an employer for a loved one’s work-related death, but instead argues that…(buckle up!):
“[sic] the ICON A5 is a seaplane and it crashed along the shores of Lake Berryessa, which is considered “navigable waters.” Thus, the federal laws of admiralty apply. Those laws, which would hold ICON accountable for the actions of its chief pilot, trump state workers compensation law.”
§ Note: Admiralty law or maritime law is a body of law that governs nautical issues and private maritime disputes. Admiralty law comprises both domestic law on maritime activities, and private international law governing the relationships between private parties operating or using ocean-going ships.
According to the rule in the ambulance chaser world, confident attorneys are supposed to pound the law, less confident attorneys are to pound the table and attorneys who argue by the use of hot air and embark in shaky cases, generally and eventually… pound sand. If counsel now manages to somehow play magic and create the impression that aircraft manufacturers retain ultimate liability and responsibility for the actions of their own staff – things may get interesting. Meanwhile I am nominating this lawsuit for Most Comical Aviation Lawsuit in 2018. We ought to see if someone else will go and top it…
Make no mistake about it, nobody in this industry likes to see suffering widows and children as a result of accidents, however greediness isn’t always the perfect recipe to score the loaded checking and savings account. We’ll have to see how the judges respond.
Further Cringe-worthy Fluff:
“Karkow flew to Lake Berryessa, a virtual stone’s throw from the ICON factory. Once there, Karkow couldn’t resist the urge to engage is some low level maneuvering over the water. Minutes after takeoff, Karkow crashed onto the shore, leaving both of them dead.”
“Critics of the A5 — which some refer to as “a jet-ski with wings” questioned from the outset whether it was such a good idea. The A5 is all about the fun and excitement of flying close to the water. But low level maneuvering is dangerous business and, as any fighter pilot will tell you, it’s even more so when conducted over water. Does it really make sense to market a machine built for this purpose to the general public?”
Scientific research over the last 100+ years of manned flight have confirmed an inherent inability of the human body to survive or withstand high velocity collisions with almost any object, time and time again. Even very intelligent Ford Motor Company Engineers realize that subjecting the human body to anything heavier than a cotton ball (at the average speed of cars or airplanes), isn’t going to end very pretty, in fact, its very likely a cotton ball will kill you dead… Maybe people (humans) make mistakes and suffer for them?
Jason Baker works as a marketing & advertising consultant, translator and freelance writer with a focus on aviation-, automotive- and heavy trucking industry. He holds a commercial pilot certificate (SEL/SES/MEL), instrument rating as well as advanced & instrument ground instructor certificates. Jason has owned and operated Seaplaneforum.com for 8 years and is the owner & publisher of Seaplanemagazine.com. For more information about services offered, visit Baker Aviation Consulting & Services via: jasonjamesbaker.com