Shulman Rogers is a full-service law firm with its principal office located in Potomac, Maryland and branch offices in Tysons Corner, Virginia and Washington, D.C. The firm has garnered a reputation for providing quality representation, with nearly 100 attorneys dedicated to achieving successful outcomes for their clients.
Shulman Rogers has successfully represented clients in aviation death cases. Our attorneys recently concluded a complex aviation death case involving the deaths of multiple family members, spanning across several jurisdictions. Fighting on behalf of the surviving family members and estates of the deceased clients, our attorneys were able to effectively litigate the case and achieve a favorable settlement.
This litigation included complicated jurisdictional issues regarding the most appropriate forum state for the case. After a heavily contested full evidentiary proceeding, we convinced the court to transfer the case to a jurisdiction more favorable for our clients.
There were also issues of insurance, pilot error, manufacturing defect and equipment failure in the case, all of which played a factor in the case. Since there were multiple deaths, damages in the case reached a multi-million dollar level. After many of the issues were successfully resolved in the clients’ favor, the case was ultimately settled by agreement of all parties for a confidential amount.
Shulman Rogers routinely works with co-counsel and aviation experts to provide comprehensive representation for victims and families of aviation crashes. Please see below to learn more about our affiliated counsel and professionals, along with notable cases.
Representation for Victims and Families of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302
The cases involving the Ethiopian Airlines crash will involve several types of litigation. A suit will be filed against Boeing in the Federal Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and a claim pursuant to the Federal Tort claims Act (FTCA) will be filed against the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Shulman Rogers has successfully handled hundreds of FTCA claims and cases over 28 years, and we have a wealth of experience litigating these matters.
Shulman Rogers attorney Karl Protil has a long-standing relationship with the people of Ethiopia, having visited the country in 2014 as part of the Sister City program between Montgomery County, Maryland and Gondar, Ethiopia. While in Ethiopia, he visited schools, a hospital, an orphanage and the University of Gondar. His visit also included cultural sites in Gondar, Axum and Lalibela. After the visit, he collected and donated more than 500 law books, for which he received an award from the Montgomery County Executive for his efforts. His involvement with Ethiopia stems from his interest in the history of the country, including its rich archaeological and religious past.
Affiliated Aviation Counsel
Shulman Rogers and Cronin & Maxwell have co-counseled cases for over a decade resulting in numerous multimillion dollar recoveries. In the aviation arena, the two firms have consulted on and co-counseled aviation accidents and catastrophic cases across several jurisdictions.
Sean Cronin himself was commissioned an Ensign in the United States Navy. He was chosen to attend Naval Aviation Flight Training in Pensacola, Florida, and designated a Naval Aviator. He then completed Fleet Replacement Training in the P-3 Orion Aircraft at Naval Air Station Moffett Field in Mountain View, California. During his active service, he was designated a P-3 Mission Commander, Patrol Plane Commander, Instructor Pilot, and a Naval Aviation Safety Officer.
As a Navy pilot, Sean accumulated more than 2,500 hours of large multi-engine flying time—flying low-level maritime patrol, drug interdiction, and anti-submarine warfare missions throughout the world. He is an FAA-certified commercial pilot, with multi and single engine instrument ratings, and holds an FAA-type rating for the Lockheed Electra.
In his capacity as a Naval Aviation Safety Officer, Mr. Cronin investigated and evaluated many aviation crashes. In private practice, Mr. Cronin has successfully litigated aviation crashes in many jurisdictions, including:
- Densberger v. United Technologies
A jury verdict of $22.5 million was awarded to the families of servicemen who were killed or injured after their Blackhawk Helicopter became uncontrollable, crashed and burst into flames while landing at an Army airfield in Germany. The manufacturer’s defense of pilot error was discredited by an investigation that proved the aircraft’s fuel tank design was the actual cause of the accident. The jury verdict was upheld on appeal by the United States Supreme Court.
- Watkins v. Bombardier Aerospace, et al.
A settlement for $3.75 million was negotiated for five families of the Virginia Air National Guard who were passengers on a troop-carrying aircraft that suddenly became unstable and broke apart in flight, killing all aboard. Investigation revealed that the plane’s manufacturers had made modifications to it that had a dangerous effect on its longitudinal stability.
- McMahon v. Presidential Airways, Blackwater et al.
Blackwater 61 was the callsign of a CASA 212, registration N960BW, operated by Presidential Airways Inc, the aviation subsidiary of the private security contractor Blackwater USA, that crashed in the mountains of remote central Afghanistan. Five people aboard the aircraft died in the crash, while one later died awaiting rescue.
- Griffis v. ATP et al.
Attorney Sean Cronin was selected and served as Chief Arbitrator in the case of a Piper Seminole crash resulting in multiple deaths.
HCH Legal has decades of experience representing clients in all sectors of the aviation industry with transactional and regulatory expertise. Their team includes attorneys with expertise in aviation regulation and airline operations, and attorneys who have direct experience with commercial aircraft deliveries, including Boeing products.
Affiliated Local Counsel
Shulman Rogers attorneys recently traveled to Ethiopia to investigate the Ethiopian Airlines crash. The firm has retained the services of a highly respected Ethiopian attorney as part of the Shulman Rogers team. He will be working with the families in Ethiopia.
Affiliated Aviation Professionals
Shulman Rogers has regularly worked with aviation accident experts with a wide array of experience, to include experts who have worked on the following accidents:
- United Airlines B-747
Led the investigation of a United Airlines B-747 cargo door accident in Honolulu, Hawaii. The right forward cargo door came off as the aircraft was ascending after takeoff, resulting in numerous passengers being pulled out of the aircraft. Also, led the public hearing of this accident to determine what caused the door to fail catastrophically.
- Delta Airlines B-727
Led the accident investigation into a Delta Airlines B-727 that crashed on takeoff from the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. After pushing back from the gate, the aircraft was told to hold short of the runway for further clearance. When it was cleared for takeoff by air traffic control (ATC), it took off with improper flap settings and crashed.
Captain Andrew Conrad, Pilot
Among its many professional consultants and experts in the aviation field, Shulman Rogers also consults with Captain Andrew Conrad, an actual 737 captain and pilot with over 6,500 hours in the 737 aircraft and 11,000 hours overall. Capt. Conrad, a former Navy pilot, is specifically familiar with the MCAS system and the 737 Max aircraft involved in the recent air tragedies in Jakarta and Ethiopia.