Baum Hedlund's Background in Airline Accident Litigation

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Baum Hedlund focuses a large part of its practice on wrongful death and serious personal injury involving aviation accidents. Any aviation-related lawsuit may well involve more than one state's law or court system, and numerous complex choices and decisions may have to be made to maximize recovery or streamline procedures. Baum Hedlund has played a major part in complex aviation litigation for many years. Our firm has represented hundreds of clients in major airline accidents that have occurred both inside and outside the United States.

Airline Accident Settlements and Trials

We at Baum Hedlund always do what is in the best interests of our clients. Some clients prefer to have their case resolved before trial while others desire to see their case result in a trial. Regardless of the final outcome, we always prepare each one of our cases as if it were going to trial. This has a great impact on the behavior of the defendants in settlement negotiations and trial.

Our Aviation Team/Aviation Lawyers

We have been handling commercial aviation cases for more than 20 years and have represented hundreds of victims in 75 commercial aviation disasters, 57 of which were airline disasters. We have served on 17 Plaintiffs' Steering Committees in mass tort litigation, 11 of which were for major airline crashes.

Every attorney in our firm has worked on aviation cases in some capacity. The senior attorneys of our law firm themselves prepare and direct all cases and the firm's attorneys work as a team collaborating on each case.

Two of our aviation attorneys are themselves pilots. One is an airline transport-rated pilot and former captain for Comair. They lend considerable technical expertise to our analysis of aviation crashes and they are available to our clients at all times.

Ron Goldman is an aviation lawyer and the lead trial attorney of Baum Hedlund's aviation team. He began practicing law more than 40 years ago, and has been a private pilot for over 23 years. Ron has handled a wide variety of sophisticated litigation, at both the trial and appellate levels including wrongful death, personal injury, product liability, domestic and foreign airline and general aviation cases, etc. He is Board Certified by the National Board of Trial Advocates as a Certified Civil Trial Advocate. At Pepperdine School of Law, as an adjunct Professor for 21 years, he developed and taught the course in Aviation Accident Law.

Ron handled his first aviation safety case when he represented the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization during a major "sick-out" event in 1969. He defended the air traffic controllers' interests in aviation safety in order to improve the working conditions of the controllers who were experiencing dangerously excessive stress levels by the conditions of their employment. He continued fighting for aviation safety improvements when he litigated the crash of a British European Airways Hawker Siddeley Aviation passenger jet near London in 1972, and he has handled aviation disaster cases ever since. He brings to the firm his years of experience and expertise, and an exceptional understanding of the issues and the law which uniquely affect aviation cases. Ron has long served as a neutral Arbitrator, Mediator and judge pro tem.

Currently, Ron is a member of the Plaintiffs' Executive Committee for the September 11, 2001 aircrash cases. He recently concluded a wrongful death trial involving the crash of a Bell helicopter on behalf of the families of three firefighters. One of our most significant aviation litigation achievements came about when, as part of the settlement agreement from the January 8, 2003 Air Midwest Flight 5481 Crash in Charlotte, North Carolina, the companies accepted responsibility and publicly apologized to the families for the crash. Our clients' case was the last to resolve. Although a substantial monetary settlement was also involved, our clients primary focus had been to require accountability by the defendants, either by trial or by public apology, for the operation, maintenance and design deficiencies that caused the aircrash. A trial was avoided as a result of the apology. Baum Hedlund's lead negotiator and trial counsel for this settlement was aviation attorney Ronald L. M. Goldman. Michael Baum, Paul Hedlund and John Greaves also worked on this case.

Ron is a member of the American Bar Association, International Bar Association, World Jurist Association, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association, Lawyers Professional Liability Bar Association, Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles and Association of Trial Lawyers of America.

John Greaves is an aviation lawyer. He is also an airline transport pilot and a former captain of Comair. He has flown 10,000 + hours total flight time since 1966; 3,000 + hours as Captain in Part 121 and Part 135 scheduled airline operations; 39 years as a licensed pilot; 5 years as a pilot in scheduled airlines service, 4 years of which in the capacity of captain. Details of his pilot experience include Comair Airlines, Captain; Wright Airlines, First Officer; Aero-Mech Airlines, First Officer; and Air Illinois, First Officer. As Captain, John supervised flight and ground crews, ensured compliance with all FAA operations, and maintenance regulations, documents and inspections; served 6 years as a Flight Instructor; 4 years experience as a Charter Pilot and Charter Company Operator/President/CEO of VIPilot, Inc.; Contract Administration Committee Chairman, Air Line Pilots Association, Council 37. He received the Distinguished Service Award from the Air Line Pilots Association, Council 37. He is also a member of the American Bar Association - Forum on Air and Space Law, Association of Trial Lawyers of America, Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association, Air Line Pilots Association and serves on the Plaintiffs' Executive Committee, September 11, 2001 Tort Litigation, the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee, MDL-1448, American Airlines 587 Crash, Belle Harbor (Queens), New York, 2001 and the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee, Singapore Airlines Crash, Taipei, Taiwan, 2000. He served in the past on the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee, Atlantic Southeast Airlines Crash, near Carrollton, Georgia, 1995. John has represented clients in more than 35 airline disasters.

John Greaves pictured when he was Captain for Comair.

Our firm appreciates the highest rating in the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory. Our attorneys are listed in Martindale-Hubbell's Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in America and Who's Who in American Law. Our firm has been on the prevailing side of some of the most highly-publicized cases in the nation.

Baum Hedlund Aviation Attorneys serve(d) as members of the following Commercial Aviation Plaintiffs' Steering/Executive Committees and Trial Teams:

  • Trial Team, 2006, Bell Helicopter Crash, Los Angeles, California, 1998
  • Trial Team Member, 2003, Airborne Charter Inc./Avjet, Gulfstream Crash, Aspen, Colorado, 2001
  • Plaintiffs' Steering Committee, MDL 1448, American Airlines 587 Crash, Belle Harbor (Queens), New York, 2001
  • Plaintiffs' Executive Committee, September 11, 2001 Tort Litigation
    • American Airlines Flight 11, World Trade Center, northern tower, New York, New York
    • United Airlines Flight 175, World Trade Center, southern tower, New York, New York
    • American Airlines Flight 77, Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia
    • United Airlines Flight 93, near Shanksville, Pennsylvania
  • Plaintiffs' Steering Committee, MDL 1394, Singapore Airlines SQ 006 Crash at Taipei, Taiwan, 2000
  • Lead Counsel for Coordinated Discovery Cases, Southwest Airlines Flight 1455 accident, Burbank, California, 2000
  • Plaintiffs' Steering Committee, MDL 00-1343-CAL, Alaska Airlines Crash, off Point Mugu, California, 2000
  • Plaintiffs' Steering Committee Atlantic Southeast Airlines Crash, near Carrollton, Georgia, 1995
  • Trial Team Member, MDL 1041, USAir 1016 Aircrash of Charlotte, North Carolina, 1994
  • Plaintiffs' Steering Committee, MDL 1041, USAir 1016 Aircrash of Charlotte, North Carolina, 1994
  • Plaintiff Steering Committee, Illinois State Court Proceedings for USAir 427 Aircrash near Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, 1994
  • Plaintiffs' Steering Committee, Perris Skydivers Crash, Perris, California, 1992
  • Plaintiffs' Steering Committee, MDL 891, Northwest Airlines Crash, Detroit, 1990
  • Trial Team Member, United Airlines Crash, Sioux City, Iowa, 1989
  • Plaintiffs' Steering Committee, MDL 817, United Airlines Crash, Sioux City, Iowa, 1989