Recent Developments

Speiser Krause in the News and Recent Developments

Monday, February 7, 2022

Federal Judge Issues Over $230,000,000 Verdict Against United States Government for Sutherland Springs Shooting

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS— U.S. Federal District Court Judge Xavier Rodriguez issued a verdict today against the United States Government in the amount of $230,000,000 for the Government’s role in causing the shooting at Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church on November 5, 2017. Twenty-six souls perished and twenty-two more were seriously injured in the deadliest mass shooting in Texas history. The verdict will compensate more than 80 family members of victims and survivors who filed suit against the government. Read the full verdict here.

In April of 2021, Judge Rodriguez ruled that the Air Force was 60 percent responsible for the shooting. Rodriguez found that for more than thirty years, the Air Force negligently and dangerously failed to report thousands of violent felons into the FBI criminal background check system. That system, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), is designed to prevent convicted criminals from purchasing or possessing firearms. One of those felons illegally purchased an assault rifle with multiple high-capacity magazines and used to commit the shooting at Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church.

In a 185-page opinion, Judge Rodriguez individually evaluated each of the victims’ losses and rendered a verdict that family legal representatives agree falls within settled law in Texas state and federal courts for similar instances of grievous loss. He explained: “The losses and pain these families have experienced is immeasurable. Our civil justice system only allows us to rectify these kinds of losses through money damages. Valuing human life, pain, and suffering is a task that our justice system has imposed on judges and juries, and the methodology used by both has been varied…. Ultimately, there is no satisfying way to determine the worth of these families’ pain.”


Read more . . .


Monday, February 7, 2022

Speiser Krause Welcomes Richard E. Genter to the Firm


Speiser Krause is pleased to announce that Richard E. Genter is now of counsel to the firm. For more than forty years, Richard has litigated complex aviation cases in numerous federal and state courts, both at the trial and appellate level. Formerly a member of the Philadelphia, PA based firm, Wolk & Genter, specializing in aviation accident litigation, Richard opened his own practice in 2004, where he has successfully litigated scores of general aviation accident cases on behalf of victims who have been catastrophically injured or killed in air crashes caused by defective products supplied or manufactured by airframe, engine and component part manufacturers, as well as accidents caused by the negligence of maintenance facilities, aircraft owners and operators, and air traffic controllers.

Richard is a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University and The Temple University Law School and is admitted to practice in the state courts of Pennsylvania and in the United States District Courts for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the District of Colorado, as well as the United States Court of Appeals for the Third and Ninth Circuits.


Read more . . .


Friday, November 12, 2021

Crash of Cessna Citation owned by Brook Haven Properties LLC

Speiser Krause is monitoring the investigation into the September 2, 2021 crash of a Cessna Citation XLS business jet (FAA Registration Number N560AR) that crashed during an attempted takeoff from Robertson Field in Plainville, Connecticut. Tragically, the passengers, a married couple, were two young physicians who left behind a one-year-old son and the wife was also pregnant at the time of the tragedy. The two-person flight crew were also killed, and four individuals sustained injuries when the aircraft crashed into a building, one of whom sustained serious injuries.


Read more . . .


Friday, August 27, 2021

Update Regarding Southeast Aviation N1249K De Havilland Beaver Sightseeing Crash near Ketchikan, Alaska on August 5, 2021


The National Transportation released its Preliminary Report into the crash of the Southeast Aviation sightseeing de Havilland Beaver that occurred on August 5, 2021, approximately 18 miles from Ketchikan, Alaska. Tragically, the Preliminary Report indicates that the crash was another example of an accident involving controlled flight into terrain (“CFIT”) in poor visibility during an Alaskan sightseeing tour.

Although not mentioned in the Preliminary Report, the pilot of the accident aircraft had been involved in an accident in Alaska approximately one month before the crash. During a water taxi to takeoff, the aircraft struck a buoy, flipped over, and suffered substantial damage. The pilot, who was alone at the time, was uninjured.
Read more . . .


Friday, August 6, 2021

Southeast Aviation De Havilland Beaver Sight Seeing Crash near Ketchikan, Alaska on August 5, 2021

Tragedy has again struck in Alaska. On August 5, 2021, there was yet another plane crash of a sight-seeing flight involving cruise ship passengers that docked in Ketchikan, Alaska. The passengers, who were aboard the Holland America ship Nieuw Amsterdam, were on a sightseeing flight operated by Southeast Aviation in a de Havilland Beaver float plane. Early reports indicate that five passengers and the pilot were killed when the aircraft impacted mountainous terrain in poor weather. There were reports of rain and mist in the area with a ceiling of 900 feet.


Read more . . .


Tuesday, August 11, 2020

MID-AIR COLLISION NEAR SOLDOTNA, ALASKA


The partners at Speiser Krause, including a former Naval aviator, are closely monitoring the mid- air collision that occurred near the Soldotna Airport located in Soldotna, Alaska that tragically killed 7 people on Friday, July 31, 2020. Our firm has significant experience representing victims of mid-air collisions and are presently representing victims from a recent Alaskan mid-air collision that took place near Ketchikan, Alaska on May 13, 2019. We have also been involved in numerous other cases arising from mid-air collisions, including the mid-air collision over the Hudson River, in New York in August 2009.

The mid-air collision involved a de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver aircraft and a single engine Piper PA 12 aircraft. The de Havilland Beaver floatplane is widely used in Alaska and is the same model aircraft that was involved in the mid-air collision near Ketchikan in May 2019.
Read more . . .


Monday, February 10, 2020

NTSB releases Investigative Update into the Crash of Island Express Holding Corp. Sikorsky S-76B N72EX on January 26, 2020, in Calabasas, California

On February 7, 2020 the National Transportation Safety Board released its first formal Investigative Update into the Sikorsky S-76B crash that killed eight passengers and the pilot on January 26, 2020.  Parties to the investigation include the operator of the flight, Island Express Helicopters; the Federal Aviation Administration; the airframe manufacturer, Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation; and representatives from the National Air Traffic Controllers Association.  The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (as an accredited representative) and the engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney Canada (as a technical adviser) are also participating in the investigation.  A copy of the Investigative Update can be found here. 


Read more . . .


Friday, January 31, 2020

Update Regarding Crash of Island Express Holding Corp. Sikorsky S-76B N72EX on January 26, 2020, in Calabasas, California

On January 26, 2020, eight passengers along with the pilot were tragically killed when the Sikorsky-76B aircraft they were travelling in crashed into mountainous terrain at an altitude of roughly 1,085 feet above sea level near Calabasas, California.  Early reports indicate that weather may play a critical role in the accident investigation as the aircraft encountered dense fog in the minutes leading up to the crash.

The helicopter took off on the morning of Sunday, January 26, 2020, at 9:06 a.m. from Orange County’s John Wayne Airport, carrying the eight passengers who were travelling to a youth basketball game that was to take place at a sports academy located in Thousand Oaks, California. Passengers included NBA legend Kobe Bryant, who owned the sports academy, and his daughter, as well as other players on the youth team, their family members and their coach.  The aircraft was operating under visual flight rules (“VFR”), meaning that it was intended that the flight was to take place in clear skies allowing the pilot to operate the aircraft with visual reference to the ground and by visually avoiding obstructions and other aircraft, without totally depending on navigational instruments. 


Read more . . .


Thursday, October 17, 2019

Update Regarding Boeing B17 Crash at Bradley International Airport on October 2, 2019

The National Transportation Safety Board (“NTSB”) released its preliminary findings regarding its continuing investigation into the Boeing B17 crash that occurred on October 2, 2019 at Bradley International Airport located in Windsor Locks, Connecticut.  This is the first of three reports that the NTSB will issue in connection with its accident investigation.  The second and third reports, known as the Factual Report and Final (or Probable Cause) Report, will likely not be issued for at least another 18 months.


Read more . . .


Thursday, October 3, 2019

Speiser Krause Monitoring the Investigation into the Crash a Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress Vintage World War II Aircraft

On Wednesday, October 2, 2019 at approximately 10:00 a.m. a vintage Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress World War II era aircraft crashed at the Bradley International Airport located in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, killing 5 passengers and 2 crew members.  5 other passengers and the flight engineer were seriously injured, as was a ground based airport worker.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Mid-Air Collision of Sightseeing Float Planes in Ketchikan, Alaska


On May 13, 2019, two de Havilland sightseeing float planes collided in mid-air near Ketchikan, Alaska as they were touring Alaska’s Misty Fjords National Monument which is part of Tongass National Forest.  Six people died as a result of the collision and 10 people have been admitted to hospitals with significant injuries.  The float planes were carrying passengers from the cruise ship Royal Princess operated by Princess Cruises.  The larger of the two aircraft, a de Havilland DHC-3, Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) Registration Number N959PA, commonly referred to as a de Havilland Otter, was carrying 10 passengers and a pilot.  The aircraft was operated by Venture Travel LLC doing business as Taquan Air, a sightseeing air tour operator that operates in an around Ketchikan, and owned by Pantechnicon Aviation, Ltd.
Read more . . .


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