Mr. Morse has extensive experience in handling aviation lawsuits in California and 19 other states. He has also supervised litigation in Canada and Australia and actively participated in ligation in France on behalf of an American components parts manufacturer. Some of those matters are set forth below.
- An MD-80 airplane (operated by Alaska Airlines as Flight 261) crashed into the water west of Los Angeles after sustaining a failure of the jack screw which operates the elevator trim. Mr. Morse represented the company which was manufacturing the jack screws at the time of the accident, but not the one that was installed on the aircraft which crashed. Mr. Morse obtained summary judgment in favor of this company before the cases were set for settlement conferences and mediation. The company paid nothing in settlement of the numerous passenger claims.
- An Airbus 340 airplane, operated by Air Mauritius, sustained a fire on the ground while the aircraft was undergoing maintenance, resulting in repair costs in excess of $15,000,000. The fire originated at or near one of the Electric Hydraulic Pumps (EMPs). The airline’s insurers paid for the repairs, then sued Airbus and Vickers AMD, the company which manufactured the and Mr. Morse represented the manufactured the EMPs. Pursuant to the Aircraft Purchase Agreement, disputes arising out of the purchase of the aircraft, or any of the transactions contemplated thereby, were to be resolved in a New York Court under New York law. Mr. Morse, acting in coordination with French counsel, actively participated in two years of preliminary investigation by the Judicial Experts in French Court proceedings. Thereafter Mr. Morse, acting through New York Counsel, commenced a separate action in New York to obtain a Declaratory Judgment establishing that pursuant to the terms of the aircraft purchase agreement and New York law, neither Airbus nor Vickers had any legal liability for damage to the aircraft or loss of use. The New York court entered judgment as requested. This Judgment was then translated into French and a separate proceeding was instituted in the Courts of France to have the New York Judgment recognized and enforced. That action was successful, and Vickers was found to have no liability to the airline’s insurers.
- An Airbus A330 airplane, operated by Malaysia Airlines, sustained a fire on the ground which originated at or near one of the Electric Hydraulic Pumps, in a manner similar to that sustained by Air Mauritius several months earlier. Repair costs exceeded $15 million, and the airline claimed additional damages for loss of use of the aircraft during the time necessary for repairs. Under the purchase agreement for the aircraft, disputes were to be resolved in the French courts under French law. Mr. Morse, acting through French counsel, participated in extensive technical proceedings before the Judicial Experts appointed by the French Court, then took the lead in preparing the documents to present Vickers’ defense before the three judge panel of the French Commercial Court. After receiving documents and hearing arguments from all parties, the Court entered Judgment in favor of Vickers and Airbus.
- A Hughes Model 369 Helicopter crashed in Illinois after sustaining a rupture of the engine’s first stage turbine wheel. The failure was determined to have been caused by thermal fatigue at a prior time. The owner/pilot and survivor of the deceased passenger sued Hughes Helicopters based upon strict liability and Mr. Morse defended Hughes at trial in Illinois. Following a multi-day trial, the jury returned a defense verdict in favor of Hughes Helicopters.
- A mechanic performed an Annual Inspection on a Piper Seneca. Shortly thereafter, the owner sued the mechanic, claiming that several unairworthy items had been overlooked during the Annual Inspection. The Court granted summary judgment on behalf of the mechanic, thus resolving the case without trial and without any payment by the mechanic.
- A mechanic performed an annual inspection on a Beech Bonanza, which sustained a wing failure in flight. The pilot’s estate sued the mechanic. The Court granted summary judgment for the mechanic, thus resolving the case without trial and without any payment by the mechanic.
- A mechanic performed an annual inspection on a Cessna 177RG airplane which thereafter crashed following an engine failure on takeoff. The pilot sustained serious injuries and was rendered paraplegic. After a motion for summary judgment was filed on behalf of the mechanic, the plaintiff dropped the lawsuit in exchange for a waiver of costs.