Girardi | Keese

Widow of Air Force pilot sues for aircraft product defects

As many California residents can imagine, it is extremely difficult to investigate the cause of an aircraft crash. A crashed plane involves substantial destruction, and examining the cause of the accident requires reconstructing parts of the damaged aircraft. Despite this difficulty, it is imperative to inspect these accidents because they may have resulted from a manufacturing, design or warning defect. If this is the case, appropriate parties should be held accountable for any product liability errors. Therefore, manufactures can ensure that all precautions are taken to certify the safety of future aircraft pilots.

In recent news, the widow of an Air Force pilot has sued several companies, including Lockheed Martin, for producing F-22 Raptors with a defective life support system that caused her husband's death. She seeks damages for wrongful death, product liability, negligence, breach of warranty and fraud.

Sources say that her husband died in an F-22 Raptor during a training exercise. The F-22 Raptor is a single-seat, twin-engine fighter plane that uses Stealth technology. One hundred and ninety-five planes were built from 1997 to 2011. Lockheed Martin was the prime contractor of the aircraft.

According to the victim's wife, the F-22 Raptor aircraft was unreasonably defective in that it was designed, manufactured and distributed with life support systems that did not safely provide breathable oxygen to the aircraft operator. Furthermore, there were no warnings on the plane.

According to complaint, Lockheed represented to the Unites States Government that it had provided safe and reliable F-22 Raptor aircrafts, which were equipped with sufficient life support systems. However, the widow alleges that Lockheed knew that it had not provided dependable supportive systems.

Due to the aircraft problems, the United States Air Force has had to ground or limit the flight of the F-22 Raptor aircraft. Furthermore, the United States Air Force has given Lockheed a contract to investigate the failures and defects.

The aftermath of aircraft accidents can be emotionally exhausting. Hopefully, within the process of her suit, the victim's wife will find closure in her quest for the truth.

Source: Courthouse News Service, "Pilot's Widow Calls F-22 Raptor Defective," Jack Bouboushian, Mar. 12, 2012

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