In a tragic plane crash that occurred last week, no survivors emerged from the wreckage. According to an article in The Palm Beach Post, the only passengers of the small plane were the six members of the Bramlage family. Ronald Bramlage was piloting the plane while his wife, Rebecca, and their four children were also aboard. Our Palm Beach County injury lawyer appreciates the immense tragedy of these accidents. From a legal perspective we also understand the many different issues that are implicated when these incidents occurred. For one thing, small planes are much more likely to malfunction as opposed to a commercial aircraft. The cause of the malfunction may result in various legal ramifications.
According to investigations, the plane crash occurred last Thursday at approximately 12:40 p.m. near Lake Wales. The plane went down in a remote portion of the Tiger Creek Swamp. The Bramlage family was en route to Junction City, Kansas after having taken off from Treasure Cay Airport in the Bahamas. Unfortunately, the family's vacation ended tragically when the plane started to break apart in the air at 26,000 feet. Apparently, Ronald Bramlage made a call for help, but authorities were not able to uncover what the problem with the plane was from the mayday call. All that is known at this point in time is that the plane's failure to operate properly caused the machine to crash with such force to create a massive debris field as wide as three miles. One witness to the scene stated that it sounded like the engine had sputtered before it died.
As discussed in a previous post, when something like this happens, one immediately wonders about the cause of the crash. More likely than not, a plane crash is a result of (1) pilot error, (2) mechanical failure, or (3) both. In this particular case, it is a possibility that because the pilot was not a professional but instead a recreational pilot, pilot error could have been the major cause of this tragedy. However, based on what has been uncovered thus far in the investigations, it appears that there may have been some mechanical problems with the aircraft itself. The fact that the plane started to break apart in the air at 26,000 feet makes this possibility even more plausible. Further, authorities have revealed that there was separation of the horizontal stabilizer, which controls the angle of attack for the plane and separation of both wings.
Depending on what further investigations reveal, the manufacturer of the plane may face a strict liability claim from surviving family members of the deceased. If the plane is found to have been defective, then the manufacturer will be held strictly liable for the injuries - or in this case, deaths - caused by the defect. The underlying cause of the crash will likely not be established until investigations are complete, which authorities predict will take about another year.
Liability for Defective Products
As previously illustrated, the small plane appeared to be having mechanical problems before it made impact with the ground. The surviving family members in this particular case will likely have standing to bring a claim against the party responsible for the defective state of the aircraft if any sort of plane malfunction is uncovered. Whenever one is injured in our area in situations where faulty products or parts might be involved, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced Palm Beach personal injury lawyer to evaluate the claim and help in obtaining compensation for their loss.
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