Over the past 40 years, our firm has been representing aviation accident victims in some of the worst aviation disasters in our history.
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The firm’s aviation accident attorneys have litigated the cases of over 600 passengers, ground victims and crew for aviation personal injury or wrongful death claims across the United States and around the world.
Any aviation-related lawsuit may well involve more than one state's law or court system. Numerous complex choices and decisions may have to be made to maximize recovery or streamline procedures. Baum Hedlund has routinely made these choices, so we have developed the background and familiarity needed to recognize and resolve aviation cases’ complexities.
If you or a loved one have been in an airline or other aviation accident,
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Many aviation accident victims or their families hire our firm because of our many years of experience handling airline, other commercial and general aviation accident litigation. Our firm is listed in The Best Lawyers in America, the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers and maintains the highest AV® peer review rating*, obtained through a rigorous process conducted by the leading international lawyers’ directory, Martindale Hubbell.
Several Baum Hedlund attorneys are described in Aviation Counsel Magazine's list of Recommended High Flyers (considered by International Air Transport Association's (IATA) Legal Department as one of “the most elite lists of aviation law practitioners ever produced”) to be “among the best aviation lawyers in the world by the aviation legal community.”
Our Aviation Team / Aviation Lawyers
We have been handling commercial and private aviation cases for more than 40 years and have represented hundreds of victims in over 85 commercial aviation disasters, of which 60 were airline disasters, and more than 140 general aviation crashes.
We have served on 23 different Plaintiffs' Steering Committees (PSCs) in mass tort litigation in which only a few judge-appointed attorneys oversee the federal consolidation of the cases and coordination of the liability discovery and trial preparation. Thirteen of the PSCs we have served on were for aviation disasters.
The senior attorneys of Baum Hedlund themselves prepare and direct all cases and the firm's attorneys work as a team collaborating on each case.
Two of Baum Hedlund’s aviation attorneys are themselves pilots. One is an airline transport-rated pilot and former captain for Comair. Our pilot-attorneys lend considerable technical expertise to our analysis of aviation crashes and they are available to our clients at all times.
Ron Goldman is a board certified veteran trial lawyer. He is a pilot and the senior aviation trial attorney of Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman. For 21 years he worked at Pepperdine School of Law, as an adjunct law professor, where he created and taught the course in Aviation Accident Law. 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.
In 1969 he handled his first aviation safety case when he represented the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization during a major "sick-out" event. 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. Ron 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.
As the lead negotiator in one of the firm’s most significant aviation litigation achievements, Ron won, as part of the settlement in the January 8, 2003 Air Midwest Flight 5481 crash in Charlotte, NC, the agreement of the airline and maintenance company, in an organized ceremony, to deliver an unprecedented official public apology 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 air crash. A trial was avoided as a result of the apology. Also on the negotiating team with Ron were Michael L. Baum, Paul J. Hedlund and John A. Greaves.
Ron served as a member of the Plaintiffs' Executive Committee for the September 11, 2001 aircrash cases and he was co-lead plaintiffs' counsel for the Coordinated Discovery Cases, for the 2000 Southwest Airlines Flight 1455 accident in Burbank, California. One of his more recent aviation trials involved the crash of a Bell helicopter on behalf of the families of three firefighters. In that case our firm successfully changed and improved aviation product liability law in an earlier Appeals Court decision on this case.
He is a Founding Member of the World Association of Law Professors of the World Peace Through Law Center, 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 The American Association for Justice. Ron is an AV® Peer Review Rated lawyer through Martindale Hubbell and is listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, Who’s Who in America, and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. He is also published in Million Dollar Verdicts by the Masters and has been selected for inclusion in Southern California Super Lawyers®.
John Greaves is an experienced airline transport pilot and a former airline captain. He is also a seasoned airline accident lawyer. He has represented hundreds of airline accident victims in more than 35 airline disasters since becoming an attorney and joining Baum Hedlund’s aviation team in the early 1990s.
He has over 10,000 hours total flight time since 1966 and over 3,000 hours as a Captain in Part 121 and Part 135 scheduled airline operations. As a licensed pilot for more than 40 years, he spent five years as a pilot in scheduled airlines service, four years of which were 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 an airline captain, John supervised flight and ground crews, ensured compliance with all FAA operations and maintenance regulations, documents and inspections. He served six years as a Flight Instructor and four years as a Charter Pilot and Charter Company Operator. He was Operator/President/CEO of VIP Pilot, Inc. He was Contract Administration Committee Chairman for the Air Line Pilots Association, Council 37. He received the Distinguished Service Award from the Air Line Pilots Association, Council 37. John has served on several plaintiffs’ steering committees overseeing airline accidents involving multi-district litigation.
John has consistently been chosen by his peers to be listed in Southern California Super Lawyers®. He has Martindale Hubbell’s highest AV® Peer Review Rating, and he is also listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers.
He is also a member of The American Association for Justice, formerly ATLA, Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association and Air Line Pilots Association. John was appointed to the following Plaintiff Steering Committees: Plaintiffs' Executive Committee, September 11, 2001 Tort Litigation; Plaintiffs' Steering Committee, MDL-1448, American Airlines 587 Crash, Belle Harbor (Queens), New York, 2001; Plaintiffs' Steering Committee, Singapore Airlines Crash, Taipei, Taiwan, 2000; and the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee, Atlantic Southeast Airlines Crash, near Carrollton, Georgia, 1995.
Baum Hedlund has been on the prevailing side of some of the most highly-publicized cases in the nation. Our firm’s aviation attorneys have serve(d) as members on the following Commercial Aviation Plaintiffs' Steering/Executive Committees and Trial Teams:
- Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee, MDL-2085, In Re: Air Crash near Clarence Center, New York, on February 12, 2009
- Trial Team, 2006, Butler, et al., v. Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc., re deaths of three LAFD employees arising from the Los Angeles Fire Department Bell 205A-1 helicopter fatal air crash in Griffith Park, Los Angeles, during an airlift rescue on March 23, 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, American Airlines Crash, Little Rock, Arkansas, 1999
- Trial Team, 2006, Bell Helicopter Crash, Los Angeles, California, 1998
- 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
Please visit our aviation accident web site at www.airplanecrash-lawyer.com