He is a pilot and the head of the firm’s aviation disaster litigation team. Ron taught for 21 years at Pepperdine School of Law as an adjunct Law Professor, where he created and taught the course on Aviation Accident Law. He also taught courses in Torts, Insurance Law, Legal Writing and Analysis.
In 1969 Ron handled his first aviation case and has continued handling aviation cases ever since, in accidents such as: the 1972 British European Airways crash near London; the 1978 Pacific Southwest Airlines Flight 182 / Cessna 172 Midair Collision at San Diego, California; the 1986 Aero Mexico Flight 498 / Piper Midair Collision at Cerritos, California; and the 2000 Southwest Airlines runway accident at Burbank, California. He also handled the September 11, 2001 aviation (passenger) tort litigation in which he also served on the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee. Since joining the firm in 2003 he has worked on all of the firm’s general aviation and airline disaster cases.
He was the lead negotiator in one of the firm’s most significant aviation litigation achievements. He 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. Three years later Ron appeared in a dramatic re-enactment of the crash, its subsequent investigation and the ultimate public apology, which aired on National Geographic Television.
Ron’s expertise extends far beyond aviation into many forms of commercial transportation accidents. Due to his experience with train accident cases, he was chosen as a member of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee for the 2008 Chatsworth Metrolink train collision in California, which is the deadliest train accident in Metrolink’s history. He also litigated the fatal 2012 CSX Coal Train Derailment in Ellicott City, Maryland.
Ron was involved in ground-breaking pharmaceutical litigation which helped pave the way for the drug product liability litigation lawyers are facing today. In the 1960s he was actively involved in exposing Richardson-Merrell’s (later known as Marion Merrell Dow) cholesterol-lowering drug, MER/29 (triparanol), which was blamed for severe side effects and birth defects. The company was ultimately indicted for supplying the FDA with falsified information about the drug.