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Turbulence and the chance for catastrophic injuries

California residents are increasingly mobile, both domestically and internationally. More air travel could be a good thing, as long as courts continue to hold aircraft equipment manufacturers responsible for any defects in their products. Specifically, concerns about increasing turbulence could have an effect on the standards to which these aviation companies should hold themselves.

CNBC reports that the long-term forecast for heavy turbulence on flights is less than heartening. However, there is something more exigent in the article than the recent meteorological study which predicts that climate change could drastically increase the incidence of pockets of clear-air turbulence in the next 30 years: these bumpy rides are already accountable for the majority of severe cabin crew injuries and many injuries to passengers.

While turbulence is often unavoidable, especially in situations where it occurs in clear air, it is possible that manufacturers who fail to take the consequences of this common phenomenon into account could be liable for their negligence. FindLaw lists a number of parties that might be responsible for injuries sustained while on an airplane:

  • Repair companies
  • Equipment manufacturers
  • Vendors

The FindLaw article mentions that not every injury one sustains on an aircraft would necessarily constitute grounds for a suit against an airline, an aviation design company or any other party. One of the most important issues is determining whether or not the party was negligent in its duties to protect the safety of the injured passenger or passengers. Luckily for passengers who are injured due to the negligence of these powerful international companies, evidence of wrongdoing is sometimes available through officially mandated records. 

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