F-22 Pilot's widow sues

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popcorn

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Unread post13 Mar 2012, 09:26

The widow of an Air Force pilot claims Boeing, Lockheed Martin and others' made F-22 Raptors with a defective life support system, causing her husband's death in a training exercise.

Anna Haney sued Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Honeywell International and Pratt & Whitney in Cook County Court.

Her husband, Jeff Hander, died in November 2010 in the crash of an F-22 Raptor from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, near Anchorage.

[...]

Source: http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/03/12/44592.htm

Does suing the government usually prosper?
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deadseal

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Unread post13 Mar 2012, 14:54

She should sue..it was complete bullshit
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exfltsafety

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Unread post13 Mar 2012, 15:13

She's not suing the government; she's suing the contractors. Whether or not she is successful depends on whether or not the contractors can prove that they are shielded by the government contractor defense (see http://definitions.uslegal.com/g/government-contract-defense/).
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popcorn

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Unread post13 Mar 2012, 16:10

exfltsafety wrote:She's not suing the government; she's suing the contractors. Whether or not she is successful depends on whether or not the contractors can prove that they are shielded by the government contractor defense (see http://definitions.uslegal.com/g/government-contract-defense/).

Thanks, that was an informative read.
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velocityvector

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Unread post14 Mar 2012, 00:03

The Corboys probably see what I'm seeing, which is that OBOGS failed to conform to government specs, otherwise the incident wouldn't have occurred. That in itself deprives contractors of immunity. I think this case will go to jury and the award will by gynormous, subject to remittitur (judicial reduction). At issue is a mission critical personal life support system. Juries favor plaintiffs in these cases. Anybody know what is left of the OBOGS after the crash?
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exfltsafety

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Unread post14 Mar 2012, 00:52

We've already been through all this. See http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopic-t-16562-highlight-crash.html and especially Lightndattic's post on Dec 15, 2011. It wasn't the OBOGS. And given the impact speed and angle, there were only small pieces left. If this case is like the Harduvel F-16 case from the 1980's, it will be years before it is resolved.
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velocityvector

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Unread post14 Mar 2012, 01:08

No we haven't. It's different. Now there is a pattern. "Pilot error" won't sit well with a civilian jury no matter what the boards conclude. So, yes, it was OBOGS. The numbers of aircraft and flights are small; the Corboys know how to sell their client's position in full color with high fidelity audio. You are correct that this case will play out over more than half a decade. It won't settle and the spouse will collect millions and establish a trust for their children. Her husband will be "vindicated" and life will go on. To the extent there is a defect with OBOGS I hope it gets resolved soon.
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exfltsafety

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Unread post14 Mar 2012, 01:30

The thing I hope gets resolved soon is the lack of an automatic ground collision avoidance capability.
This new litigation has no predictable outcome in my mind. The Harduvel case from the 1980's is similar in some regards. There's a lengthy summary of it at http://openjurist.org/878/f2d/1311/harduvel-v-general-dynamics-corporation. The final outcome in that case was that GD prevailed under the government contractor defense. But that was over 20 years ago and judges and juries change.
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velocityvector

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Unread post14 Mar 2012, 01:59

Like you, I hope we don't lose more pilots and planes. Unlike you, I presume, I do NOT have any expertise or practical experience with OBOGS or similar systems. The closest I've come is breathing prepackaged gas during skydiving and diving (and twice, the internals on submarines). My posts on the topic are based on public sources, technical training and speculation. For better or for worse, I do however know the subject law team and local courts and they will "resolve" the "facts." To them, "two" incidents will constitute a "pattern." Personally, I really do believe there is a problem with F-22 O2 delivery. As for GCA on Raptor, I am unsure that makes sense given its profile. Happy to be corrected. 0.02
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exfltsafety

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Unread post14 Mar 2012, 02:30

The reason some of us say it wasn't OBOGS in this particular mishap is because there was a detected problem with the bleed air source that is external to the OBOGS. The bleed air source for OBOGS was shut down as a result. That's in the released AIB report.

As for auto GCAS, a lot of F-16 pilots, and now Capt Haney, died when their jet hit the ground after something(s) went wrong during a flight profile that was never intended to get close to the ground.
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sufaviper

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Unread post15 Mar 2012, 15:44

No offense is intended to the pilot who died or his family by the following.

I am sick and tired of our sue happy society, it is getting rediculous.

Off Topic:
The Hot Coffee McDonald's one kicked it all off, of course the funny thing about that one is I was pulled over driving through New Mexico (where the spill took place and around the same time) when I was drinking an IBC Root Bear while driving (given not the smartest since the bottle looks like a beer bottle). However the kicker comes in that I was still issued a ticket due to the "Hand's Free Law," the officer said it was targeted at cell phones, but your hands are not supposed to have anything in them while driving. So in essence the woman who won the suite was breaking the law when the coffee spilt, had she been following the law, the whole thing likely would not have happened.

On Topic:
I thought that no issue has been found with the OBOGS. This sounds like some Ambulance Chaser came to the widow and said, "Hey, there was an investigation into the OBOGS, lets see if we can rake LM/Boeing/Honeywell over the coals and get you a lot of money." I think Ambulance Chasing should be outlawed, but I'm not quite sure how to word such a law without infringing on rights or other negative side effects.

Additionally, I highly doubt that anyone without Top Secret Clearance has actually seen the F-22 flight manuals, and so how would they know that there are no warnings conerning the OBOGS or other systems. This isn't Ford and the Pinto calculating that it is ok if X people die, this is a top end fighter where all involved were attempting to make the best fighter in history that would keep the pilots as safe as possible.

Sufa Viper
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aceshigh

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Unread post15 Mar 2012, 18:17

Well I do sympathize with the widow and I wish her luck. The whole affair with the accident report stinks a long way. I'm sure it was very tempting (for the air force) to put the blame on the pilot. The aircraft is obviously not safe to fly at this time.
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velocityvector

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Unread post16 Mar 2012, 01:23

I think Ambulance Chasing should be outlawed


Me too. But where to draw the line. In many countries, the little guy has no access to the courts or if they are outlawyered on a meritorious claim they as loser must pay for having had so much fun (and it never is fun). In this country a large percentage of the population are sue-happy because they smell dollar signs. Ambulance chasing gives my chosen profession a bad name. I am a patient liar, oops "patent lawyer," who is currently knee-deep against Intellectual Ventures, an umbrella organization with ex-Microsoft Nathan Myhrvold and Bill Gates as investors that many, including me, consider to be a true patent troll. OTOH I represent companies who actually need their patent portfolios to reduce poaching, counterfeiting and reverse engineering so the client can recoup its expensive R&D investments. Back to where to draw the line. I dunno. I've had folks lie to my face under oath until I produced the videotapes replaying with no doubt remaining exactly what they did and just perjured themselves with. 0.02
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fiskerwad

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Unread post16 Mar 2012, 05:55

sufaviper wrote:No offense is intended to the pilot who died or his family by the following.

I am sick and tired of our sue happy society, it is getting rediculous.

Off Topic:
The Hot Coffee McDonald's one kicked it all off, of course the funny thing about that one is I was pulled over driving through New Mexico (where the spill took place and around the same time) when I was drinking an IBC Root Bear while driving (given not the smartest since the bottle looks like a beer bottle). However the kicker comes in that I was still issued a ticket due to the "Hand's Free Law," the officer said it was targeted at cell phones, but your hands are not supposed to have anything in them while driving. So in essence the woman who won the suite was breaking the law when the coffee spilt, had she been following the law, the whole thing likely would not have happened.

SNIP

Sufa Viper


Quick point of order: Mrs. Liebeck was a passenger. LOTS of misinformation about the case on the web.
fisk
Mipple?
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aceshigh

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Unread post17 Mar 2012, 02:57

Remember the Air Force’s accident report on the December 2010 F-22 crash in Alaska, where the service basically blamed the pilot for not switching on his emergency oxygen system system in time to avoid a crash?
The report said the airman accidentally pointed his jet toward the ground when he reached for the poorly-placed backup oxygen system handle after his jet’s main oxygen system shut down (something that led his widow to sue F-22-maker Lockheed Martin and its subcontractors.). It went on to infer that if he had reached for the handle sooner, he might still be alive despite the poor placement of the switch.
Well, that emergency oxygen system handle was so poorly designed that the Air Force is retrofitting F-22s with a new emergency oxygen system handle.


Read more: http://defensetech.org/2012/03/15/air-f ... z1pKo4fKLQ
Defense.org
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