Product liability suit against helicopter company to stay in CA

By |2023-10-12T01:37:12+00:00April 23rd, 2014|

In real estate, the expression “location is everything” succinctly expresses the commonly held knowledge that a property’s value is largely dependent upon its geographical situation and neighborhood characteristics. In civil lawsuits, location also matters. Jurisdictional determinations and choice of law significantly impact trial outcomes and damages awarded.

Before a trial begins, extremely important decisions must be made. One of the most important decisions concerns the determination of which court holds jurisdiction, or has the right to hear the case. A related determination involves the choice of law, or which state or country’s laws are applied to decide the case and any damages as a result.

For the plaintiffs in a case against Robinson Helicopter Co., which is based in Torrance, California, the determination of jurisdiction is of particular significance. The helicopter manufacturing company attempted to move the wrongful death case in which it is a defendant from Southern California to South America. A Los Angeles Superior Court judge recently ruled in favor of the plaintiffs’ choice of jurisdiction.

Because product liability law in California differs substantively from Colombian law, the jurisdiction for the trial is especially important. Here, winning plaintiffs may be awarded much more in damages than if the case were heard in Colombia, where the law limits damages to only $10,000 in cases alleging a manufacturing defect. Additionally, Colombia has no jury system, so plaintiffs are left at a disadvantage in making their case before only the judge.

Local California attorneys can represent plaintiffs in wrongful death, products liability or other tort cases against negligent manufacturers no matter which jurisdiction hears the lawsuit. You can learn more about defective product claims at our product liability website.

Source: Daily Breeze, “Suit over Robinson Helicopter deaths must be litigated in U.S., judge says,” Nick Green, April 10, 2014


About the Author:

Avatar photo
Doug Easton has practiced law since 1971. After 20 years of practicing with various large litigation firms, he founded the Law Offices of W. Douglas Easton in 1991 as a solo practitioner. In the years that followed, Doug’s sons Brian and Matt joined him in the practice and helped build the firm into a powerful force to help right the wrongs done to their clients. Much of their success over the years has stemmed from the dynamic created by the familial nature of the firm and how harmoniously they all work together, each of their individual strengths complementing and fortifying the group as a whole. Accordingly, the firm changed its name to Easton & Easton, LLP in 2014 to better reflect the true dynamic of the firm and Doug now serves as Managing Partner of Easton & Easton. In 2015, Doug was selected as a Top 100 Litigation Lawyer in California by The American Society of Legal Advocates. In addition, Doug is listed in Strathmore’s Who’s Who, and in 2008 was named its “Professional of the Year” in Medical Malpractice.
Go to Top