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Reported Cases
(establishing precedent favorable to plaintiffs)

Olympic Airways v. Husain, 124 S. Ct. 1221, 157 L.Ed.2d 1146(2004), rehearing den. 2004 U.S. LEXIS 3048, 72 U.S.L.W. 3658.
Landmark decision holding that the death of a passenger from second-hand cigarette smoke constituted an “accident” under the Warsaw Convention and was thus compensable; crew’s failure to move passenger from vicinity of smoking section constituted “willful misconduct” under the Warsaw Convention, thus entitling plaintiffs to compensation above the $75,000 cap on damages. On certiorari from the Ninth Circuit. 6-2 Majority opinion by Clarence Thomas.

Husain v. Olympic Airways, 316 F.3d 829 (9th Cir. 2002) and 116 F. Supp.2d 1121 (N.D. Cal. 2000).
Trial counsel representing plaintiffs in the district court, obtaining largest plaintiffs’ award for death from secondhand smoke, and expanding airline liability under the Warsaw Convention. Opinion by the Hon. Charles R. Breyer.

Sole attorney for appellees in the Ninth Circuit, winning affirmance of the district court’s award in its entirety. Unanimous, before Stephen Reinhardt, Raymond C. Fisher and Donald W. Molloy. Opinion by Molloy.

Hosaka v. United Airlines, 305 F.3d 989 (9th Cir. 2002)
First decision in the United States to hold that a Warsaw Convention plaintiff is not subject to forum non conveniens dismissal, where the plaintiff chooses one of the four jurisdictions specifically permitted under the Convention. Decision expanded rights of airline passengers. Unanimous, before Stephen Reinhardt, Raymond C. Fisher and Donald W. Molloy. Opinion by Fisher.

Andrews v. United Airlines, 24 F.3d 39 (9th Cir. 1994)
Decision holding that evidence of airline’s prior notice of overhead bin hazard was sufficient to defeat summary judgment dismissal of plaintiff’s action for injuries caused by fallen briefcase. Decision expanded rights of airline passengers. Cited in California Practice Guide, Federal Civil Procedure Before Trial (Rutter). Unanimous, before Betty B. Fletcher, Alex Kozinski and Stephen S. Trott. Opinion by Kozinski.

REPRESENTATION IN MAJOR AIRLINE DISASTERS 

  • 1989 United Airlines DC-10 crash at Sioux City, Iowa
  • 1991 USAir/Skywest Boeing 737 runway collision at Los Angeles International Airport
  • 1991 Lauda Air Boeing 767ER crash near Bangkok, Thailand
  • 1992 TWA Lockheed L-1011 crash at JFK Airport
  • 1992 USAir Fokker F-23 off the runway at La Guardia Airport
  • 1993 El Al Boeing 747 crash into apartment building in Amsterdam
  • 1994 TWA 800 Boeing crash at Long Island, New York
  • 1998 Swissair MD-11 crash at Peggy’s Cove, Halifax Nova Scotia
  • 1999 EgyptAir 990 crash, Atlantic Ocean off Rhode Island
  • 2001 Marsh Harbor crash, Bahamas
  • 2001 SAS MD-87 runway collision with Cessna 525A at Milano Linate Airport
  • 2004 Boeing 737-300 crash at Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

Olympic Airways v. Husain, 124 S.Ct. 1221, 157 L.Ed. 2d 1146 (U.S. 2004)
Hosaka v. United Airlines, 305 F.3d 989 (9th Cir. 2002)
Andrews v. United Airlines, 24 F.3d 39 (9th Cir. 1994)