In July 2019, IADC member Denny Shupe and Lee Schmeer of Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP achieved a unanimous jury verdict for the defense after seven days of trial in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. The case arose from an accident at Philadelphia International Airport when a ground support equipment mechanic, who was performing maintenance on an aircraft modular refueling truck, fell from the truck and suffered alleged back, shoulder, neck, and head injuries. Schnader represented General Transervice, Inc., which manufactured and sold the modular refueling truck.
The plaintiff sought over $3 million in damages under theories of negligence, strict products liability, and breach of warranty. The trial involved multifaceted liability issues under evolving Pennsylvania products liability law, complex evidence about alleged traumatic brain injury and shoulder/neck injuries, and nearly a dozen expert witnesses, including neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, mechanical engineers, human factors experts, and an airport refueling and ground support equipment expert.
The jury of eight reached a unanimous defense verdict after about 1 ½ hours of deliberation.
Shupe, a former chair of Schnader’s Aviation Group and its Product Liability Group, focuses his practice on risk management and representation of international, national, and regional companies in a wide variety of commercial, product liability, and business litigation matters. In aviation matters, he represents domestic and global aircraft; engine and aircraft component manufacturers; airports; airlines; insurers; Part 135 operators; Part 145 repair stations; and corporate aviation in a wide variety of litigation and accident investigation matters.