Friday, October 10, 2014

Heath v. Swift Wings case brief summary


Heath v. Swift Wings case brief summary

F: Estates of wife and son brought action against the estate of pilot and owner of plane.
Jury determined that pilot was not negligent.
P’s Argument: The standard should be that pilot failed to adhere to a standard of care to act as a reasonable and prudent person, exercising the degree of learning, skill, and ability of pilots with reasonable and ordinary care.
D’s Argument: The standard of care should be determined by whether the pilot acted with reasonable and ordinary care of a reasonably and prudent person under the same or similar circumstances.
An airplane crashed immediately after takeoff.
On board the plane were the pilot, Heath, his wife, and their son, and a family friend Smathers.
All were killed. Mrs. Smathers, prior to takeoff, observed Heath load and then reload the passengers and luggage to improve the balance. After starting the plane it taxied very close to the end of the runway, gained altitude, but did not go very high. She then saw the plane level off pretty low.
A mechanical engineer and pilot testified that the pilot should have used flaps to aid in the takeoff.
He also opined that a reasonably and ordinarily prudent pilot would have made a controlled landing in the adjacent cornfield after experiencing problem upon takeoff.
I: Whether, in determination of the standard of care in this case, it is appliying a minimum standard generally applicable to all pilots or pilot’s individual particular experience and training
R: In determination of the standard of care in this case, it is applied a minimum standard generally applicable to all pilots (one obj. standard) rather than pilot’s individual particular experience and training
The standard of care required of an individual is the conduct of the reasonably prudent man under the same or similar circumstances.
The quantity or degree of care required may vary with the attendant circumstances.
C: Reversed and remanded for new trial.
Co: ordinary man v. ordinary pilot (not issue here)
Ordinary pilot vs. ordinary pilot with same experience + training (Issue here)
Usu. voluntary is not a defense to negligence.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Search Thousands of Case Briefs and Articles.