Ladd Sanger

Managing Partner, Dallas Office

Ladd Sanger focuses his practice on aviation law, including products liability, business litigation, and representing clients who have been injured as a result of air disasters. As a pilot with experience flying both fixed-wing planes and helicopters, Ladd understands the technical aspects of aviation crashes and applies that knowledge to all of his cases.

Practice Areas

Airplane & Helicopter Crashes Catastrophic Personal Injury & Death Truck & Car Accidents

Ladd Sanger

Managing Partner, Dallas Office

Ladd Sanger focuses his practice on aviation law, including products liability, business litigation, and representing clients who have been injured as a result of air disasters. As a pilot with experience flying both fixed-wing planes and helicopters, Ladd understands the technical aspects of aviation crashes and applies that knowledge to all of his cases.

Practice Areas

Airplane & Helicopter Crashes Catastrophic Personal Injury & Death Truck & Car Accidents

Professional Background

Education

Publications

Community

Notable Cases

Ladd is an FAA-licensed commercial airplane pilot with instrument and multi-engine ratings as well as a licensed helicopter pilot. He has handled numerous crash cases around the globe, obtaining significant settlements for those injured or for the families that lost loved ones in a tragic accident.

In addition to his aviation practice, Ladd has prosecuted and tried as lead counsel products liability cases involving automobiles as well as catastrophic personal injury cases. He has litigated and tried cases in multiple jurisdictions in both state and federal court. Ladd is an AV®-rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell, based on peer reviews for ability and integrity.

As an active member of the national aviation bar, Ladd was selected by the American Bar Association to be the 2016–2017 Chair of the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section’s Aviation and Space Law Committee. He also serves on the Board of Advisers for the SMU Air Law Symposium and is a past Chair of the Aviation Law Section of the American Association for Justice. He is licensed to practice law in Texas, Colorado, and Wyoming.

  • J.D., Oklahoma City University
  • B.B.A., Southern Methodist University
  • SMU Air Law Symposium, Board Member
  • American Association for Justice
    • Board Member
    • Aviation Law Section and Aviation Newsletter
  • Dallas Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
    • Chair, 2016–2017
    • Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section’s Aviation and Space Law Committee
  • Aviation Insurance Association
  • Texas Trial Lawyers Association
  • Dallas Trial Lawyers Association
  • Lawyer-Pilot Bar Association

FlightSafety International Inc. v. Dallas Airmotive, Inc.

On October 30, 2014, a Beechcraft King Air experienced a loss of power and control that resulted in a crash into the FlightSafety Incorporated (FSI) training facility in Wichita, Kansas, killing four people and injuring six others. The firm represents FSI for economic and property losses after the post-crash fire destroyed the FSI facility, burning the structure and its contents, which included flight simulators.

Lee Odekirk, et al. v. Dallas Airmotive, Inc., et al.

On August 24, 2008, a Cessna 208B Grand Caravan (TG-JES) operated by Aero Ruta Maya was carrying volunteers and missionaries to a remote area in Guatemala to finish building a school, when the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6-44A engine suffered a catastrophic failure. The pilots attempted an emergency landing but crashed in a field. There were 14 persons on board, and only four survived the crash. Those who survived were seriously burned. The firm represented seven deceased and two surviving passengers, and successfully prosecuted the case against Aero Ruta Maya and Pratt & Whitney as well as a turbine engine maintenance facility located in Dallas, Texas. The lawsuits were resolved for amounts that were confidential but the total settlement remains one of the largest ever achieved for passengers on a chartered flight.

Prengle, et al. v. Fredricksburg Aviation

On May 16, 2016, a Beechcraft Bonanza A36TC departed from Tupelo Regional Airport in Tupelo, MS, in route to Williamsburg, KY. Shortly after departure, the pilot declared an emergency of an in-flight fire, advising that the aircraft needed to return to the airport. Tragically, the plane was unable to make it back to the airport and crashed in a wooded area about a half-mile north of the Tupelo Regional Airport runway. The pilot and three passengers were killed in the crash. Post-crash investigation revealed that an exhaust v-band clamp had failed and fallen off the plane during takeoff.

Engler v. Turbomeca

On January 2, 2013, an Airbus EC 130 helicopter owned and operated by Air Methods as an air ambulance experienced engine failure shortly after takeoff, and crash-landed in an open field near Seminole, OK, causing severe injuries to the passengers. The fuel tank ruptured as a result of the hard landing, covering all the occupants in jet fuel. Fortunately, the fuel did not ignite. The engine failure was caused by an aftermarket inlet barrier filter that created an area where water could freeze and subsequently be ingested into the engine. Slack Davis Sanger represented all of the passengers on the helicopter.

Hicks v. Blue Hawaiian

On January 17, 2016, an Airbus EC 130 helicopter operated by Blue Hawaiian experienced a sudden loss of engine power, forcing the pilot to make an emergency landing, injuring all six passengers. The main fuel injection line had broken, resulting in a loss of engine power. During the crash, the energy-absorbing seats failed to function properly, resulting in serious injuries to the passengers.

Nicholson v. Rico Aviation

On April 28, 2017, a Pilatus PC-12 air ambulance operated by Rico Aviation crashed shortly after take-off into a pasture about a mile south of the Amarillo airport. A post-impact fire ensued, and the pilot and two medical personnel were killed. The firm represents the family of a paramedic.

Estate of Robinett v. Estate of Kinikin

James Robinett was in an airplane piloted by Harvey Kinikin, Jr. Both men were killed when Mr. Kinikin attempted an unsafe, visual approach under weather conditions requiring a more sophisticated instrument approach. Slack Davis Sanger attorneys Ladd Sanger and Paula Sweeney represented the plaintiffs in the winning (unanimous) jury verdict, which was the #1 aviation verdict in Texas in 2012 in terms of the settlement amount.

Swies v.

On May 22, 2018, a Gulfstream G200 private jet skidded off the runway and into a ditch as it attempted to land at Toncontin International Airport in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa. Despite the plane breaking in half as it crashed, the two crew members and four passengers all survived, suffering various levels of injury. The firm represents one of the passengers.

Swan & Cho v. Heligunner

On September 2, 2017, a Hughes 369A helicopter was conducting an aerial hog hunt operation when it experienced a loss of engine power before landing on Highway US 281 near Burnet, Texas. The firm represents two passengers who were injured in the crash.

  • "On behalf of my siblings and I, we thank you and your team for taking on our case following our father’s passing from a tragic vintage plane crash in Arizona. As you know, we were originally working with another firm and just getting started when a family member referred us, insisting you were the best choice for our situation. With one phone consultation, I knew you were the one who would take care of us. During the time of our first call, I found you to be professional, fair, understanding, and, most of all, you confirmed my instincts on how a settlement would be processed given all the family dynamics and other concerns (i.e., multiple states, multiple claimants, etc.). I immediately felt you would have our backs and best represent our family."

    Theresa M.

    Client
  • "During the ultimate mediation process, you demonstrated the confidence, expertise and determination to do what was best for all of us while helping to guide our decisions during what was a very emotional time. While our lives will never be the same without our beloved father, we are grateful for a settlement which allows us to do something positive in our lives while honoring his memory."

    Theresa M.

    Client
  • "I would like to thank all of your team, who I felt went above and beyond to take care of us and to be great listeners, even when I’d fall apart on the phone speaking about my father. I would highly recommend you and your firm to anyone in a similar situation, and I would be happy to speak to any prospective clients to provide a verbal reference."

    Theresa M.

    Client
  • "Thank you again for all of your good help. Since losing Nick, the love of my life, it has been an emotional roller coaster, but I am making progress and standing strong as he would want me to do. Aside from all of the other estate things I have had to attend to, through this law case, your efficient and thoughtful communications have been very kind and helpful. You have performed your job perfectly."

    Sandra T.

    Client
  • "Thank you for all of your help with this case. This has been a difficult process and I couldn’t have done it without you."

    Charlotte L.

    Client

Honors & Awards

  • Martindale-Hubbell AV®-rated attorney
  • The Best Lawyers in America by BL Rankings (since 2009)
  • Thomson Reuters Super Lawyers (since 2008)
  • D MagazineBest Lawyers in Dallas (2017)
  • Thomson Reuters Super Lawyers Rising Star (2004)

Contact Ladd