Six Slack Davis Sanger attorneys were selected by their peers for inclusion in The 2019 Best Lawyers in America© list. This year marks the 21st consecutive year Managing Partner Mike Slack and Of Counsel Paula Sweeney will be named to the list; and the 11th consecutive year that Partners Mike Davis, Ladd Sanger, John Jose and Donna Bowen have been listed. All the attorneys were recognized for their plaintiffs’ work in personal injury, product liability and medical malpractice litigation.
For more than three decades, Best Lawyers® has become regarded as the definitive guide to legal professionalism and excellence around the globe. Best Lawyers® is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey. More than 52,000 leading attorneys cast 5.5 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in more than 130 practice areas.
In light of the Douglas DC-3 airplane crash in Burnet County on July 22, KXAN and FOX 7 turned to Michael Slack, licensed pilot and owner of a WWII aircraft, to discuss the possible crash factors of the “Bluebonnet Belle” that veered off the runway, crashed and caught fire with 13 people on board. No passengers were killed, but they suffered injuries as a result.
According to Slack, the video footage of the aircraft on its takeoff run indicated that the tail never came up, and that the aircraft did not achieve flying speed, even a considerable distance down the runway. He adds that this plane is considered a tail dragger and the pilot needs to hit a certain speed to take off. These issues coupled with the hot weather may have contributed to the crash.
“On a winter day, you can get nice performance out of your aircraft. On a hot summer day, high temperatures and the high elevation, Burnet is 1,200 feet above sea level, you can get impaired performances,” said Slack.
Watch the KXAN interview.
Watch the FOX 7 interview.
In light of the recent $90 million verdict against trucking company, Werner Enterprises, it’s time we ask: Are trucking companies doing enough to train their drivers and keep the roads safe? In John Jose’s Law360 article he addresses the massive issue of trucking companies allowing student drivers to take the wheel of commercial trucks with insufficient training.
In the lawsuit against Werner Enterprises, a student driver was alone and behind the wheel of an 18-wheeler during black ice conditions, when the driver skidded into oncoming traffic and crashed into a car, killing one child and seriously injuring several other passengers.
Jose points out that this is not the only instance a trucking company has allowed a student driver to take the wheel with insufficient training, however, companies are getting away with it under the guise of the “team driving” method. According to Jose, there is a severe shortage of qualified drivers due to poor working conditions and extremely long hours, but the demand for over-the-road deliveries is on the rise. As a result, companies are pushing student drivers out onto the road without the required amount of training hours logged in order to meet their tight deadlines.
Jose adds that this practice needs to be brought to the public’s attention, and regulations need to be put in place to stop this dangerous practice, or there will be many more lawsuits like Werner in the future.
Read full article. (Subscription required)
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the recent medical helicopter crash that killed three crew members in Wisconsin. Although the cause of the crash is yet unknown, this and other accidents raise the question of how safe helicopter ambulances are. In the Associated Press article “Safety of Medical Helicopters Draws Scrutiny After Crash,” Dallas Managing Partner Ladd Sanger discussed what factors can result in a crash and why helicopter ambulances aren’t always the answer in a medical emergency.
One factor that can cause accidents is weather. Bad weather means that hospitals need to make several calls in search of a pilot willing to fly. Sanger noted that this results in pressure on providers and pilots to fly, because they want to be known as the go-to person and not the one that says ‘no.’
Although helicopters can be good alternatives for people that are seriously injured or very sick in remote areas to get to the hospital, Sanger explained that the vast majority of helicopter transports are not medically necessary. He said, “You would get to the hospital faster and way cheaper if you used a ground ambulance.”
Read full article.
Although the safety record of commercial airlines has made flyers feel more secure, that reputation unfortunately doesn’t carry over to charter flights. In the Bottom Line Personal article “How to…Make Sure a Charter Airline is Safe,” Partner Ladd Sanger provides insight on how to assess whether a US-based charter flight is safe, especially in light of high accident rates and minimal government oversight.
“One way to reduce your risk on charter flights: Fly only in a twin-engine plane that has two pilots,” said Sanger. He explained that these planes with multi-pilots can typically land safely even if a problem occurs with the engine or pilot. Sanger also recommends opting for a twin-engine jet when possible, as charter-jet pilots are subjected to more rigorous training requirements.
According to Sanger other safety protocols include asking to see the operator’s Part 135 certificate, the operator’s facilities and a copy of their insurance declaration. He also recommended searching for any other certifications on Aviation Research Group or Wyvern’s websites.
Read full article.