Ladd Sanger

Ladd Sanger, managing partner of our Dallas office, focuses on air crash litigation and product liability matters. He is an FAA-licensed commercial airplane pilot with instrument and multi-engine ratings. He also is a licensed helicopter pilot. Sanger has been recognized by Super Lawyers, named one of the “Best Lawyers” by D magazine, and is AV®-rated by Martindale-Hubbell based on peer reviews for ability and integrity. He is licensed to practice law in Texas, Colorado and Wyoming. He has litigated cases in multiple state and federal courts around the U.S.

Practice Areas


  • B.B.A., Southern Methodist University
  • J.D., Oklahoma City University

Professional Background

Mr. Sanger has been recognized repeatedly by Thomson Reuters Super Lawyers, by The Best Lawyers in America, and has been named one of the “Best Lawyers” by D magazine. He is an AV®-rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell, based on peer reviews for ability and integrity. In 2010, he served as Chair of the Aviation Law Section of the American Association for Justice (AAJ).

In addition to his aviation practice, Sanger has prosecuted and tried as lead counsel products liability cases involving automobiles and catastrophic personal injury cases. He has litigated and tried cases in multiple jurisdictions in both state and federal court. He is licensed to practice law in Texas, Colorado and Wyoming.

Representative Work (cases)

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 – the #1 aviation verdict in Texas in 2012.

Other notable cases:

  • American Airlines Flight 331 crash in Kingston, Jamaica, December 2009
  • Numerous Cessna Caravan crashes involving in-flight icing and failure of the Pratt & Whitney PT6 engine
  • Numerous news helicopter crashes involving both Bell and Airbus Helicopters/Eurocopters
  • Gol Flight 1907 crash near Mato Grosso, Brazil, November 2006
  • American Connection Flight 5966 crash in Kirksville, MO, October 2004
  • American Airlines Flight 587 crash near Rockaway, NY, November 2001 (appointed to Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee)
  • Numerous Robinson Helicopter crashes in the US, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, and Caribbean. Advocated use of the bladder style fuel tank to prevent post-crash fires that was ultimately adopted  by Robinson and mandated by regulatory authorities
  • Multiple MU-2, Commander, and Merlin crashes involving the Honeywell TPE-331 engine
  • Dallas Cowboys Learjet 60 in Troy, AL, January 2001
  • AirFrance Concorde crash at Charles de Gaulle Airport, France, July 2000
  • EgyptAir 990 crash off the coast of Nantucket, MA, October 1999

Recent Publications and Speaking Engagements


  • UAS: A New Legal Frontier in Aviation” (Texas Lawyer; July 14, 2014)
  •  “Your First Helicopter Crash Case” (Trial Magazine February 2010, Volume 46, No. 2)
  • “Aviation Cases Address Pre-emption, Jurisdictional Matters” (Texas Lawyer; July 13, 2009)
  • “Mandatory Aviation Insurance: A Domestic and International Perspective” (American Association for Justice presentation; 2008)
  •  “Litigating Accidents and Injuries Under the Montreal Convention” (Texas Lawyer; August 6, 2007)
  • “Flying and Crashing on the Wings of Fortuosity: The Case for Applying Admiralty Jurisdiction to Aviation Accidents over Navigable Waters” (Journal of Air Law and Commerce; 2003)
  • “Failure to Warn: The Difference Between Strict Liability and Negligence from a Plaintiff’s Perspective” (Air and Space Lawyer; Winter 1999)
  • “Preparing for and Taking an Effective Deposition”  (The University of Texas School of Law presentation; 1998)
  • “Will the General Aviation Revitalization Act Allow the Industry to Fly High Again? (Oklahoma City Law Review; 1995)

Upcoming Speaking Engagements

Recent Speaking Engagements

  • “U.S. Cases Originating South of the Border:  Issues in International Air Crash Litigation” (Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association Winter Meeting; February 2015)
  • “Mandatory Aviation Insurance” (Embry-Riddle Aviation Law & Insurance Symposium; January 2015)
  • “Venue, Jurisdiction and Case Evaluation from the Plaintiff’s Perspective” (Aviation Insurance Association Annual Conference; May 2014)
  • “The Rise of the Drones: The Anticipated Proliferation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Controlled Civilian Airspace” (American Bar Association CLE; October 2013) Link to presentation recap, with video.
  • “Retaining the Aviation Law Expert” (International Air & Transportation Safety Bar Association; December 2012)
  • “Ethics of Solicitation and Advertising in Aviation Disaster Cases” (American Association for Justice Convention; July 2012)
  • “A Flight School on Trial” (Flight School Association of North America, International Flight School Operators Conference; May 2012)
  • “The State of Aviation Law”(American Association for Justice Annual Convention; July 2009)
  • “Five Key Recommendations to the DOT:  A New Direction for Air Transport in America” (Aviation on Trial! Aviation Litigation Committee CLE Seminar; June 2009)
  • “Anatomy of the Aviation Expert: What You Want and What You Don’t” (American Bar Association Tort, Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Aviation and Space Law Committee; Fall 2006)
  • “Handling the Aviation Case” (Texas Trial Lawyers Association; Fall 2004)
  • “Latest in Aviation Litigation”(Texas Trial Lawyers Association; Fall 2003)
  • “Pending Carrier Litigation” (American Bar Association, Tort, Trial and Insurance Practice Section and Aviation Litigation Committee; 2003)

Professional and Community Activities

  • SMU Air Law Symposium (board member)
  • American Association for Justice (board member, Aviation Law Section and Aviation Newsletter)
  • Dallas Bar Association
  • Aviation Insurance Association
  • Texas Trial Lawyers Association
  • Dallas Trial Lawyers Association


  • Super Lawyers (2008-present)
  • The Best Lawyers in America (2004 to present)
  • Rising Star Super Lawyers (2004)
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV®-rated
  • D Magazine

In The News

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