Dombroff: NTSB usually nails crash investigations, courts should stay out

Mark Dombroff, a partner at Dentons, says in his blog the District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals correctly found it lacked jurisdiction to consider a challenge to the the National Transportation Safety Board’s probable-cause finding in a fatal plane crash.

“[T]he thought of a judge reviewing the substance of an investigation and assuming the mantle of expert to decide between competing investigations — one from the NTSB and one from an expert hired to challenge the NTSB — is, even to me, somewhat unsettling,” Dombroff said.  “The fact is, and history tells us, the NTSB usually gets it right!”

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Space flight accidents should be investigated by the NTSB

By Ronnie R. Gipson Jr., Esq., Higa & Gipson

From Westlaw Journal Aviation: Attorney Ronnie Gipson of Higa & Gipson discusses the need for the National Transportation Safety Board to take an active role in investigating accidents resulting from the developing commercial space industry.

With two high profile accidents in the last week, the commercial space industry is understandably being subjected to heightened scrutiny.  Editors note: This article was originally published Nov. 5.  Specifically, with respect to the Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShip Two accident, detractors quickly seized on innuendo and rumor to place blame on inadequate pilot training and possible malfunctions with technological advances to the craft’s engines.

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Burn victim has case against Ford on post-sale failure to warn

From Westlaw Journal Automotive: An Ohio appeals court has ordered a new trial on Ford Motor Co.’s post-sale duty to warn about the dangers of an allegedly defective fuel system in a 2005 Crown Victoria Police Interceptor.

The 7th District Court of Appeals also said Ford could be liable for punitive damages in the case in which a police officer suffered burns over 30 percent of his body.

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Deadly train disasters – graphic of the day

At least 78 people died when a train hit a sharp bend at speed, derailed and caught fire near the pilgrimage center of Santiago de Compostela, in one of Europe’s worst rail disasters. Today’s graphic shows some of the major train disasters by region over the last 50 years.

train disasters

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Plaintiff wins new trial in tire-failure accident case against Continental

A California state appeals court has reversed a verdict in favor of Continental Tire North America and ordered a new trial in a personal injury case involving an allegedly faulty General Road Tamer LX tire.

In an unreported decision, the 1st District Court of Appeal panel said the trial court “prejudicially erred in excluding relevant and admissible evidence” and failed to properly instruct the jury.

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Coming to a car near you? The Department of Transportation’s creepy black box

In a recent issue of Westlaw Journal Automotive, Horace Cooper, a legal commentator and an adjunct fellow with the National Center for Public Policy Research, examines the privacy implications for Americans as Congress mulls passage of a bill that would mandate the use of event data recorders — devices that track and record automobile usage — on every car sold in the U.S.

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Trenes De Buenos Aires – Graphic of the Day

Trenes de Buenos Aires S.A. (TBA), the company that transports 39% of passengers using the metropolitan rail network in Buenos Aires, has been criticized after recent accidents, the latest from Wednesday that left 50 dead and 676 wounded. Today’s graphic shows different charts pertaining to the company over the last ten years. Number of passengers transported, activity level, subsidies received, accidents and regularity are can all be seen in the graphic below.