Aviation Litigation

Coquina Law Group Aviation Litigation practices specizes in representing aviaiton insurance policy holders in insurance disputes with their insurance company regardign coverae and value of damage claims. Coquina Law Group’s founding attorney, W. Ashby Underhill is Board-Certified Aviation Attorney by the Florida Bar. Aviation Litigation involves insurance claim disputes, aviation accident litigation, maiteneance disputes, lien law, transaction disputes and FAA enforcement defense. Board Certification in Aviaiton Law recognizes special knowledge, skills and proficiency in aviation law and professionalism and ethics in practice: “Evaluatied for Professionalism and Tested for Expertise.”

Aviation Law & Litigaiton involves many aspects of aircraft ownership and operations. Areas of the law for Aviaiton Law Bord Certificiation include: 1) Litigation, 2) Aernoautices and Space (FAA, DOT and State Regulations), 3) National Transportaion Safety Board (NTSB) operations, 4) Registration/Recording and Security Interest (Sales, Liens), 5) Airport Operations and Land Use, 6) FAA Enforcement, 7) International Treaties & Conventions, 8) Air Taxi Operations (Charters), and 9) Aviation Labor Law. These aspects of aviation law are often intertwiend in aviation litigation regardign insurance coverage, mechanics liens, and accident liablity.

Aviation Insurance
Coquina Law Group represents policy holders in disputes with their insurance company regarding coverage or the scope and price of the loss. Aviation insurance claims can provide unique issues not seen in many insurance claims. No policy is the same and there are several endorsements offered that drastically change the policy. The operation and ownerhsip structure of the aircraft can effect coverage. Aviation law has its own case law, specific to the amount of loss surrounding an aircraft, causation issues, and operations. Each loss can have coverage issues that make it difficult to navigate what is covered and not covered.

Ashby Underhill has the expereicne and knowlege to help you navigate the aviation insurance claim process. We have successfully represented aircraft owners after the insurance compnay has deneid coverage for the claim. We also represent aircraft insurance policy holders with disputes after the insurer has made a low ball offer for damages or deneid neccisary repairs.

Aviation Accidents
Though aviation is known for being one of the safest modes of transportation, accidents do occur and when they do, they often result in death or serious injury. Aviation incidents can result in millions of dollars’ worth of property damage as well. When dealing with the complex, fact intensive nature of aviation accident litigation, time is of the essence. Air traffic control communication and some flight radar is only stored for a limited amount of time. It is imperative to act quickly, and effectively to make informed decisions and get a full assessment of liability exposure and potential defenses.

Investigations from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and FAA will likely occur, and you need to be prepared with a practiced attorney on your side. At Coquina Law Group, we are ready to respond promptly and effectively.

FAA Enforcement
The FAA governs aviation in the Unites States, If FAA legal staff determines a violation has occurred, legal enforcement action will likely be taken. The agency has several reasons for opening an Enforcement Investigation Report (EIR). Some of which include, complaints from an employee, customer, or former employees, and routine surveillance of your operation. When speaking with an FAA investigator, it’s important to have legal representation as they might use that information for potential enforcement actions against you.

Typically, you will be notified with a letter of investigation from the FAA. This letter will indicate violations that the agency believes you have committed and requests a response within 10 days. It is crucial that you consult with an attorney prior to responding to this letter. The circumstances surrounding the alleged violation will dictate how you should respond.

Aviation Transactions
Every aircraft transaction is unique, at Coquina Law, we understand this and work diligently throughout the entire process. From negotiation to closing, we want to provide you with the resources you need to make informed decisions about your purchase. Be prepared, additional expenses may arise from escalation clauses or being responsible for discrepancies discovered during the pre-purchase inspection. It is no surprise that aircrafts are expensive, that is why having attentive, knowledgeable counsel is invaluable. Our attorneys work with you every step of the way from setting up an entity to owning the aircraft, negotiating the contract, tax considerations, and through closing.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), commonly referred to as drones are primarily regulated by the FAA, though some aspects of drone operation may be regulated by state and local governments. As this new technology evolves, so do the laws that govern it. Whether a hobbyists or professional, legal counsel is essential to make sure you are in compliance with current regulations. The operation and registration requirements are determined by the size and use of your drone.

Failure to comply with regulations and local law may result in:

  • Enforcement action
  • FAA civil penalties
  • Invasion of privacy lawsuits
  • Liability claims