Cases & Deals

Parker Hannifin wins summary judgment on all claims in an Argentina plane crash claiming the lives of senior business executives

Client(s) Parker Hannifin Corporation

Four wrongful death claims were filed against Jones Day client, Parker Hannifin, and others as a result of a single-engine Cessna T-210J crash at night near Rosario de la Frontera, Argentina on May 17, 2004. The pilot and three passengers, including senior executives from a large Argentina corporation, lost their lives. The personal representatives of the estates of the pilot and passengers filed suit in Broward County, Florida Circuit Court in 2006, asserting that the "flex coupling" component of a Parker Hannifin engine-driven vacuum pump allegedly on the plane failed in flight and caused the crash.

Despite plaintiffs' repeated delay tactics, Jones Day secured an early inspection of the engine-driven vacuum pump on the accident aircraft. On October 21, 2008, shortly after the inspection was completed, Jones Day filed a motion for summary judgment arguing that the accident pump was not a Parker Hannifin manufactured product, but rather a remanufactured or overhauled unit in which the critical wear components were not designed or manufactured by Parker Hannifin.

After oral argument on April 3, 2009, and notwithstanding ongoing discovery, the court granted Parker's motion on all plaintiffs' claims based on the flex coupling. On July 20, 2009, the court granted Parker judgment on plaintiffs' remaining claims based on the Florida and federal GARA statutes of repose.

Viviana Estela de Fatima Fernandez Kraus de Di Bacco, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Alberto Di Bacco, deceased v. Parker Hannifin Corporation, et al., No. 06-007037-CIV-05 (Circuit Court of Broward County, Fla.) (Consolidated with Case Nos. 06-0007040, 06-007043 and 06-007046)