Alan Lavender, the former city councilor and mayor of Newburyport MA, was fatally injured when his single-engine plane crashed into the Prides Crossing condo complex in Methuen last month. The plane was approaching Lawrence Municipal Airport when the accident occurred, leaving the plane’s tail poking out of the building’s roof. Fortunately, nobody was home in the two condos impacted by the crash.
The National Transportation Safety Board’s investigation into the crash will consider several factors, including Lavender’s qualifications, the weather at the time of the crash, and whether the plane may have had mechanical issues. Witnesses reported that the plane “took a steep descent and disappeared behind the trees” prior to the crash. Investigators are urging any witnesses who haven’t yet come forward to do so, especially if they have photos or video of the incident. A Boston injury lawyer can help you determine how to proceed following an accident or injury.
The former mayor’s plane was home-built from a kit. The two-seat Sonex plane is actually a relatively common aircraft, and known to be of high quality. Emergency responders arrived at the scene of the crash shortly after the incident occurred. Although nobody was home in the two condos damaged by the crash, Nancy Downey was inside the building when the accident occurred. “I heard a loud boom and when I looked outside there was insulation coming down like snow,” she told the Herald. “It scared me half to death. … I hear planes all the time,” said Downey. Ron Coholan, a resident in an adjacent building, said this was the second accident in two decades. “I hope Lawrence airport will redirect flights,” said Coholan.
Was the Plane Defective?
Until the investigation determines the cause of Lavender’s accident, we don’t know if it was due to weather, lack of training, or a mechanical problem with the plane. However, the incident serves as a stark reminder that defective and faulty parts can result in serious injuries and death. If the investigation uncovers that defective parts caused the crash, Lavender’s family may choose to pursue a defective product liability claim or a wrongful death lawsuit.
Different Types of Defective Product Liability Claims
If you believe that a defective product has caused you harm, a MA injury lawyer can help you determine which type of defective product liability claim to pursue. Most product liability claims fit into one of three categories. These include:
- Defective design – this occurs when the product’s design is inherently dangerous or faulty.
- Defective manufacturing – this occurs when an error is made during the manufacturing process, usually at the factory. This is the most common type of product liability claim.
- Failure to warn – this occurs when a product that has some type of hidden danger does not include adequate warnings or instructions to prevent injury.