Local firm files lawsuit in plane crash

A Lebanon law firm filed a lawsuit against Honeywell International, Inc. Tuesday afternoon.
Aug 14, 2014


A Lebanon law firm filed a lawsuit against Honeywell International, Inc. Tuesday afternoon.  

Lannom & Williams, PLLC filed a civil lawsuit against Honeywell Aerospace (a division of Honeywell International) in Federal Middle District Court of Tennessee on behalf of the family of a victim in an Aug. 2013 plane crash in Birmingham, Ala. 

Shanda Fanning died after the plane she piloted crashed while trying to land. Her widower, Bret Tucker, of Tennessee, is seeking $2 million in damages. Tucker said a faulty piece of Honeywell equipment caused the accident.

On Aug. 14, at approximately 4:45 a.m., UPS Flight 1354 attempted to land at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport when it hit a hill before the runway and crashed, according to the complaint.

The aircraft featured an Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS), designed and manufactured by Honeywell, which is designed to alert pilots when an aircraft’s path will hit terrain or ground objects.

According to the complaint, the EGPWS system did not issue an alert about the hill until one second after the plane made impact. The complaint said that with the warning, a successful climb maneuver could have been accomplished.

The plaintiff said that Honeywell also failed to provide warnings about the defect of their equipment and misrepresented the capabilities and performance of the EGWPS.

Keith Williams, vice chair of the Aviation Section of the American Association for Justice, said he handles many aviation cases and this one could have been avoided.

“It’s a tragedy. It was a preventable tragedy.” Williams said. “Honeywell knew at the time that the piece was faulty.”

Lannon & Williams and Kreindler & Kreindler, LLP, of New York City, will represent Fanning.

“While Honeywell has not yet seen the lawsuit filed in connection with the tragic crash of UPS flight 1354 in Birmingham, Ala., it firmly believes that neither its EGPWS nor any of its other products were responsible for the accident,” said Steve Brecken, director of global media and analyst relations. “Honeywell takes great pride in those products and the very significant contribution they have made to flight safety. The company intends to defend itself and its reputation aggressively.”


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