Current Cases & Our Successes

Speiser Krause has a long, successful record in recovering for plaintiffs. In 1965, when aviation litigation was still in its infancy, we won our first million-dollar verdict - then an unprecedented amount - in a lawsuit against American Airlines. We have continued to obtain for our clients high verdicts and settlements in disaster, medical malpractice and other personal injury and wrongful death cases.

Though we are proud of the results achieved, we of course realize they cannot begin to replace the lives and relationships that have been lost. We do believe, however, that such awards carry a strong message to defendants - and that they may go a long way toward preventing similar, avoidable tragedies in the future.

2009 Settlement: General Aviation crash in Florida where we represented four individuals--three burn victims, one death. Each case was settled for multi-million dollar amounts. (confidential)
2008 After twenty years of fighting for our Pan Am Lockerbie clients' rights, the Government of Libya was held responsible for the act of terrorism which brought down the Pan Am plane when it exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland. A New York jury held Pan Am responsible and, once that case was completed, our firm fought to hold Libya accountable. Libya agreed to pay each decedent's family $10 million (in addition to what was recovered from Pan Am's insurer). The final payment was made near the 20th anniversary of the tragedy. Our 60 clients were thankful that justice finally prevailed. Their efforts were instrumental in not only punishing a terrorist act, but in forcing Libya to denounce terrorism and in forging better relations with the United States.
2008 Settlement: Two Comair Flight 5191 settlements, both multi-million (confidential)
2007 Settlement: Three Comair Flight 5191 settlements, all multi-million (names and amounts are subject to confidentiality agreements) (confidential)
2006 Jury Verdict: Trial of medical malpractice wrongful death case by Kenneth P. Nolan and Jeanne M. O'Grady in Supreme Court, Nassau County. Because of factual and legal circumstances, the only issues were malpractice and, if found, the amount that a jury would award for predeath pain and suffering. The jury in this suburban area awarded the family of the decendent $700,000 for predeath pain and suffering, an excellent result. $700,000
2005 Settlement: 53 year old handyman killed in American Airlines Flight 587 crash in Belle Harbor, NY leaving a wife and two adult children from prior a marriage. $2,400,000
2005 Settlement: 50 year old businessman killed in American Airlines Flight 587 crash in Belle Harbor, NY leaving a wife and two children one of whom is a minor. $5,100,000
2004 Settlement: 33 year old ensign in Navy killed in American Airlines Flight 587 crash in Belle Harbor, NY leaving a wife and three children. $3,500,000
2004 Settlement: 45 year old home attendant killed in American Airlines Flight 587 crash in Belle Harbor, NY leaving husband and minor child. $2,800,000
2004 Settlement: 54 year old killed in American Airlines Flight 587 crash in Belle Harbor, NY leaving two children, one of whom is a minor. $2,700,000
2003 Settlement: Husband, wife and handicapped daughter killed in American Airlines Flight 587 crash in Belle Harbor, NY leaving four adult children. $4,900,000
2003 Settlement: Husband and wife, 58 and 53, killed in American Airlines Flight 587 crash in Belle Harbor, NY leaving three adult children. $4,800,000
2003 Settlement: 43 year old home attendant killed in American Airlines Flight 587 crash in Belle Harbor, NY leaving husband and one minor child. $2,500,000
2001 Jury Verdict: 51-year-old adult male pilot killed when his helicopter fuel transfer system failed $9,000,000
2001 Settlement: Death of adult male in South America commercial jet crash leaving wife and two adult children $6,500,000
2000 Settlement: KAL Flight 801 crash in Agana, Guam. Firm represented 56 families - Settlements exceeded $70,000,000
2000 Settlement: Obstetrical malpractice during the labor and delivery of an infant girl $5,000,000
1999 Settlement: Deaths of husband, age 63, and wife, age 59, in KAL 007 Shootdown $4,800,000
1999 Settlement: 56-year-old executive killed in Pittsburgh 737 crash leaving a wife and two adult children $4,925,000
1998 Settlement: Two married couples without children killed in ValuJet crash in the Florida Everglades $5,600,000
1998 Settlement: 48-year-old executive killed in USAF Dubrovnik crash leaving a wife and two adult children $6,000,000
1997 Settlement: Plane crash survivor with severe burns. In excess of $20,000,000
1996 Settlement: For the deaths of 23 students in the Pan Am 103 Lockerbie Air Disaster. These settled after jury selected in 1st case to be tried. $32,500,000
1996 Settlement: Death of 33-year-old government worker in Pan Am 103 Lockerbie Air Disaster, survived by wife and 2 children $4,500,000
1996 Settlement: Canadian family suffered injuries as a result of a van roll-over on a Georgia highway $3,600,000
1995 Settlement: 50-year-old executive's death in mid-air collision $3,500,000
1995 Settlement: Death of 2 police officers in helicopter crash. This case settled after 2 weeks of trial. $8,000,000
1995 Settlement: Cargo loss $4,500,000
1995 Verdict: Wrongful death and personal injuries due to helicopter crash in Mexico; Pain and suffering only (no economic or medical) $8,100,000
1995 Settlement: Helicopter instructor suffered burns following a crash of a McDonnell Douglas 300 Helicopter $3,200,000
1994 Settlement: Helicopter crash, Bolivia, South America; reached prior to trial in cases of 3 decedents. Exact amounts are confidential. Bolivian attorneys inform they are the highest amounts ever known to be recovered in Bolivia for wrongful death action
1994 Verdict: Corporate aircrash for 39-year-old chemical engineer, earning $40,000 per year, survived by wife and 3 daughters. (Settlement offer before trial was $1,200,000) $7,500,000
Verdict: Awarded to parents of a young married couple. No earnings history, but evidence of Japanese cultural norms, including likelihood of parental support by adult children, was admitted $2,200,000
1994 Settlement: Sightseeing helicopter crash, East River, NY, where father was passenger with 14-year-old son. Father survived and son drowned. Settlement on eve of trial, primarily for father's emotional distress $3,500,000
1994 Settlement: El Al 747-200F cargo plane crash into apartment buildings, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Firm represented 196 Dutch citizens and one American citizen. Settlement terms are confidential.
1994 Settlement: S.A.M. Airline crash, Medellin, Colombia, South America; Firm represented 14 families. Suits filed in Florida State Court. Settlements exceeded $11,000,000
1994 Settlement: Perris Valley Parachute Crash; Fund arranged for the heirs of decedents and those injured in the crash of a sky diver club flight near Perris, CA on April 22, 1992 $13,500,000
1993 Verdict: Korean Air Lines Flight 007 shot down by soviet fighter in 1983. Jury verdict found KAL guilty of wilful misconduct. Verdict affirmed on appeal. Firm represented 30 victims  
  Verdict to widow, 3 children and parents of a 32-year-old civil engineer (with pre-judgment interest)
$4,000,000
  Settlement: For 46-year-old businessman earning approximately $60,000 per year, who owned a computer refurbishing company; left widow, age 45 and 2 daughters, ages 11 and 13

$3,600,000
1993 Verdict: USAir Fokker F-28 crash, LaGuardia, NY, due to wing icing; 3 month trial in Cleveland resulted in liability verdict on behalf of plaintiffs  
1993 Settlement: Avianca Boeing 707 crash, Cove Neck, NY; for 19-year-old
$3,000,000
  Settlement: For 29-year-old mother $3,250,000
  Settlement: For 30-year-old woman who lost her 2-month-old child. Mother was holding child at time of crash. Settlement was primarily for emotional distress of mother

$3,500,000
  Settlement: For 56-year-old woman, comatose for 5 weeks $3,000,000
  Settlement: For 30-year-old short order cook, who sustained fractures of both legs $3,000,000
  Settlement: For 48-year-old man who fractured both his legs
and his 10-year-old son suffered a displaced fracture to the arm
$2,500,000
$600,000
  Settlement: Death of father/husband, leaving wife, three minor children, and two adult children $3,500,000
1992 Settlement for personal injuries of 35-year-old lawyer burn victim, Houston, TX - Honduras air disaster $3,500,000
1992 Settlement for multiple deaths in crash of Independent Air B-707 in Azores $34,000,000
1992 Settlement for death of husband, age 34, in aircrash $2,500,000
1992 Settlement for death of father and teenage child in Aeromexico DC-9 crash $3,300,000
1992 Settlement of ground cases: Pan Am 103/Lockerbie bombing; Liability against Pan Am affirmed on appeal $26,000,000
1992 Settlement: United DC-10 crash, Sioux City, IA;
One for death of a 14-year-old student
and one for death of a 25-year-old single attorney with one year practice

$1,600,000
$1,600,000
1992 Settlement: Aeromexico crash, Cerritos, CA; to widow with 3 children $3,300,000
1991 Settlement with manufacturers and FBO: MU-2 crash at Juarez Airport in Mexico (1987) - Family members killed $9,650,000
1991 Settlement for death of 28-year-old lawyer, survived by wife and two children, Houston, TX - Honduras air disaster $5,600,000
1990
Recovery for motorcycle accident victim. Structured settlement will pay out $60 million over the life of the insured. One of the highest recoveries ever in Connecticut $4,600,000
1990
Verdict: for deaths of father and two teenage children. Aeromexico DC-9 crash $5,685,000
1989 Settlement after trial commenced in U.S. airline disaster: (31-year-old man, survived by wife and 4 minor children) $6,000,000
1989 Infant brain-damaged from fetal distress at birth (total payments if child reaches life expectancy: $11.5 million) $1,600,000
1989 Punitive damage verdict against Korean Airlines for loss of Flight 007 $50,000,000
1987 Verdict: Electrical burn injuries to both hands, loss of hearing, physiological injuries, loss of consortium with wife $2,720,000
1987 Verdict: Private plane crash, death of husband, age 35, survived by wife and four children $3,400,000
1986 Settlement: Arrow Air crash (1985)-10 death cases of young military personnel ranging from $1,000,000 to $2,000,000
 
1986 Automobile collision; paraplegic injuries (age 26, 2 minor dependent children) $2,000,000
1985 Settlement: military Bell Helicopter crash; products liability case (structured, guaranteed payout for 33-year-old major survived by wife and four children) $4,800,000
1985 Oil rig disaster off coast of Newfoundland (1982); 58 estates of victims. Highest award: $1,600,000
1984 Verdict: Helicopter crash; 40-year-old businessman (with interest, near $3 million) $2,090,000
1983 Settlement: Air Canada DC-8 crash Highest award was for death of a 54-year-old executive, survived by wife and 3 minor children $4,600,000
1983 Settlement: Air Florida B-737 crash on takeoff from Washington National Airport (1982). Guaranteed payments to families of:
   a.39-year-old man, survived by wife and two minor children
   b.46-year-old man, survived by wife and two minor children


$2,800,000
$2,600,000
1982 Settlement: Stouffer's Hotel Fire in Westchester, NY (1980). Highest award was for death of a 37-year-old man, survived by wife and two children $3,650,000
1982 Settlement after trial commenced: Medical malpractice at birth, brain-damaged baby. Paid over lifetime $14,000,000
1981 Structured settlements: American Airlines DC-10 crash, Chicago, IL (1979) (guaranteed payments):
   a.55-year-old surviving wife
   b.47-year-old wife and 3 children
   c.50-year-old surviving wife


$1,960,000
$2,640,000
$2,780,000
1979 Settlement: 15-year-old boy, brain-damaged after fall from a truck bed while attending camp (settlement provided $128,000 per year tax free) $2,250,000
1965 Verdict: Our first million-dollar verdict in a passenger case against American Airlines $1,172,000

"I did not want to close my file on this matter without writing to you to express my sincere thanks to all of the members of the firm...for your splendid attention to this difficult matter. I was particularly pleased that you were able to effect this excellent result...and it was likewise gratifying to know that you were able to put a substantial dent in the harsh doctrine of the Warsaw Convention."


Letter from a lawyer for the family of a young woman who was injured in the bombing of a Pan Am aircraft while still on the ground.