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Corboy & Demetrio - The Leader in Aviation Litigation

Corboy & Demetrio has long been a leader in aviation litigation. Our aviation attorneys have helped victims and their families in major U.S. and foreign airplane crashes and our work has resulted in record-setting aviation settlements.

 Attorney Thomas Demetrio, who secured the largest compensatory settlement - $25.2 million - for the death of an airline passenger, has been hailed by Lawdragon, the premier legal news center and directory, as the "powerhouse" of aviation law. It further stated, "when tragedy strikes, the families of plane crash victims have no greater ally."  Since its inception, Lawdragon has selected Thomas as one of the 500 Leading Lawyers in America.

Our skilled aviation team of lawyers has experience in all areas of plane crash cases - airline liability, pilot negligence, manufacturers negligence, government liability, suppliers liability, jurisdictional issues, and liability apportionment. 

All aspects of our aviation cases are promptly and thoroughly investigated to determine fault and assess liability. Our attorneys work with injured individuals and their families to help them secure fair and full compensation for their loss and injuries.

Aviation Litigation Record of Success

Thomas Demetrio acquired the  largest compensatory damages settlement - $25.2 million - for the death of a passenger in the USAir jet crash outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was the top settlement for the death of a person in a commercial aviation wrongful death action at the time. The previous top record, a $25 million settlement in a case stemming from the crash of a United Airlines jet in Sioux City, Iowa, was also acquired by Corboy & Demetrio several years before the USAir record. 

Leaders in Aviation Litigation

In many major aviation cases, our attorneys have been appointed lead counsel by the court.

We served as plaintiffs’ lead counsel in a consolidated case involving the crash of a USAir jet outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in which all passengers and crew members were killed. Five of the final cases in the crash settled for over $54 million.

Corboy & Demetrio was appointed lead plaintiffs’ counsel for the United Airlines jet crash at Sioux City, Iowa and the firm represented 38 passengers or their survivors in lawsuits filed as a result of the tragedy. In one of the worst aviation disaster in history, Corboy & Demetrio was also appointed lead counsel for the American Airlines flight 191 crash at O’Hare International Airport where 271 people on board and two people on the ground were killed.                   

Thomas and Michael Demetrio served as lead counsels in litigation stemming from the crash of an American Eagle plane near Morrisville, North Carolina, and as one of the lead plaintiffs’ counsel in the American Eagle crash that occurred near Roselawn, Indiana.

In other publicized cases, Tom Demetrio represented a widow whose husband was killed with musician Jim Croce in a plane crash, as well as the family of musician Stevie Ray Vaughan, who lost his life in a helicopter crash.     

Our experience in international airplane crashes includes the representation of families of victims in the crash of a Paris-bound TWA jet off the coast of Long Island, as well as in the crashes of an Aero-Peru flight near Lima, Peru, and an American Airlines jet near Cali, Columbia.

Aviation Speakers and Authors

In addition to litigating aviation lawsuits, our attorneys are featured speakers on aviation litigation at legal seminars and write articles for other attorneys on the legal intricacies of aviation cases.

Attorney Michael Demetrio was a featured speaker at the legal seminar, "Anatomy of an Aviation Case," where he discussed the evaluation, analysis, decision-making and presentation skills needed in an aviation case. Last year he addressed lawyers at the American Bar Association's Aviation Litigation Seminar in New York on the importance of an opening statement in an airplane crash trial.  

Thomas and Michael Demetrio authored the article "Beyond the Thunder," published in Trial, a national publication for trial lawyers. The article discusses the role weather can play in an airplane crash and advises personal injury lawyers on how to address and deal with weather issues in an airplane crash case. Michael Demetrio is also the author of a chapter in "Aviation - Causes of Action," published by the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education.

Community Involvement

Along with being involved in the litigation of commercial and private aviation disasters, the firm supports and contributes to the National Air Disaster Alliance/Foundation, an organization that addresses the needs of survivors and those affected by airline disasters.

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Corboy & Demetrio
33 N. Dearborn Street
21st Floor
Chicago, IL 60602