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Bob Clifford: A Leader in Aviation Accident Litigation

For four decades, Bob Clifford has provided the highest caliber of legal representation to families and survivors of all types of aircraft disasters. There are few lawyers across the country who can match his record of accomplishment involving these tragic, complex cases.

He and the lawyers of his firm, Clifford Law Offices, have an exceptional record of helping victims of air crash disasters and their family members recover appropriate compensation for their losses. In fact, Mr. Clifford and his team have represented clients in every major commercial airline accident in the United States over the past 40 years.

As Mr. Clifford has stated, “Our cases are not about revenge, retaliation, or retribution – they’re about fairness and justice for the innocent victims and their families.” This unyielding commitment has helped families recover the resources they need to move forward with their lives after such a profound tragedy. Clients have said that they have been allowed to grieve and put their lives back together as best they can while the aviation lawyers at Clifford Law Offices work round the clock to achieve the answers and justice they seek. Below are a select number of the results Mr. Clifford and Clifford Law Offices have obtained in aviation accident litigation.

Some examples of American commercial airline crashes handled by Clifford Law Offices:

  • 1989: United Airlines Flight 232: Due to engine failure, this plane was forced to crash land in Sioux City, Iowa, and burst into flames. Of the 294 people on board, 111 people died in the crash, although many of the 183 survivors were severely injured. Clifford Law Offices was instrumental in proving that GE, the makers of the engine, failed to find a crack during inspection. Bob Clifford recovered $28.3 million for a 70-year old -woman who was severely injured in the crash, and $15 million for a Chicago area man whose wife and daughter were killed in the crash. Mr. Clifford also recovered $250,000 from the defendants to be used as a bereavement center at a Chicago hospital.
  • 1994: American Eagle Flight 4184: This plane crash crashed in Roselawn, Indiana, killing all 68 people aboard on Halloween night in 1994. Bob Clifford was lead counsel for 16 of these victims. Just as the trial was set to begin, the defendants settled the claims for $110 million and apologized in open court to the victims’ family members.
  • 2000: Alaska Air Flight 261: This plane crashed in the Pacific Ocean, killing all 88 people aboard. Bob Clifford and Clifford Law Offices represented seven families who lost loved ones. After firm partner Kevin Durkin took more than 100 depositions over a three-year period, Clifford Law Offices was able to determine how the crash occurred. Specifically, the airplane’s jackscrew system malfunctioned. As a result of this tireless effort, Mr. Clifford and his firm recovered more than $40 million in settlements for these seven families.

Some examples of international airline crashes handled by Clifford Law Offices:

  • 1995: Tarom Airlines Flight 371: All 60 passengers were killed when the pilot of Flight 371 lost control due to health problems over Romania. The co-pilot attempted to turn on the autopilot, but the necessary parameters were not met. Clifford Law Offices settled the case for $4.7 million for a business consultant who was a passenger aboard this tragic flight.
  • 2003: Turkish Airlines Flight 634: Due to foggy conditions and crew failure, this plane landed well short of the runway and crashed. 75 people died in the crash. Clifford Law Offices represented the wife of the lone American aboard this flight, an architect travelling to Turkey on business.
  • 2009: Turkish Airlines Flight 1951: Clifford Law Offices represented a number of families who lost loved ones or passengers who were severely injured but survived the crash in The Netherlands. The Boeing 737-800 aircraft crashed into a muddy airfield about a mile north of the runway at the Amsterdam-Schiphol International Airport.

Private plane and helicopter crashes

  • 1994: Mr. Clifford recovered a $10 million settlement for the family of a Brazilian entrepreneur who was killed with his wife on a short helicopter flight from New York to New Jersey.
  • 2002: A small charter fishing plane crashed in Canada, killing four men. Clifford Law Offices represented the family of one of the deceased, a 41-year-old man from Geneva, Illinois, recovering a $4.2 million settlement.

Airline crashes are tremendously difficult cases to handle for a number of reasons. The damage from a crash can make it extremely challenging to prove why the accident happened. Although the black boxes contain critical information, oftentimes it takes thorough investigation of numerous parties to figure out what caused the plane to crash. Therefore, families of those who died and injured survivors must retain the services of lawyers who fully understand both the complicated scientific and mechanical issues as well as the unique legal terrain. More than this, families and survivors should work with lawyers who will work tirelessly to hold the responsible parties accountable for their negligence. On all these levels, Bob Clifford and the Clifford Law Offices are uniquely situated to excel to prepare aviation accident cases for trial, using the latest state-of-the-art technology in court with animations and other demonstrative evidence as well as securing the top experts in the world to tap their knowledge and input on behalf of the plaintiffs.

With decades of success, Mr. Clifford and Clifford Law Offices have amassed the resources required to present the strongest possible aviation accident case, either in the courtroom or in settlement negotiations. Mr. Clifford’s record of accomplishment, combined with his and his firm’s unmatched skill and talent in all phases of litigation, make Clifford Law Offices a strong choice to take on any type of aviation accident case.