Avweb sued?

bigD

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I heard from a CFI buddy today that the infamous Mr. Wolk is suing (or sued?) Avweb at the tune of $100K because some columnists called him an ambulance chaser and some other not so nice things.

What's the story on this, or is everyone keeping their mouths shut in fear that Wolk's 747 sized ego will come after them? I can't find any reference on Avweb.

I hope this is a rumor. This kind of thing makes me sick. :eek:
 

hyper

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I agree

Truth hurts...
 

DC9stick

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AVWEB posted a special AVFLASH on this subject, It's too long to post here. I also couldn't find it on the website. If you're really interested send an e-mail to avflash@avweb.com
 

bigD

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Will do DC9 - thanks!

Wolk is a piece of work. His web site speaks volumes about him. There's a little java app that scrolls some text promoting him. He talks about being the "Aviation Expert" for the various networks, but worse, he brags that Larry King was amazed that he was able to state the cause of an accident immediately after it occured!

Sigh....
 

bigD

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gubernator - that's exactly what I'm trying to do. I must admit that I jumped the gun a bit here and my comments are based upon information that I received from other pilots. The Avweb article sheds a good amount of light on the subject.
 

hyper

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Actually, I don't need any further facts before I jump on the anti-lawyer bandwagon. I'm a permanent rider. Besides, Wolk is, in fact, an ambulance chaser and that's all I need to know to form my opinion.
 

MSNFlier

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hope you never need one of us...

Hyper,

You revile my profession, which is 99% honorable. I do not revile yours, partly because I am a pilot myself, albeit not as my "profession," but mostly because I think your profession is one of the most grossly underappreciated relative to your responsibility every time you spool up the engines. I suspect you might find 1% of professional pilots are not honorable, either (see, Aaliayah - drunk, AWA - drunk, Cape Air - drying out and recovering from drug addiction, and so on).

I have closed million dollar business deals when working with other lawyers, representing our respective clients in an effort to find a solution, on our word. Then we reduce it to writing, but the deal is effectively done when we give our word. Would you take 99% of the aviation employers at their word on your contract and then trust them to reduce it to writing correctly? From what I have read on this board over the past few years, I would say the answer is, "no." Even if you are able to do so, who do you call when they breach that agreement? Us. Why? Because you need us for what? Justice.

Please save your post and put it in your log book for safe keeping. Then, show it to the first aviation or administrative law attorney you meet with when the FAA is all over your a** for some dumb thing that you, the FAA and your employer knows is BS but the FAA won't drop because, without competent legal representation, you're an easy target and a notch on their "violation" pole which helps justify their bureaucratic existence. With an attorney in your corner, I suspect the FAAis much more likely to cave or make a very favorable deal.

I'm sure the lawyers you meet with will be very happy to help you after reading your saved post showing how much you respect what they can do for you.

Finally, please check your civil liberties at your bathroom door today because, without us, who stands between the government and you? Do you really think the government and unfortunately sometimes overzealous law enforcement would be so kind as to leave you alone and secure in your property, personal effects, home and bedroom, body and otherwise without the dedication of competent and aggressive defense attorneys who often work for low pay (such as public defenders, ACLU attorneys, etc.)??? Where do you think the court decisions that interpret the Bill of Rights and limit government power when they execute the laws (i.e., the cops, the DAs and the Judges) come from?? Mars?? The limits on governmental power exist because lawyers take on the coercive power of the government and say, for example, "no, you cannot prosecute someone for who they decide to associate with, so long as they are consenting adults," etc.

You hate us until you need us and when you do, we're the best friend you ever had.

Fly safe!!!
 

chawbein

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lawyers suck. they are the reason that general aviation is so costly. Why does one pay 150,000 for a new Cessna? You pay 40k for the airplane and $110 for the liability.

Granted there are some good lawyers who are well meaning, but alot of others...
 

bigD

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Lawyers are probably like anything else. You have a large number of well meaning lawyers and only a handful of the ambulance chasers. Unfortunately, the bad seeds are the ones getting all the press, and ruin it for everyone else.

I don't have a problem with lawyers. But I do have a problem with the ones that use aviation safety soley as a vehicle to line their pockets with the money of grieving families. I'm not saying that Wolk does that, but there's something about his web site, and the manner in which he carries himself that makes me think that he's not completely well intentioned. I get a very big "used car salesman" vibe from him. But again, I realize that it's an opinion based on nothing resembling fact, so maybe I'm off base.
 

gubernator

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You state that lawyers are responsible for the high cost of aviation. That is incorrect. The responsibility for the high cost of aviation is the negligence of airplane manufacturers.

Assuming that your figures re the cost of a new airplane are correct, why do you think it is that $110,000 of the purchase price goes toward liability? What is liability? In this context, it is a sum of money that one is legally obligated to pay because of one's negligence. Cessna spends $110,000 (again, using your figures) per airplane it manufactures because of its negligent acts that result in harm.

I think the general public has this notion that a lawyer, acting alone, can simply draft a letter to a large corporation, demanding millions of dollars for an injury that never occurred, and the corporation will write out a check just for the asking. I assure you that's not the case. When a corporation writes a check to settle any case it's because it has been advised by experienced counsel that a jury is likely to find that the corporation did something wrong.

That brings up another good point. A lawyer can't force a company to pay a dime without going to court. What about the role of juries and judges in the high cost of aviation? Surely they're to blame for awarding millions of dollars to undeserving plaintiffs. I've heard a lot of good lawyer jokes lately. Have you heard any good jury jokes?

This theme of lawyers being responsible for all of society's evils is also present in the medical industry. A recent news story told of how a trauma hospital was being "forced" to close because of the high cost of obtaining malpractice insurance, which was blamed on lawyers. One proposal was to cap the amount of damages an injured patient could receive in a lawsuit against his doctor for malpractice. That is a bad solution. Again, malpractice insurance is high because insurance companies pay out millions of dollars to settle claims brought against doctors for -- guess what? -- their negligent acts. The solution is to train physicians to make fewer mistakes, not to punish the person who is harmed by the mistake. Where is the incentive to be a better doctor when the consequences for committing malpractice are so severely reduced? That's like saying we can solve the problem of drunk driving -- and the related problem of the high cost of auto insurance for drunk drivers -- not by enforcement and education, but by reducing the penalty for drunk driving to a fine of $25.

How do you propose that we, as a society, reduce the cost of general aviation? Grant manufacturers immunity for anything they do wrong? Limit the amount of money an injured plaintiff can recover? You try telling someone who has been severely crippled and burned in an aviation accident that a jury found to be the fault of the manufacturer that he can only get $25,000 for his injuries, when his hospital bills alone are into the millions.

Sorry about the rant. Anyway, as andymsn pointed out, you ought to print out your post and save it for the day you're injured in an airplane because of the negligence of its manufacturer.
 

chawbein

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For curiosity's sake, what is the percentage of airplane "accidents" are caused by manufacturer's negligence i.e. faulty equipment? The numbers would make for an interesting debate, I'm sure.
 

flx757

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chawbein said:
For curiosity's sake, what is the percentage of airplane "accidents" are caused by manufacturer's negligence i.e. faulty equipment? The numbers would make for an interesting debate, I'm sure.
I'd bet it would be higher for the pud-knockers flying the pud-knocker airplanes than it would be for your prime pilots flying the hot planes.:D
 

chawbein

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flx757 said:


I'd bet it would be higher for the pud-knockers flying the pud-knocker airplanes than it would be for your prime pilots flying the hot planes.:D
Well said!!! It sucks being a pud-knocker.
 

DIRT

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Product Liability

Gubernator,

Everyone that gets in an airplane knows there is an inherent risk involved with flying, while every manufacturer makes an effort to keep these risk to a minimum, products do fail, that being said if it meant paying lower insurance premiums or paying substantially less for new aircraft or aircraft parts I would choose that over paying for product liability or whatever you like to call this form of extortion, because in the end the money we all pay ends up in the pockets of the wrong people.

Dirt
 

hyper

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andymsn,

Yes, I may poopoo your profession, but it certainly, IMO, isn't unwarranted. And from previewing this thread, I seem to be in the majority. Take it personally if you care to, but you chose a profession that comes with a stigma, like it or not. You may be an honorable attorney, honest, loyal, and you may actually care about your clients. In my personal experience, that hasn't been the case. Sure I may need one one day, that's the necessary evil that we all face. But you can bet if I do, I'll come out either broke paying for one, or any lawsuit or settlement that I achieve, regardless of how much pain and suffering I've endured, will be driven by my attorney's desire for self gain. Not compensation for me.

I think we can all give examples of stupid lawsuits where noone but the laywer came out winning.

In the meantime, I'll "save this in my logbook" and go crying to my attorney the next time I get into trouble. But I'll have to snicker when I cut him that check for his services and realize that I'll have to work another X amount of months for free to make up my debt on his bill. You get payed well for the service you provide as you should. But that's all it is, I pay you to do something for me. Doesn't mean I have to agree with what the general profession has become.

Afterall O.J.'s innocent, right?

Cheers

:)
 

MSNFlier

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OJ's Innocent???

Hyper,

You write:

"Yes, I may poopoo your profession, but it certainly, IMO, isn't unwarranted."

Please explain why, in your opinion it is warranted (see below before you answer this question, please)?

Next, you opine:

"You may be an honorable attorney, honest, loyal, and you may actually care about your clients. In my personal experience, that hasn't been the case."

Yes, I am and yes I do. You have personal experience with my representation of you? If not, please explain when you needed a lawyer, what is was for and how that lawyer failed you? I'm sure we would all like to know.

Then you write:

"Sure I may need one one day, that's the necessary evil that we all face. But you can bet if I do, I'll come out either broke paying for one, or any lawsuit or settlement that I achieve, regardless of how much pain and suffering I've endured, will be driven by my attorney's desire for self gain. Not compensation for me."

You will come out broke? Why is that? You have not taken advantage of AOPA's legal insurance program (probably wise if you're a professional pilot)? In the case of a settlement, presumably for a personal injury claim, what part of 66% or 75% of the settlement after paying the lawyer's 33% or 25%, plus the lawyer's costs (not fees but costs for things such as copies, medical records, depositions, expert witnesses, etc. - none of which are cheap but are REQUIRED to prepare your claim for submission to the insurer) incurred and advanced on your behalf, with no other liability to you for the risk your lawyer takes to secure a settlement? The lawyer is properly motivated to achieve the best settlement possible because the lawyer will benefit, as will you (recall that YOU will get 66 to 75 cents of every extra dollar your lawyer negotiates).

Remember, 98% of disputes never get to trial in the civil system. The cases that do are the most difficult ones (or un-settleable).

From my reading on this board, it appears that quite a few people who chose to be a pilot by profession are ultimately motivated by the opportunity to have a job they enjoy AND get paid well to do it (do I hear "self gain?") How many posts have I read about "what does X airline or corp. flight dept. PAY?"

You go on to state:

"I think we can all give examples of stupid lawsuits where noone but the laywer came out winning."

Please do so. "We" are all ears (or, should I say, eyes).

"In the meantime, I'll "save this in my logbook" and go crying to my attorney the next time I get into trouble. But I'll have to snicker when I cut him that check for his services and realize that I'll have to work another X amount of months for free to make up my debt on his bill. You get payed well for the service you provide as you should. But that's all it is, I pay you to do something for me. Doesn't mean I have to agree with what the general profession has become."

No, you do not have to agree (1st Amendment). But, when you attack someone's profession without reasonable or defensible basis but, rather, unjustifiable rhetoric, I respectfully take issue with your characterization.

What does OJ Simpson have to do with this? For the sake of discussion I will address the statement. A CLASSIC example of a lawyer being the best friend you will ever have.

OJ may not be, or he may be, in our respective opinions. WHO decided OJ was innocent? A lawyer? A judge? The media? Fortunately, it was none of the above. It was a jury of twelve persons who UNANIMOUSLY found that the State of California, represented by Assistant District Attorneys Christopher Darden and Marcia Clark, did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt its complaint against OJ that he 1) killed Nicole and Ron and, 2) did so with the intent to kill and with malice aforethought.

If you remember well the OJ case and all its trappings, what is the one thing that OJ was able to do that 99.99% of criminal defendants are not? He had access to a similar amount of resources (investigators, scientific experts, etc.) to defend himself as the State of California had to help ithe State carry its burden of proving OJ guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In other words, neither side had an advantage.

So, you might ask, what was the difference? I don't have any conclusive answers, but based upon watching much of the trial testimony, I can theorize the following:

1) Who was the police officer who found the one bloody glove at the murder scene, the alleged other bloody glove at OJ's house in his side yard, the blood spatters on his Bronco, in his Bronco, on his socks and on his bedroom carpet? Detective Mark Fuhrman. Who was the only witness the State presented who outright lied in his preliminary hearing testimony? Mark Fuhrman. So, the State's star witness was a liar. Hmmmm......if you are a juror, do you believe him?

2) I'm sure Darden and Clark are honorable lawyers, but they failed to do their job. In fact, their failure is much like that of legitimately ascribed pilot error in an accident because they, and only they, were ultimately responsible for that prosecution. No one else. Who talked about the fact that Clark and Darden screwed up two major things (asking OJ to try on a LEATHER glove that had been subject to all sorts of heinous liquids and stored - thereby shrinking it as any person with a bit of common sense would predict; and not successfully rehabilitating Fuhrman or simply not calling him but rather Van Adder to testify as to the location of the various blood evidence) after the verdict? No one. In fact, those two got gigs on cable news talk shows. Had they not made those two fatal mistakes, OJ's lawyer could not have made the closing argument that, "If the glove doesn't fit, you must acquit."

The jury of twelve persons who couldn't care less about OJ or anything having to do with OJ found that OJ was innocent. Extremely talented lawyers, defending a man on trial for his LIFE, convinced the jury that the State had not met its burden of proving, beyond a reasonable doubt, that OJ was guilty of the crime charged. Think OJ "got off," if you must. However, remember that Thomas Jefferson himself once said, "Better that ten guilty men go free than one innocent man be wrongly convicted."

Alright, I've had it with this thread. Respond if you must, but I want to get back to fishing and enjoying myself and my family for a few days.

Enough.

Fly safe!!
 

tarp

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Greed. Most trial lawyers represent a segment of society who want to get rich in a hurry.

Let's get some things straight:

McDonald's coffee is hot.

Skiing, both on snow and water are dangerous.

Opening utililty transformers and crawling in will cause harm to human beings.

Vacuum pumps on airplanes will break. So will seat tracks for Cessnas, both Lycoming and Continental engines will fail in flight, radios will cease to work and brakes will wear thin.

The liability argument doesn't hold water unless you take into account the personal liability all of us have to understand our limitations. I do not get in a car and expect that a mechanical beast is absolutely free from defect - it was built by human beings. Therefore, it will or may break at some time - that's life. If I go and buy a cheap Pinto or Yugo (buying a car for far less money than any other vehicle) do I really think that the manufacturer can make this as safe as a Mercedes. NO.

We have been brainwashed (again) into thinking that there is some sort of guarantee on life. NOT. It can be taken away from us at any moment by forces far superior than humans or lawyers. I appreciate good lawyers that protect me from harm, but if you think I'm going to sue somebody because I put a knife in a toaster or because a 50 cent bolt just caused my engine to die - you're nuts. Living and breathing has risks. I only need a lawyer to protect me from other humans who intentionally want to harm me.
 

Timebuilder

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The case of the governor who died in the twin Cessna is a good example of why people, on the whole, hate lawyers.

As a family involved in aviation, they intimately knew both the risks of flight and their own skills as aviators. They knew that gyros and vac pumps can fail. They took personal responsibility as they taxied out, like aviators do every day. In addition, no manufacturer is responsible for the design of their product to be 100% safe; without risk. The reason that these suits happen is grief and greed. Sadly, most people are too indimidated by the totalitarian legal ruling class in America to do anything about it.

Trial lawyers are the reason that aviation and healthcare are so expensive in our country. Only an uneducated person would fail to acknowlege this, and most of my friends who gratuated from Penn would agree.
 

hyper

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Yea, what he said^.

andy,

I don't have the time nor the enegry to argue my opinion. You obviously do, not to mention faster typing skills. It's your job to debate. Not mine. I'm entitled to my opinion as are you. Don't like it? You don't have to. I'm sure few people on this board need, or want, to read through our debate on laywers. It's an aviation board and my intent was not to get into some page by page debate on attorney opinions and responsibilities. You can call me some chicken$hit and accuse me of not supporting my statements, but I just can't type that fluently. I just don't have that drive, maybe that's why I'm not a lawyer.

You have respect for your profession and that's admirable. But keep in mind, as you attack me on a personal level, that I did not create the stigma of ambulance chasers and such. The courts are filled with ridiculous lawsuits that plenty of lawyers are happy to pursue for frivolous reasons driving up insurance rates and putting companies out of business. It's prolific. If you can deny that, you're on another planet.

So I'll end with a little joke: What's the difference between a catfish and a lawyer?






One's a scumsucking bottom dweller, the other's a fish. ;)

Loosen up andy, it's just a small message board and this is a BIG world.
 
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