Burdett v. Teledyne Continental Motors involved the forced landing of a Beech Bonanza after the Teledyne Continental IO-550 engine installed in the aircraft came apart in cruise flight. The passenger was severely injured.
The National Transportation Safety Board blamed the engine failure on the mechanic who last worked on the engine, and cleared the engine manufacturer, Teledyne Continental, from any liability.
We suspected that the NTSB’s determination had been influenced by Teledyne’s engineers, who the NTSB had allowed to assist in the investigation, despite the obvious conflict of interest that presented. We thus conducted our own, independant investigation. We concluded that, contrary to the NTSB’s findings, Teledyne Continental was to blame. After a six-week trial, the jury agreed.
At its annual convention in San Francisco, the California Trial Lawyers Association, known as the Consumer Attorneys of California, honored aviation accident attorney Mike Danko as a Trial Lawyer of the Year finalist for 2009 in recognition of our work in the Burdett case. The Trial Lawyers Association showed this video presentation during the ceremony.