Appeals court overturns GARA defense
The 2nd District Court of Appeals in Los Angeles has overturned a lawsuit stemming from a crash in 1998 of a 1976 Bell 205 claiming Bell Helicopter used fraudulent tail-rotor yoke accident data in its defense. Use of fraudulent evidence eliminates the liability limitation of the General Aviation Revitalization Act (GARA) of 1994, which normally bars liability lawsuits against manufacturers of aircraft more than 18 years old. Ruling in the case, Judge Paul Boland concluded that Bell, within GARA’s 18-year period of repose, withheld information regarding five prior military aircraft accidents that, like the 1998 crash, all involved tail-rotor yoke failure. The suit was brought by the wives of three paramedics killed in the accident.