March 12, 2012
Aviation Win Affirmed: Court of appeals backs District Court decision
The U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals supported the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida's ruling in favor of Motley Rice's client regarding fraudulent transfer allegations presented in Chris Turner v. Ramo, LLC.
On Dec. 3, 2008, a Rockwell International charter flight operated by Websta's Aviation Services, Inc., was destroyed after crashing near Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. The pilot and his two passengers lost their lives in the crash. In the aftermath of this fatal air crash, assets of the air charter company were quickly disposed of through undervalued sales to an affiliate company, Ramo, Inc. The charter operator also used the entirety of its insurance policy for its own purposes, leaving no policy amounts for the families of the deceased passengers.
Motley Rice's client, represented by aviation lawyers Mary Schiavo and James Brauchle, sued the entities that spirited off assets following the crash, alleging they violated the Florida Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act. Motley Rice's client also sued to void the asset transfers and to make the assets available to satisfy wrongful death judgments.
In August 2011, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida found in favor of Motley Rice's client, ruling that the post-crash transfer of assets was indeed a fraudulent trade and that those assets must be made available to satisfy the wrongful death claims. Ramo appealed, challenging the court's denial of its motion for summary judgment. The court of appeals upheld the district court's decision on Feb. 23, 2012.
Subscribers can read more about court decision in Aviation Law Week.
Please remember that every case is different. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.